Flood in the Highlands by Sir Edwin Landseer

Flood in the Highlands

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About the Painting

Sir Edwin Landseer was one of the most popular of romantic painters working in Britain during the first half of the nineteenth century. He took a cottage deep in the Highlands in Glenfeshie and when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert leased Balmoral as a royal residence, Landseer became a frequent visitor, instructing the young Queen in drawing and etching. Landseer's paintings told stories and held moral messages.

This painting was inspired by a real incident, a sudden flash flood that devastated the valleys at the foot of the Cairngorms and Monadhliath mountains on 3-4 August 1829. Landseer has piled incident upon incident to convey the mounting terror and confusion of the villagers as the water rises beneath them. The painting has been described as a Highland version of Noah's ark.

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What do you think?

Did the family survive?

How did the animals fare?

How would the villagers cope and rebuild their lives?

Could this happen again?