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Creator:
Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, 1802–1873
Title:

Portrait of Mr. Van Amburgh, As He Appeared with His Animals at the London Theatres

Former Title(s):

Captain van Amsburgh

Portrait of Mr. Van Amburgh, as he appeared with his animals at the London theatres. Painted for Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington. [1847, Royal Academy of Arts, London, exhibition catalogue]

Date:
Summer 1846 to March 1847
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
69 1/4 x 94 inches (175.9 x 238.8 cm), Frame: 85 1/4 × 108 × 6 1/4 inches (216.5 × 274.3 × 15.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
B1977.14.61
Classification:
Paintings
Collection:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
advertisement | cage | costume | fear | flowers (plants) | food | genre subject | gesture | laurel crown | lions | performance | performer | portrait | sporting art | stage | tamer | tigers | whip | zoo
Associated People:
Amburgh, Van
Access:
Not on view
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:410
Export:
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IIIF Manifest:
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Isaac Van Amburgh (1805–1865) was an American lion tamer who was popular on the London stage. Queen Victoria attended his show no less than six times in 1838, staying afterward on one occasion to witness the feeding of the beasts. This portrait was commissioned by the Duke of Wellington (who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo). When the duke commissioned the painting, he pointed out a passage in the bible (Book of Genesis) in which God grants humankind domination over other creatures. The duke specified that the passage be somehow inscribed on the work. Landseer would later comment that the painting was his own “sacred subject on that account.” The portrait recalls traditional depictions of Daniel in the Lion’s den, but while Victorian viewers of the painting may have been impressed by Van Amburgh’s bravery, audiences today are likely more ambivalent at the captivity of the caged animals.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Circus and the City (The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, 2012-09-13 - 2013-02-03) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Fierce Friends - Artists & Animals in the Industrial Era, 1750-1920 (Carnegie Museum of Art, 2006-03-25 - 2006-08-27) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Fierce Friends - Artists & Animals in the Industrial Era, 1750-1920 (Van Gogh Museum, 2005-10-05 - 2006-02-05) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

"Sir Edwin Landseer's spot of red", The Leisure Hour, London, June 13, 1874, p. 378, Available online at British Periodicals [ORBIS]

A Famous Picadilly Mansion, Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, London, Sunday, September 20, 1891, p. 5, Online Resource Available online at 19th Century British Newspapers [ORBIS]

Affairs in England, The Landseer Exhibition , New York Times, January 17, 1874, p. 3, Online Resource Available online at ProQuest Historical Newspapers : The New York Times (1851-2008) [ORBIS]

Apsley House, The Ipswich Journal, Ipswich, England, Saturday, January 8, 1853, p. 3, Online Resource Available at 19th Century British Library Newspapers [ORBIS]

Apsley House, The Observer, London, January 10, 1853, p. 5, Online Resource Available online at ProQuest Historical Newspapers : The Guardian and The Observer (1791-2003) [ORBIS]

Apsley House, Art Journal, February 1853, p. 44, Available online at British Periodicals I [ORBIS]

Apsley House-the private view, Leader, vol. 4, January 8, 1853, p. 33, Available online at British Periodicals I [ORBIS]

Aquilius, Subjects for Pictures, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, vol. 63 :388, Edinburgh, February 1848, p. 182, Available online at British Periodicals I [ORBIS]

Art at the Manchester exhibition, Athenaeum, London, July 16, 1887, p. 92, Available online at British Periodicals I [ORBIS]

Art at the Manchester Jubliee Exhibition, The Liverpool Mercury, Liverpool, England, Monday, May 9, 1887, p. 5, Online Resource Available online at 19th Century British Newspapers [ORBIS]

Art Notes, The Liverpool Mercury, Liverpool, England, Saturday, April 7, 1883, p. 7, Online Resource Available online at 19th Century British Newspapers [ORBIS]

