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J.M.W. Turner

J.M.W. Turner, by Charles Robert Leslie, 1816 -NPG 4084 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

J.M.W. Turner

by Charles Robert Leslie
4 1/4 in. x 3 3/8 in. (108 mm x 86 mm)
NPG 4084

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed lower left: 57 and an erased additional sum.

This portraitback to top

In a letter to his sister Betsy dated 12 December 1816 Leslie described his student days at the Royal Academy illustrating it with pen and ink drawings of Turner and Fuseli: 'Alas! I have failed in the likeness of Turner' (C. R. Leslie, Autobiographical Recollections, 1860, II, p 56). The letters and drawings descended in the Leslie family, his granddaughter writing to the NPG in 1958: 'I have in my possession a small pencil sketch of W M Turner RA drawn by my grandfather C R Leslie RA - 1816. I think the sketch was made while Turner was lecturing to the Students at the Royal Academy, my grandfather being a student at that time ... I notice that my father, the late G D Leslie RA, wrote in pencil on the back of the drawing that the paper used for the mount was some that had belonged to Turner and was given to my father by Ruskin ...' (letter from Miss Leslie 17 November 1958 in NPG archive). The drawing appears to have been a first attempt which did not please Leslie. A second drawing in pen and brown ink was also sent to his sister, descended in her family and was exhibited RA 1951-2 (738). This is inscribed: In my last letter I attempted to make a sketch of Turner the landscape painter but failed, I have this time succeeded better, the above is a good deal like him (private collection Devon).

Physical descriptionback to top

Head and shoulders profile to left.

Provenanceback to top

The artist and given by his granddaughter, Miss L. Leslie, in 1958.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

View all known portraits for Charles Robert Leslie

View all known portraits for Joseph Mallord William Turner


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