The Green Lizard
The Green Lizard
Oil on canvas
46 x 64 inches
Signed with monogram
Royal Academy, London, 1902; #355
Born in Naples in 1839 he spent the first 25 years of his life growing up and studying art in Italy.  By 1855 Perugini had made the acquaintance of the great British Neo-Classical artist Frederic Leighton who was traveling and studying on the Continent.  A strong friendship developed between the two and Leighton took the young artist under his wing… giving him great encouragement and financial support. 

By the late 1850’s Perugini left for England – accompanied by Leighton.  Upon his arrival he worked in Leighton’s studio, but soon set up his own atelier and by 1863, the year he exhibited his first work at the Royal Academy, he was living and working at 13 Sutherland Terrace.  Through Leighton’s social connections the young Italian artist gained access to many of the wealthy patrons in England, enabling him to achieve great financial success.  His works were admired and collected by many and he received favorable remarks from the critics.  A writer for the Art Journal of 1874 made the following comments about the work he exhibited at the Royal Academy that year:  

There is much grace showing itself in A Cup of Tea, as well in the carefully drawn figure of a lady who sips the cup of tea as in the general harmony of color secured for the whole composition.  Mr. Perugini understands the sense of rich effect in setting the creamy tints next the flesh, and in banishing almost entirely the colder colors. 

Among his many acquaintances was Kate Dickens (1839-1929), the daughter of Charles Dickens.  Kate, an artist herself, was married to the historical painter Charles Allston Collins and their marriage lasted until Collins’ death in 1873.  Soon after, her friendship with Perugini blossomed and the two artists were married. 

Throughout his career, Perugini continued to paint portraits and genre paintings that displayed his love for the ancient times in Greece and Rome and a great influence from Leighton and his fellow Neo-Classical artists.  Among his most notable works are: Pompeian Interior (RA, 1870); Fresh Lavender (RA, 1878); Dolce far Niente (RA, 1882); Pandora (RA, 1893); A Willing Slave (RA, 1900) and The Green Lizard (RA, 1902).


Graves, Algernon, The Royal Academy of Arts, S.R. Publishers, Ltd., London, 1970.

Waters, Grant M., Dictionary of British Artists Working 1900-1950, Eastbourne Fine Art, 1975.

Wood, Christopher,  Dictionary of British Art, Volume IV – Victorian Painters, Antique Collectors Club, 1991.

Waters, Clara  & Hutton, Laurence, Artists of the Nineteenth Century and Their Works, Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston & New York, 1894.

Virtual Exhibition Index next prev
AIRY, ANNA (1882 - 1964)The Little Mirror
BARBER, CHARLES BURTON (1845 - 1894)Off to School
BOLOTOWSKY, ILYA (1907 - 1981)Abstract
BONHEUR, AUGUSTE (1824 - 1884)Ploughing in the Nivernais
BONHEUR, ROSA (1822 - 1899)Couching Lion
BOUDIN, EUGENE LOUIS (1824 - 1898)La bassin, Deauville
BOUGUEREAU, WILLIAM A. (1825 - 1905)La Frileuse
BOUGUEREAU, WILLIAM A. (1825 - 1905)Marchande de grenades (Pomegranate Seller)
CHAIGNEAU, JEAN F. (1830 - 1906)Le Jardin de l'Artiste
CHOULTSE, IVAN F. (b.1877)Nuit de Mars, Russie
CLAYS, PAUL JEAN (1819 - 1900)Shipping on the Scheldt
COALE, GRIFFITH BAILEY (1890 - 1950)The Baltimore Flower Mart - 1915
COROT, JEAN-BAPTISTE-CAMILLE (1796 - 1875)Pâturage dans les marais (Souvenir des environs d'Amiens)
CORTÈS, EDOUARD LEON (1882 - 1969)The Breton Family
DAWSON, MONTAGUE (1895 - 1973)The Pirate's Cove, Wafer Bay, Cocos Island
DIÉTERLE, MARIE (1856 - 1935)Troupeau dans un chemin creux
DRUMMOND, ARTHUR (1871 - 1951)Victorian Fantasy
DUPRÉ, JULES (1811 - 1889)Environs de Plymouth
DUPRÉ, JULIEN (1851 - 1910)La rentrée au village
DUPRE, JULIEN (1851 - 1910)La Prairie
DUPRE, JULIEN (1851 - 1910)Glaneuses
ELSLEY, ARTHUR J. (1860 - 1952)Good Night
FISHER, R.A., WILLIAM MARK (1841-1923)In the Garden
FRERE, CHARLES THEODORE (1814 - 1888)A Caravan Crossing the Desert
GIRARDET, EUGENE ALEXIS (1853 - 1907)Outside the Mosque
GIRARDET, EUGENE ALEXIS (1853 - 1907)The Wailing Wall
HERBO, LEON (1850 - 1907)La Charmeuse
ISRAELS, ISAAC (1865 - 1934)Dancing at the Moulin de la Galette
JOUBERT, LEON (fl.1883 - 1900)Un Coin de Seine a Lavacourt
KNIGHT, DANIEL RIDGWAY (1839 - 1924)A Pensive Moment
KNIGHT, DANIEL RIDGWAY (1839 - 1924)En Vendanges
LUNY, THOMAS (1759 - 1837)Engagement Between Sir George Brydges Rodney and the Spanish Squadron, Commanded by Don Juan de Langara, Near Cape St. Vincent, January 16, 1780
MARCKE DE LUMMEN, EMILE VAN (1827 - 1890)Vaches a Pâture
MOREAU, ADRIEN (1843-1906)Une Mascarade au XVII Siecle
MOSTYN, TOM (1864 - 1930)Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May
MUNIER, EMILE (1840 - 1895)La retour du marché
MUNIER, EMILE (1840 - 1895)May I Have One Too
PERRAULT, LEON J.B. (1832 - 1908)Away From Home
PERRAULT, LEON J.B. (1832 - 1908)Sleeping Putto
PERUGINI , CHARLES EDWARD (1839-1918)The Green Lizard
RIGOLOT, ALBERT GABRIEL (1862 - 1932)Soleil Levant dans la Brume
ROSSI, ALEXANDER MARK (FL.1870 - 1903)Forbidden Books
ROSSI, ALEXANDER MARK (FL.1870 - 1903) May I Have This Dance?
SALMON, ROBERT (1775 - c.1845) The Estridge off Dover
SCHIELE, EGON (1890 - 1918)Semi-nude with Green Stockings from the Back
SCHRYVER, LOUIS MARIE DE (1862 - 1942)A Young Man's Fancy
SCHRYVER, LOUIS MARIE DE (1862 - 1942)Après l’averse; - place du Théâtre-Français
SEIGNAC, GUILLAUME (1870 - 1924)Reflections
SISLEY, ALFRED (1839 - 1899)La Seine à Suresnes
TOPHAM, FRANCIS W.W. (1838 - 1924)Young Girl on a Swing
WARDLE, ARTHUR (1864 – 1949)The Deer-Stealer
WILLIAMS, EDWARD CHARLES (1807 - 1881)The Old Roadside Inn