John Ashton, Gossip in the first decade of Victoria's reign, Hurst & Blackett, London, 1903, p. 86, DA533 A76 (YCBA) [YCBA]

J. Batty, Landseer's animal illustrations, Nimrod, Alton, Hampshire, England, 1990, p. 89, NJ18 L244 B27 1990 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Cartoon, Punch, vol. 12, January-June 1847, p. 201, A 95 P97 12-12 OVERSIZE (SML) [ORBIS]

Christie's Advertisement, Apollo, vol. 102, July 1975, p. 39 (supp.), N1 A54 102 : 1 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Christie's Sale Catalogue : Fine Victorian Pictures : Friday, 25 July 1975, Christie's, Friday, July 25, 1975, p. 22, lot 82, pl. 23, Sales Catalogues (YCBA) [OCLC]

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 140-141, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Critical Notices of the Pictures and Water Colour Drawings in the Royal Jubliee Exhibition, Manchester 1887, originally published in the Manchester Courier , John Heywood, Manchester, 1887, p. 45, N5056 M36 A85 1887 (YCBA Rare Books) [ORBIS]

Death of Sir Edwin Landseer, Birmingham Daily Post, Birmingham, England, Friday, October 3, 1873, p. 6, Online Resource Available at 19th Century British Library Newspapers [ORBIS]

Death of Sir Edwin Landseer, Bristol Mercury, Bristol, England, Saturday, October 4, 1873, p. 3, Online Resource Available at 19th Century British Library Newspapers [ORBIS]

Diana Donald, Picturing animals in Britain, 1750-1850, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2007, pp. 192-195, no. 180, N7660 D67 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Stephen Duffy, Landseer and the Lion-tamer, the Portrait of Mr. Van Amburgh at Yale , British Art Journal, vol. 3, no. 3, Autumn 2002, pp. 25-35, fig. 2, N6761 B74+ (YCBA) [YCBA]

Susan Dunne, Nicola Hicks finds expressive matches, Hartford Courant, Hartford, December 8, 2013, p. G6, Available online : Orbis and Proquest Digital Microfilm [ORBIS]

George Cressal Ellis, Original Correspondence, [letter to the editor] , The Era, London, Sunday, December 31, 1865, p. 11, Online Resource Available online at 19th Century British Newspapers [ORBIS]

Exhibition Catalogue. 1847. 79th., Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts, no. 79, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1847, p. 12, no. 186, N5054 A53 65-79 [ORBIS]

Exhibition of the Royal Academy, Morning Post, , London, Tuesday, May 4, 1847, p. 5, Online Resource Available online at 19th Century British Library Newspapers [ORBIS]

Exhibition of the Royal Academy, Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, London, Thursday, May 6, 1847, p. 3, Online Resource Available online at 19th Century British Library Newspapers [ORBIS]

Exhibition of the Royal Academy, Morning Post, , London, Thursday, May 6, 1847, p. 5, Online Resource Available online at 19th Century British Library Newspapers [ORBIS]

Exhibition of the Royal Academy, Bury and Norwich Post, no. 3385, Wednesday, May 12, 1847, p. 1, Online Resource Available online at 19th Century British Library Newspapers [ORBIS]

Exhibition of the Royal Academy, The Era, London, Sunday, June 13, 1847, p. 10, Online Resource Available online at 19th Century British Library Newspapers [ORBIS]

Exhibition of the Royal Academy, The Fine Arts Journal, vol. 1, London, May 8, 1847, pp. 424-425, Available online at British Periodicals I [ORBIS]

Fine Arts, Daily News, London, Tuesday, May 4, 1847, p. 4, Online Resource Available online in 19th Century British Library Newspapers [ORBIS]

Fine Arts, Private Galleries and Studios. No. 1 - Apsley House , Examiner, no. 3122, London, Saturday, November 30, 1867, p. 8, Online Resource Available online at 19th Century British Newspapers [ORBIS]

