My Uncle Toby and the Widow Wadman

Oil Painting
1831 (painted)
My Uncle Toby and the Widow Wadman thumbnail 1
My Uncle Toby and the Widow Wadman thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Paintings, Room 82, The Edwin and Susan Davies Galleries
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
oil on canvas
Brief Description
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.
Physical Description
The incident depicted is taken from Laurence 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.
Dimensions
  • Estimate height: 82.5cm
  • Estimate width: 57.1cm
Style
Credit line
Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857
Object history
Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857
Subject depicted
Literary References
  • Laurence Sterne. <i>Tristram Shandy</i>
Summary
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.
Bibliographic References
  • 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.
Collection
Accession Number
FA.113[O]

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
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