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Oil painting - My Uncle Toby and the Widow Wadman
  • My Uncle Toby and the Widow Wadman
    Leslie, Charles Robert
  • Enlarge image

My Uncle Toby and the Widow Wadman

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (painted)

  • Date:

    1831 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Leslie, Charles Robert (R.A.), born 1794 - died 1859 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Paintings, Room 82, The Edwin and Susan Davies Galleries, case WEST WALL

This painting depicts an incident from Laurence Sterne's novel Tristram Shandy (1765). It shows the Widow Wadman trying to stir the affections of Captain Shandy. He peers into her face as she holds a handkerchief to her eye, pretending she has something in it. It was one of Leslie's most popular compositions.

Physical description

The incident depicted is taken from Lawrence Sterne's comic masterpiece 'Tristram Shandy' and shows Captain Shandy under siege from the amorous Widow Wadman. Captain Shandy peers into the face of Widow Wadman who, holding a handkerchief up to her left eye, affects to have something caught in it.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (painted)


1831 (painted)


Leslie, Charles Robert (R.A.), born 1794 - died 1859 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

oil on canvas


Height: 82.5 cm estimate, Width: 57.1 cm estimate

Object history note

Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857

Descriptive line

Oil painting by Charles Robert Leslie entitled 'My Uncle Toby and the Widow Wadman', depicting characters from Laurence Sterne's 'Tristram Shandy'. Great Britain, 1831.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Catalogue of British Oil Paintings 1820-1860, Ronald Parkinson, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1990, pp. 161-62
100 Great Paintings in The Victoria & Albert Museum. London: V&A, 1985, p.136
W.G. Day. Charles Robert Leslie's 'My Uncle Toby and the Widow Wadman': the nineteen-century icon of Sterne's work. In: The Shandean, vol. 9, November 1997. pp.83-108.


Oil paint; Canvas


Oil painting

Subjects depicted





Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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