Fine Arts, Seventy-ninth exhibition of the Royal Academy , Examiner, no. 2049, London, Saturday, May 8, 1847, p. 293, Online Resource Available online at 19th Century British Library Newspapers [ORBIS]

Foreign Correspondence, Items, etc., The Crayon, vol. 8, June 1861, p. 133, Oniline: JSTOR also available in hard copy : N1 C73 OVERSIZE (LSF); reprint ediition available at HAAS : N1 C73 1970 OVERSIZE (HAAS) [ORBIS]

General Intelligence, The Hull Packet and East Riding Times, Hull, England, Friday, January 14, 1853, p. 7, Online Resource Available at 19th Century British Library Newspapers [ORBIS]

General News, [brief death notice of Van Amburgh] , Hampshire Advertiser, Southampton, England, Saturday, December 23, 1865, p. 2, Online Resource Available at 19th Century British Library Newspapers [ORBIS]

Walter Gilbey, Animal Painters of England from the year 1650, a brief history of their lives and works. Illustrated with twenty-eight specimens of their paintings, chiefly from wood engravings by F. Babbage. , Vinton, London, 1900-1911, pp. 61, 77 (v.2), ND1383 G7 G55 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Joseph Hatton, Three months with a 'Lion King', The Gentleman's Magazine, vol. 10, March 1873, p. 254, Available online at British Periodicals I [ORBIS]

Christopher Hibbert, Wellington, A personal history , HarperCollins, London, 1997, p. 205, DA68.12 W4 H53 1997 (SML) [ORBIS]

R. J. Hoage, New worlds, new animals, from menagerie to zoological park in the nineteenth century , Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1996, p. 48, QL76 N48X 1996 (SML) [ORBIS]

Madeline House, The letters of Charles Dickens, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1965-2002, pp. 89, 128 (v.5) ; p. 381 (v.10), PR4581 A3 1965 (BASS) [ORBIS]

C.M. Kauffmann, Catalogue of paintings in the Wellington Museum, Apsley House, English Heritage, London, 2009, pp. 16, 164, N1158 .A531 2009 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Kurt Koenigsberger, The novel and the menagerie, totality, Englishness, and Empire , Ohio University Press, Columbus, OH, 2007, pp. 32-33, 41, 42, fig. 5, PR878.N3557 K64 2007 (SML) [ORBIS]

S.L. Kotar, The Rise of the American circus 1716-1899, McFarland & Co., Jefferson, NC, 2011, p. 133, GV1803 .K67X 2011 (SML) [ORBIS]

Landseer at the Royal Academy, The Times (London), London, Monday, January 5, 1874, p. 6, Available online : Times Digital Archive Also available on Microfilm : An T482 (SML) [ORBIS]

Leeds National Exhibition of Art, Art Journal, May 1868, p. 97, Available online at British Periodicals I [ORBIS]

Campbell Lennie, Landseer, the Victorian paragon , Hamish Hamilton, London, 1976, pp. 104-106, 231, NJ18 L244 L45 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Lions and their tamers, The Graphic, London, Saturday, December 26, 1896, p. 811, Online Resource Available online at 19th Century British Newspapers [ORBIS]

Louise Lippincott, Fierce friends, artists and animals, 750-1900 , London ; New York : Merrell ; Amsterdam, 2005, pp. 100-101, N7660 .L53 2005 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Literature : New Books and New Editions, Scotsman, October 9, 1879, p. 3, Online Resource Available online : ProQuest Historical Newspapers: listed as as "Article 14 - no title" [ORBIS]

James Alexander Manson, Sir Edwin Landseer, R. A., W. Scott Publishing Co., London New York, 1902, pp. 135-137, WB 18411 (LSF - MUDD) [ORBIS]

Sir Oliver Millar, The Victorian pictures in the collection of Her Majesty the Queen, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge ; New York, 1992, pp. 149-150 (v.1), ND192 V5 M55 1992 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

