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By Leslie, Charles Robert (English, 1794-1859)
Beautifully rendered by a renowned English artist, the artwork depicts a scene from Sir Walter Scott’s renowned novel, ‘The Heart of Midlothian’.
Painted by Charles Robert Leslie (English, 1794-1859) in around 1830, this oil on panel depicts a scene from Sir Walter Scott’s very popular novel ‘The Heart of Midlothian’.
Jeanie Deans is believed to be Scott’s most popular character of the 19th century due to her being portrayed as an example of an honest, good, and sincere person. In the 1818 novel, she travels to London, to petition the wife of King George II, Queen Caroline to release her sister Effie who was wrongly imprisoned for the murder of her young son. Jeanie travels often barefoot to save her shoes but puts them on when walking through towns and villages. The Duke of Argyll introduces her to the Queen on the grounds of Richmond Lodge depicted in the painting. Queen Caroline is impressed by Jeanie’s persona and allows Effie to be released.
In the painting, Leslie showcases Jeanie wearing a black dress and shoes as well as a vibrant red headscarf. She is passionately looking at Queen Caroline, beginning her for the release of her sister. In contrast, Queen Caroline and her friend and the Duke of Argyll are wearing fashionable clothes made of the finest textiles. The cream and white covering of the Queen wonderfully stands out against the darker background filled with deep green trees further highlighting the importance of the character. In the distance, one can observe the gates to the park.
The oil painting is framed in a superb carved giltwood frame. In the bottom centre is a plaque reading ‘INTERVIEW OF QUEEN CAROLINE WITH JEANIE DEANS IN RICHMOND PARK by C.R. LESLIE R.A.’.
Charles Robert Leslie was an English genre painter. He was renowned for repeating his artworks in several sizes, each with minor changes. Another version of this fascinating painting is in the collection of the English Heritage at Marble Hill House.
Wonderfully illustrating an important scene from a famous English novel, this oil painting would bring a touch of history and interest to one’s setting.
Canvas: Height 30cm, width 25cm
Frame: Height 38.5cm, width 32.5cm, depth 3cm
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