Leslie was an ardent lover of nature, and particularly of the River Thames. Concerning his early experiences of the river, Leslie wrote: ‘My experiences… gave me such strong feelings of affection for the river, that I do not think I have passed a year since then without spending one, two and sometimes three months on its banks.’ (G. D. Leslie, Our River, 1888, p. 7). He later lived on the Thames at “Riverside” in Wallingford between 1884- 1891, where he wrote and published ‘Our River’ and ‘Riverside Letters’, works that record his observations of life on the river and his local area.
The name ‘Pangbourne’ is painted on the side of the boat in the present painting, indicating that Pangbourne, or nearby, is the location depicted. Leslie wrote that he had ‘passed two very pleasant months at Whitchurch, opposite to Pangbourne’ (G. D. Leslie, Our River, 1888, p. 10), making it possible that painting was inspired by a scene observed while visiting this stretch of the Thames.
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