About this artwork

The animals and landscape play as important a role as the figures in this unusual history painting. It was commissioned by the distinguished geologist Sir Roderick Impey Murchison, President of the Royal Geographical Society. He modelled for the figure of his great-grandfather Colonel Donald Murchison, the rent collector who wears a breastplate under his jacket. Colonel Murchison was defying the law on behalf of the Jacobite Earl of Seaforth, exiled in Paris after the defeat of the Old Pretender's army at the Battle of Sheriffmuir in 1715. The Earl's tenants keep hidden from the group of redcoats across the loch.

Sir Edwin Landseer

Sir Edwin Landseer

Landseer displayed his remarkable artistic skills at a very early age; when he was only twelve one of his paintings was exhibited at the Royal Academy. He excelled at painting animals, often bringing great drama, animation and wit to his portrayals. Landseer's enthusiasm for Scotland prompted annual visits from 1825 onwards, and he combined hunting expeditions with sketching trips. He was Queen Victoria's favourite artist and was honoured with a knighthood in 1850. His most famous highland sporting picture is 'The Monarch of the Glen' (private collection).