LESLIE, CHARLES RoBERT, R.A. This distinguished artist was b. in London in 1794. His parents were Americans resident there at the time of his birth; they went back to America in 1799, taking with them Charles Robert along with their other children. his father died in 1804 leaving the family in straitened circumstances. Young Leslie having from infancy been fond of drawing, wished to be a painter; but his mother not having the means of giving him a painter's education, he was bound apprentice to Messrs. Bradford & Inskeep, booksellers and publishers in Philadelphia. He bad been three years at his apprenticeship, when he managed to execute a drawing of the popular actor, George Frederick Cook. The likeness having been pronounced excellent by a number of connoisseurs, a subscription was raised to enable the rising artist to study paint ing two years in Europe. He accordingly returned to England in 1811, and entered as a student in the royal academy. He seems at first to have attempted subjects in what is called the classical style, together with portraits; but by degrees he came to follow out the bent of his genius, and turn his attention to works in that style in which he dis tinguished himself—viz., genre-painting of the highest class. The first picture that brought him into notice was "Sir Roger de Coverley going to Church," exhibited in the royal academy in 1819. In 1891 his picture of "May-day in the Reign of Queen Eliza beth" secured his election as an associate of the academyl and "Sancho Panza and the Duchess," painted for lord Egreinont and exhibited in 1824, his best work (of which there is a repetition among the paintings of the British school bequeathed by Mr. Vernon to the national gallery), obtained for him the rank of academician. After this, till near the period of his death, there were few exhibitions of the royal academy to which Leslie did not contribute, Leslie's principal pictures are embodiments of scenes from the works of many of the most popular authors—Shakespeare, Cervantes, Lesage, Monre, Addison, Sterne, Fielding, and Smollett. His works have had a great
influence on the English school; and though he almost always executed repetitions of his principal works—a practice that generally leads to decrease the value of pictures—his pictures bring immense prices. Great power of expression and a delicate perception of female beauty are the leading points in Leslie's pietnres. In the early part of his career, his style may be objected to as deficient in color, and rather dry and hard; but the influence of Newton, his talented compatriot, led him to direct his attention to the works of the Venetian masters, and impart greater richness to his coloring. Later in life, the example of Constable inclined him to strive at producing empasto, or fullness of surface, in his pictures. Leslie accepted the appointment of professor of drawing at the military academy of West Point, N. Y ; but he gave up this occupation after a five months' residence, and returned to England. In 1848 he was elected professor of painting at the royal academy, but resigned in 1851: He died in London in May, 1859. His lectures were published in 1845 under the title of A Handbook for Young Painters— a very sound and most useful work on art. A most able life of his intimate friend and brother artist, Constable, whose great talent lie was the first fully to appreciate. was published by him in 1845. The Autobiographical Recolketions of Leslie, edited by Tom Taylor (1860), is a very interesting book.