Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 17 >> Lemurs to Lied Von Der Glocke >> Leslie


academy, england, associate and washington

LESLIE, Charles Robert, American genre painter: b. London, England, 19 Oct. 1794; d. there, 5 May 1859. His parents were cans, the father being a watchmaker of Phila delphia, and to that city they returned with the boy in 1800. There he completed his educa tion at the University of Pennsylvania and was afterward apprenticed to a bookseller. A por trait drawn from memory of G. F. Cooke, the actor, caused a mild sensation among certain business men in Philadelphia, and by means of a subscription, headed by his employer, he was sent in 1811 to England and studied under Allston, West and others; became the intimate friend of Coleridge, Washington Irving and Constable, the artist ; began to exhibit in 1813; was elected associate of the Royal Academy in 1821 and in 1826 to full membership. He first adopted a style in large historical subjects, but his genius led him into historical genre of a humorous character, in which he excelled alike in conception and execution, and in which his gentle humor was as pervasive as his finished manner. He was first brought into wide notice by his 'Sir Roger de Coverley Going to Church' (1819). To this period be long his portrait of Washington Irvinrand the illustrations which he designed for that au thor's 'Sketch-Book) and his 'Knickerbocker's History of New York.) Leslie's election as an associate of the Academy was secured by (May day Revels in the Time of Queen Elizabeth.'

In 1824 he visited Sir Walter Scott at Abbots ford and painted his portrait. He was elected. professor of drawing at the United States Mili tary Academy, West Point, in 1833, accepted the position, but in a few months gave it up and returned to England. In 1838, at Windsor, he painted 'The Queen Receiving the Sacrament after the Coronation.' From 1848 to 1852 he was professor of painting at the Royal Acad emy. His principal pictures illustrate scenes from the works of great authors. His draughts manship and composition are both good; but he was lacking in the gift of color—indeed in this respect his later work declined. His great est qualities are his delicate perception of char acter, intense feeling for the domesticities, his humor which is always in good taste and the beauty and grace of his delineations of woman hood. His best-known paintings include 'Sancho Panza in the Apartment of the Duchess' (1824) ; 'Uncle Toby and the Widow Wadman' (1831); 'The Dinner at Mr. Page's House' (1831) ; and 'The Taming of the Shrew> (1832). He published a volume of lectures as a 'Handbook for Young Painters' (1855) ; 'The Memoirs of Constable' (1845) •, an unfinished 'Life of Reynolds' (1865) ; and 'Autobiographical Recollections> (1860).