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The Eagle's Nest

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (probably, painted)

  • Date:

    ca. 1833 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Landseer, Edwin Henry (Sir), born 1802 - died 1873 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on millboard

  • Credit Line:

    Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Paintings, Room 82, The Edwin and Susan Davies Galleries, case NORTH WALL

Landseer seems to have painted this picture in the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland. In 1851 a critic wrote that 'the grand melancholy solitude of the Highlands is well expressed, though the tone of the colouring is too heavy'.

Physical description

Oil on millboard entitled 'The Eagle's Nest', depicting a nocturnal scene with two eaglets in a nest on a rocky outcropping, guarded by one adult eagle, with another in mid-flight in the distance.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (probably, painted)


ca. 1833 (painted)


Landseer, Edwin Henry (Sir), born 1802 - died 1873 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Oil on millboard


Height: 25.4 cm estimate, Width: 35.6 cm estimate, Height: 460 mm framed, Width: 560 mm framed, Depth: 40 mm framed

Object history note

Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857

Exhibited at the British Institution, 1834, no.276 (1ft 5in x 1ft 8in)

Descriptive line

Oil painting entitled 'The Eagle's Nest' by Edwin Henry Landseer. Great Britain, ca. 1833.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Catalogue of British Oil Paintings 1820-1860, Ronald Parkinson, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1990, p. 150
Richard Ormond, Monarch of the Glen: Landseer in the Highlands. Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 2005.
Evans, Mark et al. Vikutoria & Arubāto Bijutsukan-zō : eikoku romanshugi kaigaten = The Romantic tradition in British painting, 1800-1950 : masterpieces from the Victoria and Albert Museum. Japan : Brain Trust, 2002

Labels and date

50. Edwin Landseer (1803-73)
The Eagle's Nest
Oil on canvas, 25.4 x 35.6 cm (10 x 14 ins)

Landseer became the most famous painter of animals of the nineteenth century. As a precocious youth he had been heavily influenced by the realism of George Stubbs's animal painting, but he added an extra element of anthropomorphism; that is he often gave the creatures he depicted almost human expressions and situations. Landseer grew to love Scotland after his first trip there in 1824, when he visited Sir Walter Scott. He then frequently returned to the landscape of Scotland and the wild creatures he had seen there. This work is a fine example of Landseer depicting birds in a vast natural setting. The wild mountains and the bleak rocks, the few bare sticks of the great bird's nest, have a romantic melancholy which appealed to those who admired the poetry of nature in its untamed state.

Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857 (FA 102) [2002]


Oil paint; Millboard


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Eagle; Landscape; Nest


Paintings; Images Online; Anthropomorphism


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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