Sunday, September 29, 2013

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: Florizel and Perdita, Charles Robert Leslie, 1837

Florizel and Perdita
Robert Charles Leslie, 1837
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Charles Robert Leslie made a name for himself with sentimental scenes, but also enjoyed painting historical and literary images. Here, we see one of his most famous literary-themed painting.

With characters from Shakespeare's play 
A Winter's Tale, this richly painted scene depicts one of the best known moments in Shakespeare’s play. We see the charming and beautiful shepherdess Perdita ( who is really the daughter of King Leontes) with Florizel ( who is actually the son of King Polixines) with Dorcas, another shepherdess. To the right of the scene, we also see two other characters from the play, also in disguise—King Polixines and Camillo, a Sicilian nobleman.

A friend and biographer of the landscape painter John Constable, Leslie was American by birth, but studied and spent his later life in England where he found a devoted audience for his theatrical artwork.

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