I was at the Art Museum the other day and saw this painting: Attachment by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer and was getting some serious Will and Winston vibes. It was inspired by a man who fell while travelling and his dog who stood guard over his body for weeks.
Albert introduced Queen Victoria to the practice of etching soon after their
marriage on 10 February 1840. They etched frequently for about four years and
often on the same plates – the Queen producing 62 and the Prince 25. The first
etching by the Queen was a copy of a drawing of a head by the Florentine artist
Stefano della Bella.
George Hayter and Sir Edwin Landseer taught the royal couple how to etch. Queen
Victoria wrote in her journal on 1 March 1843: ‘Landseer again gave us a lesson
in etching, making us try various new points & showing us the great
advantage of changing points for different stages of the work, in which we have
hitherto been very deficient.’ Landseer’s inspiration recurs over a range of
subjects and in the many prints after his works.
The etchings offer a picture of the interests of the royal couple in
their early married years. The Prince had a keen interest in art and the Old Masters. He also
introduced Queen Victoria to German Romantic literature (Goethe and Schiller in
particular) and read to the Queen from Schiller’s works. Their
family absorbed them and the children and dogs play an important role in the
etching subject matter.
These prints were presented to the British Museum
by their grandson, George V, in 1926.