National Exhibtion of Works of Art at Leeds, 1686, official catalogue , Edward Baines and Sons, Leeds, 1868, p. 80, no. 1361, N5056 L4 N3 1868 (YCBA Rare Books) [ORBIS]

Opening of Apsley House to the Public, The Royal Cornwall Gazette, Truro, England, Friday, January 14, 1853, p. 6, Online Resource Available at 19th Century British Library Newspapers [ORBIS]

Opening of Apsley House to the Public, Daily News, London, Wednesday, January 5,1853, p. 5, Online Resource Available online at 19th Century British Library Newspapers [ORBIS]

Opening of Apsley House to the Public, Examiner, no. 2345, London, Saturday, January 8, 1853, p. 23, Online Resource Available at 19th Century British Library Newspapers [ORBIS]

Richard Ormond, Sir Edwin Landseer, Rizzoli, London, 1981, p. 205, NJ18 L244 O74 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Richard Ormond, The Monarch of the Glen, Landseer in the Highlands , National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, 2005, p. 65, NJ18.L244 O73 2005 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Our Steel Engravings, Art Journal, vol. 5, 1879, p. 314, J10 Ar741 OVERSIZE (SML) [ORBIS]

William Michael Rossetti, The Landseer Exhibition at Burlington House, second notice , Academy, issue no. 88, London, January 10, 1874, p. 45, Online Resource Available online at ProQuest British Periodicals; also available on microfilm S2503(SML) [ORBIS]

Royal Academy, The Observer, London, May 9, 1847, p. 5, Online Resource Available online at ProQuest Historical Newspapers : The Guardian and The Observer (1791-2003) [ORBIS]

Royal Academy, Works of Sir Edwin Landseer , The Observer, London, January 4, 1874, p. 5, Online Resource Available online at ProQuest Historical Newspapers : The Guardian (1791-2003) and The Observer (1791-2003) [ORBIS]

A.H. Saxon, Edwin Landseer's Joke on Macready, Nineteenth Century Theatre Research, vol. 6, Autumn 1978, pp. 89-93, PN2580 N55 6 [ORBIS]

A.H. Saxon, The Life and Art of Andrew Ducrow and the romantic age of the English circus, Archon Books, Hamden, CT, 1978, p. 322, fig. 71, GV1811 D78 S39 (LSF) [ORBIS]

Simon Schama, The Yale Centre for British Art, TLS, the Times Literary Supplement, , May 20, 1977, p. 620, TLS Historical Archive [ORBIS]

Sir Edwin Landseer, Morning Post, , London, Friday, October 3, 1873, p. 5, Online Resource Available at 19th Century British Library Newspapers [ORBIS]

Sir Edwin Landseer, The Star, Saint Peter Port, England, Thursday, October 9, 1873, p. 4, Online Resource Available online at 19th Century British Newspapers

Sir Edwin Landseer, Illustrated Review, London, February 1873, p. 143, Online Resource Available online at ProQuest British Periodicals [ORBIS]

Frederic George Stephens, Memoirs of Sir Edwin Landseer, a sketch of the life of the artist : illustrated with reproductions of twenty-four of his most popular works , G. Bell & Sons, London, 1874, pp. 102-103, 116-117, 155, NJ18 L244 S74 1874 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Frederic George Stephens, Sir Edwin Landseer, Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, London, 1881, pp. 80, 90, Fiche N.4.2.572 (SML) Hard copy in poor condition availbale at LSF - WB 19504; [ORBIS]

Moses Foster Sweetser, Landseer, vol. 3, J.R. Osgood, Boston, MA, 1882, pp. 102-103, 135, NJ18 R36 S84 (YCBA) [YCBA]

The Duchess of Wellington's Ball, Morning Post, , London, Monday, July 14, 1856, p. 5, Online Resource Available at 19th Century British Library Newspapers [ORBIS]

