Richard Parkes Bonington. Anne Page and Slender, c.1825.

Oil on canvas, approximately 15 x 18 inches. The Wallace Collection, London.

In Act I, Scene i, of The Merry Wives of Windsor Anne Page coaxes Slender to join the family for dinner in her father's house. The shy Slender, smitten with Anne Page, is reluctant to follow her.

Bonington here attempts "authenticity" in the dress and the background of the painting, having perhaps looked at studies of medieval clothing to find the correct dress for the early fifteenth century when the action takes place. Besides the medieval clothing, he adds a door with a Gothic arch and leaded windows. However, the bashful Slender with his averted eyes and exaggerated pose is perhaps a bit too studied and precious to be effective.