Oil painting

Les Femmes Savantes

1845 (made)

Leslie, Charles Robert (RA)

Height: 99 cm, Width: 76.1 cm, Height: 136 cm framed, Width: 105 cm framed

FA.117[O] PDP

Oil painting by Charles Robert Leslie depicting a scene from a play by Molière, Les Femmes Savantes, namely Trissotin reading his sonnet (Act III, Scene 2). Great Britain, 1845.

Oil painting depicting Trissotin reading his sonnet.

Object Type Oil paintings such as this with subjects taken from popular literature steadily replaced commissions for history paintings in the early 19th century. The public and most collectors of modern works started to prefer lighter and sometimes more sentimental themes. Subjects Depicted Leslie frequently used themes from humorous literature. Here he is illustrating a scene from a play by Molière, Les Femmes Savantes ('The Learned Ladies'), in which the conceited Trissotin reads a pretentious sonnet of his own composition to his admiring audience of literary ladies, the self-styled 'learned ladies' of the title. When this picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1845, it was called A Scene from Molière and several lines from the play were quoted in the catalogue. People Although Leslie began his career as a history and portrait painter, he soon turned to literary themes. The collector John Sheepshanks (1787-1863) owned 17 paintings by Leslie with subjects taken from well-known authors such as Shakespeare, Chaucer and Molière.

Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857. Painted in London by Charles Robert Leslie RA (born in London, 1794, died there in 1859); frame maker unidentified

Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857

Location: British Galleries, room 122g, case WN

View this object on the V&A website