Object Image

The Monarch of the Glen

The Monarch of the Glen is one of the most famous British pictures of the nineteenth century; for many people it encapsulates the grandeur and majesty of Scotland's highlands and wildlife. Here Landseer depicts a monumental and precisely defined 'royal' or twelve point stag - a reference to the number of points on its antlers. Many of his paintings show interactions between humans and animals, but in this, his most well-known work, a single emblematic creature is viewed in a moment of exhilaration. It became widely admired in nineteenth century, when it was reproduced in prints, and achieved even greater renown in the twentieth century when it was employed as a marketing image for various products, so endowing it with global recognition.

Credit: Purchased by the National Galleries of Scotland as a part gift from Diageo Scotland Ltd, with contributions from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Dunard Fund, Art Fund, the William Jacob Bequest, the Tam O' Shanter Trust, the Turtleton Trust, and the K. T. Wiedemann Foundation, Inc. and through public appeal, 2017

About 1851
Oil on canvas
163.8 x 168.9cm
NG 2881
Image and text © National Galleries of Scotland, 2024

Deepen your knowledge