18th Mar, 2023 9:30 GMT/BST

British, European and Sporting Pictures

  Lot 1075


George Dunlop Leslie RA (1835-1921)
Initialled, oil on canvas, 140cm by 104.5cm

Provenance: The Rt. Hon. William George Armstrong C.B., F.R.S. of Cragside, Rothbury until 1900 and thence to his executors, by whom sold Christie's, 24 June 1910, lot 72 bought 'Sampson'
Exhibited: The Royal Academy 1877, no. 101
Literature: Academy Notes, 1877, p.17; Art Journal, 1877, p.197
Estate of Denton Hall in Ilkley, Yorkshire which has been part of the NG Bailey group of companies for over 40 years. NG Bailey is the UK’s leading independent engineering and services business and is owned by the Bailey family.

George Dunlop Leslie was born in London to a deeply artistic family. His father was the genre painter Charles Robert Leslie, his uncle was the marine artist Robert Leslie and his sister Mary was also an artist.

Leslie was an influential member of the St John's Wood Clique which included Henry Stacy Marks and William Frederick Yeames (see lot 1090) - highly successful painters of literary and historical genre scenes. It was an affluent age in which artists acquired large fortunes and a growing social status. Leslie was among several artists who commissioned architect Richard Norman Shaw to design houses for them in smart areas like Holland Park St John's Wood.

Early works betray the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites but as his career developed he began to paint in a more academic and uniform manner to portray gentle and pleasing scenes of everyday life. The critic John Ruskin praised his depictions of the “sweet quality of English girlhood”. Leslie exhibited at the Royal Academy annually from 1857 to 1920.

Sold for £91,000
Estimated at £10,000 - £15,000


Framed dimensions: approx.165cm by approx.131cm

Condition - In an overall good and stable state of preservation. Fully encased to the reverse with flat panel stretcher. Cleaned and revarnished but retaining a good amount of surface and impasto in general. There may be some areas of remaining older varnish? Inspection under a UV light does not indicate any obvious areas of damage to the canvas. The assumed original madder pigment is emitting a pronounced light back and can be seen in various areas as indicated in the additional photographs. Some possible limited and linear strengthening to some of the darker shadows within the branches and vegetation to upper left hand corner. Again some possible strengthening to the darker pigment denoting the more pronounced qualities of timber mostly vertical left hand side post. Some minor retouches to lower edge and the definition of the grassy area immediately below the style and the area in an around the ankles of the left hand child. The darker and upper parts of the shoes worn by the central seated figure may have received some minor strengthening in addition to the letters denoting the artist's name/signature. The face of the centrally placed seated figure does show some mild surface abrasion. Isolated areas of mild craquelure. General surface and discoloured varnish. For more information please contact the deparment.


We are happy to provide Condition Reports to prospective buyers, but would welcome your request as soon as possible, preferably at least 48 hours before the Day of Sale. We cannot guarantee a reply to any requests made within 48 hours of the start of the auction. The absence of a Condition Report from a lot does not mean that the lot is in perfect condition. A Condition Report is an honest expression of our opinion, not a statement of fact and is provided as a service to the seller. All lots are available on public view ahead of an auction and we encourage prospective buyers to inspect an item in person where possible. Our Condition Reports are not prepared by professional conservators, restorers, or engineers, and are prepared with the naked eye unless otherwise stated.

Regarding Pictures, Prints and Works on Paper, works are not examined out of the frame, unless specifically stated. Tennants Auctioneers do not cover damage to gilded wood or plaster picture frames, or to picture frame glass whilst the item is in our possession.

We accept no liability for the opinions expressed in any Condition Report.

Auction: British, European and Sporting Pictures, 18th Mar, 2023

Traditional Picture Sales offer a wide range of oil paintings, watercolours, drawings and prints from the 15th to the early 20th centuries.

The sale includes the Picture Collection from Denton Hall, Ilkley, West Yorkshire which has been part of the NG Bailey group of companies for over 40 years. NG Bailey is the UK’s leading independent engineering and services business and is owned by the Bailey family. 

A fully illustrated catalogue will be available leading up to the sale.

Entries are invited for forthcoming sales


Sunday 12th March 11am-4pm, Monday 13th March-Friday 17th March 10am-4pm and morning of the sale from 8am. 

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