Richard Ansdell RA (1815-1885) Scottish Shooting Scene 1869 Titled: Winter shooting Hare & Ptarmigan Glen Spean.
Signed and dated 1869. Canvas size: 30" x 54" Framed size: 38" x 62".
In 1836 he became a student at the Liverpool Academy and eventually became President in 1845. By 1840 he had already exhibited two pictures (“Grouse Shooting: Lunch on the Moors” and “A Galloway Farm”) at the Royal Academy in London. – his largest commission at this time being “The Country Meeting of the Royal Agricultural Society at Bristol” – 16 feet long including 125 separate portraits.
Between 1840 and 1885 he exhibited pictures at the Royal Academy every year (149 in all) and also exhibited some 30 canvases at the British Institution. His popularity was established by two paintings in particular: “The Combat” – two red stags locked in battle; and “The Fight for the Standard at the Battle of Waterloo” being a lifesized depiction of Sgt. Ewart of the Scots Greys grappling for the French Standard at the battle. This huge picture (13 feet X 11 feet) now hangs in the Great Hall of Edinburgh Castle.
In 1847 he left his native Liverpool and moved to Kensington, eventually living in a large house called Lytham House after his beloved Lytham St. Annes in Lancashire where he also had a sizeable residence called Starr Hills. Nowadays the area of the town around Starr Hills is called ‘Ansdell’ after him – as is a street in Kensington.
Richard Ansdell was elected Associate of the Royal Academy in 1861 and Royal Academician in 1870. He became one of the most successful Victorian sporting artists, collaborating on huge canvases with artists such as Thomas Creswick (1811 – 1869) and William Powell Frith (1819 – 1909) placing the animals into their landscapes.
After he had discovered Scotland and had built his own Lodge there on the banks of Loch Laggan, he spent time north of the border whenever he could – painting many Scottish subjects – stags in glens, sheep on hillsides, moorland/mountain scenes, sheep-dipping, everyday scenes in a shepherd’s life, shooting parties.