george dunlop

Mollie, ‘In silence I stood your unkindness to hear…’ (1882). George Dunlop Leslie (English, 1835-1921). Oil on canvas. Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum.

Though you threaten’d, last Sunday, to walk in the Mall
With Susan from Deptford, and likewise with Sal,
In silence I stood your unkindness to hear,
And only upbraided my Tom, with a tear.
Why should Sal, or should Susan, than me be more priz’d?
For the heart that is true, Tom, should ne'er be despis’d;
Then be constant and kind, nor your Molly forsake,
Still your trousers I’ll wash, and your grog too I’ll make.

Home, Sweet Home (exh.1878). George Dunlop Leslie (English, 1835-1921). Oil on canvas.

A governess instructs a group of girls in the library-music room of the home, which might otherwise pass for a schoolhouse–all hard surfaces (no carpets or drapes) and all business (the hourglass seemingly marks out the time of the exercise). The painting suggests the middle class with recreation as work, the cool colors as a reflection of emotional barrenness, where music is less a pleasure than a task.

The Language of Flowers (1885). George Dunlop Leslie (English, 1835-1921). Oil on canvas. Manchester Art Gallery.

Two young women in a drawing room with an overflowing trug, single flowers and leaves spilling out. One woman, in a white dress, sits on a leather upholstered sofa looking up flowers in a large book, a wide brimmed hat tied round her neck and resting against her shoulders. The second woman lounges across the arm of the sofa, studying a pair of scissors in her hand in a slightly bored fashion.