Katherine & Petruchio - 19th Century Oil Painting of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew
A very large fine 19th century oil on canvas depicting ‘Katherine and Petruchio’ in a scene from Shakespeare’s ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ by the eminent Royal Academician Charles Robert Leslie RA (1774-1859). This superb, exhibition-sized Victorian painting is signed, and hangs in a fine quality newly commissioned gold metal leaf frame.
As with all of the original antique oil paintings we sell it is offered in the very finest condition it can be for its age, having just been professionally cleaned and re-varnished. Clients should also note that fully insured, tracked and signed for international shipping is complimentary.
“There is no man now living who seems to me to come close at all near Mr Leslie, his work being in places equal to Hogarth for decision, and here and there a little lighter and more graceful”.
Charles Robert Leslie was one of the most famous and successful British artists of the 19th century. The close friend and biographer of John Constable, C.R. Leslie exhibited 76 paintings at Royal Academy between 1813 and 1858, and was elected at full Royal Academician in 1826.
For many years the painting was erroneously thought to depict Queen Elizabeth I receiving news of her assent to the throne of England, but now with the kind assistance of Professor Rosalind King and Dr Patrick Gray we have correctly identified it’s actual subject; Act II, scene I of Shakespeare’s ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ (a favourite of C.R. Leslie), and more precisely the 1754 reworking of the play by the famous actor/manager David Garrick. Throughout Georgian and Victorian Britain it was Garrick’s version that was most often performed, and the one that the artist would most likely have seen.
“The painting represents Act II of David Garrick’s ‘Catharine and Petruchio’ and offers a genuine insight into 18/19th century interpretations of Shakespeare’s play.”
Professor Rosalind King, Oxford University
We would like to thank Professor Rosalind King and Dr Patrick Gray for their invaluable expertise in the identification of the subject in this painting. Professor King is Professor Emeritus at the University of Southampton, the Visiting Plumer Fellow at St Anne’s, University of Oxford, and has served on the academic committee of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London and on the Board of Directors of the English Shakespeare Company.
Dr Gray studied at Oxford, Yale, and the Sorbonne before joining Durham University as Associate Professor of English Studies.
Dimensions: (framed) 165cm x 135cm (65” x 53”)
Dimensions: (canvas only) 142cm x 112cm (56” x 44”)
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Provenance: Private collection.
Presentation: Superb quality gold metal leaf frame. All of the new frames we commission are especially made for us to order by one of the UK’s top period frame makers.
Condition: Excellent. Newly professionally cleaned and re-varnished. Ready to hang.