A Trio of Sailor’s at the Ship’s Rail
By Charles R. Leslie
Ca 1840

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Charles Robert Leslie, RA, NA (1794 – 1859)
Unfamed painting of a trio of English seaman at the rail image Oilon canvas 19th Century
Viewing area 24 1/2″ x 29 3/4″                   Framed 30
1/4″ x 35 1/4″
Signed on stretcher CR Leslie                   June, 18,
full year illegible

is a wonderful oil on canvas painting of a group of three men standing by the ship’s rail with a black dog looking
for attention, probably two seaman and a better dressed man in street type clothing. A carefully coiled three strand
line is on the deck to the left, and a portion of the ship’s rigging is to the right. The sailors brightly colored garb
is of the period and gives an idea of the styles worn at sea. The chap in the center looks more like a landsman
and may be the ship’s agent. This is a delightful narrative painting that invites the viewer to imagine what
they were gabbing about. The name CR Leslie is painted in black on the top original stretcher. The date, June, is
legible, then 18, but the year is not.  The painting was previously relined and the gold gild frame is
likely not the original. The paint’s surface is in excellent condition and shows no in painting and is free of crazing.
Signed on back CR Leslie and June imageThe paintings age,
style, composition and use of bright colors compares to other works by this artist where he uses bright vibrant
colors to increase the importance of the figures. English born to American parents the artist as a child lived
in America. He returned to England in 1811 at age 17  to study art. Later he became a member of the Royal Academy
and the National Academy of Design. There are lots of Leslie’s which is a common name and others that were artists.
Charles Robert is recognized for his full size portraits of noted dignitaries. They include that of Sir
Roger de Coverley going to Church (1819); May-day in the Time of Queen Elizabeth (1821); Sancho Panza and
the Duchess (1824); and Uncle Toby and the Widow Wadman (1831) View the Uncle Toby painting
by clicking here
Framed painting of a trio of English seaman at the rail image
Gilt loss on frame image upper right
Gilt loss on frame upper left image      Showing some of the loss of gilding on the frame
The frame is old, but probably not original. There is some loss of gilding along its edges. The painting
is in excellent condition without any in painting or repairs. There are no crazing or cracks. Prior to our ownership,
it was relined. It has been in our private collection since being purchased in 2011.
The back of the painting showing it has been reined image    Back showing the original stretcher and relined canvas Narrative paintings with a maritime theme of this
period are more rare, and make a wonderful edition for any discriminating marine art collector. BIOGRAPHY:
in London, his parents were Americans. When he was five years of age he returned with them to their native country. They settled
in Philadelphia, where their son was educated and afterwards became apprenticed to a bookseller. He was, however, mainly interested
in painting and drama, and when George Frederick Cooke visited the city he executed a portrait of the actor from recollection
of him on the stage, which was considered a work of such promise that a fund was raised to enable the young artist to study
in Europe.He left
for London in 1811, at age 17, bearing introductions which procured for him the friendship of West, Beechey, Allston, Coleridge
and Washington Irving, being admitted as a student of the Royal Academy, where he carried off two silver medals. At first,
influenced by West and Fuseli, he essayed high art, and his earliest important subject depicted Saul and the Witch of Endor;
but he soon discovered his true aptitude and became a painter of cabinet-pictures, dealing, not like those of David Wilkie,
with the contemporary life that surrounded him, but with scenes from the great masters of fiction, from Shakespeare and Cervantes,
Addison and Molière, Swift, Sterne, Fielding and Smollett. In 1821,
Leslie was elected A.R.A., and five years later full academician. In 1827 he was elected into the National Academy of Design
as an Honorary Academician. In 1833, he left for America to become teacher of drawing in the military academy at West Point,
but the post proved an irksome one, and in some six months he returned to England. He died 5 May 1859. Leslie was
the brother of American author Eliza Leslie and United States Army soldier Thomas Jefferson Leslie. In April 1825 he married
Harriet Honor Stone with whom he had six children. Their second son Sir Bradford Leslie was a noted bridge builder, and their
youngest son, George Dunlop Leslie RA (1835–1921) a notable artist. He is buried in Kensal Green Cemetery.

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