Sunday, February 21, 2016

Barney Tobey and Tristram Shandy

I protest, Madam, said my uncle Toby, I can see nothing whatever in your eye.
—Laurence Sterne

Tristram Shandy

Barney Tobey's 1933 depiction of Widow Wadman and Uncle Toby illustrates a famous scene of seduction from Laurence Sterne's comic masterpiece Tristram Shandy. It also recalls a 19th century painting of the same subject by Charles Robert Leslie in the Tate Gallery. Tobey's version is set in a parlor with a fireplace, which seems to ignore the setting of Uncle Toby's sentry box specified by Sterne.

Barney Tobey, Widow Wadman and Uncle Toby, 1933

Doyle New York, July 13, 2005

Charles Robert Leslie, Uncle Toby and Widow Wadman, 1829-30, Tate Gallery, London
Barney Tobey, Widow Wadman and Uncle Toby, 1933

Note:  The William Doyle Gallery's photo of this work is uncharacteristically marred by reflected light. If the present owner would care to send in a better photo, I'm sure the general public would be appreciative, as would I. The world of arts and letters, I'm certain, would also be curious to know whether Barney Tobey tackled any other scenes from Tristram Shandy. If anyone can answer this, please give a shout.

Barney Tobey's work is proudly featured in the archives of Attempted Bloggery. Chime in if you've got something more of his to share.


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