Born on 7 March 1802 in London, son of the engraver John Landseer. Studied with Haydon in 1816 before attending the Royal Academy, London schools. Exhibited at the British Institution, London between 1818 and 1865 and regularly at the Royal Academy, London from 1817, principally animal subjects which gained a wide popularity through engravings; elected Associate Royal Academician, London 1826, Royal Academician 1831, but declined the Presidency in 1865. He was knighted in 1850 and enjoyed considerable Royal patronage.
In 1866 he completed the four lions for the Nelson monument in Trafalgar Square. From 1858 he became increasingly dogged by depression and he died in London on October 1873.