The Exhibition of the Royal Academy, Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser, London, Tuesday, May 4, 1847, p. 5, Online Resource Available online at 19th Century British Library Newspapers [ORBIS]

The Exhibition of the Royal Academy, The Times (London), , Saturday, May 1, 1847, p. 6, Available online : Times Digital Archive Also available on Microfilm : An T482 (SML) [ORBIS]

The Exhibition of the Royal Academy, Sharpe's London Magazine, vol. 4.85, June 12, 1847, p. 108, Available online at British Periodicals I [ORBIS]

The First hundred years of the Royal Academy, 1769-1868, Winter exhibition, 1951-52. , Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1951, p. 139 (v.1), N5054 .A545 1951/52 (YCBA) Also available Fiche B185 at the YCBA Reference Library and Photo Archive [YCBA]

The Great Duke and the Arts, [editorial] , Apollo, September 1973, pp. 168-169, N1 A54 98:1 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

The Landseer Collection at the Royal Academy, Morning Post, , London, Saturday, January 3, 1874, p. 6, Online Resource Available online at 19th Century British Newspapers [ORBIS]

The Landseer Exhibition at the Royal Academy, Daily News, London, Monday, January 5, 1874, p. 2, Online Resource Available online at 19th Century British Newspapers [ORBIS]

The Landseer pictures at Burlington House, The Manchester Guardian, January 6, 1874, p. 5, Online Resource Available online at ProQuest Historical Newspapers : The Guardian and The Observer )1791-2003) [ORBIS]

The Royal Academy, Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science and Art, vol. 33, May 25, 1872, p. 663, Available online at British Periodicals I [ORBIS]

The works of E. Landseer at Burlington House, Art Journal, London, February 1874, p. 55, Available online at Britiish Periodicals I Hard Copy available at LSF [T10 Ar 74 OVERSIZE (LSF)] [ORBIS]

The Works of Landseer, Scotsman, Scotsman Publications, January 5, 1874, p. 5, Online resource : Proquest Historical Newspapers Available online at ProQuest Historical Newspapers : The Scotsman (1817-1950) [ORBIS]

Julian Treuherz, The Manchester Royal Jubliee Exhibition of 1887, Victorian Poetry, vol. 25, West Virginia University Press, Autumn/Winter 1987, pp. 197, 216, Available online at JSTOR Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40002955; Hard cooy also available: Ia105 V6655 (SML) [ORBIS]

John Turner, Victorian Arena, the performers : a dictionary of British circus biography , Formby, England, 1995, p. 4 (v.1), GV1811 G7 T87 1995 (SML) [ORBIS]

Van Amburgh and the Lion, Art Journal, vol. 41, London, October 1879, p. 208, Available online at British Periodicals I Also available at LSF in Hard Copy [J 10 Ar74 41 (LSF)] [ORBIS]

Van Amburgh, Monthly Chronicle of North-country lore and legend, Newcastle-upon-tyne, England, August 1887, p. 247, Online Resource Available online at ProQuest British Periodicals [ORBIS]

Gustav Friedrich Waagen, Treasures of art in Great Britain, being an account of the chief collections of paintings, drawings, sculptures, illuminated mss., & c., &c. , London, 1854, pp. 277-228 (v .2), N1020 W22 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Evelyn Wellington, A descriptive and historical catalogue of the collection of pictures and sculpture at Apsley House, Longman, London, New York, etc., 1901, pp. 335-337, no. 199, N5245 A6 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

John Wilmerding, Essays in honor of Paul Mellon, collector and benefactor, Essays , National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC & Hanover, NH, 1986, pp. 262-263, fig. 4, N7442.2 M455 1986 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Matthew Wittmann, Circus and the City, New York, 1793-2010 , The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, New York, New Haven, 2012, pp.110-11, no. 5, GV1803 .W58 2012 (YCBA) [YCBA]


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