Sir Charles Lock Eastlake (1793-1865) studied under Samuel Prout and at the R.A. Schools. As a painter he is best known for his biblical, historical and Italian genre as well as portraits. He became secretary to the Royal Commission for the Decoration of the Houses of Parliament, President of the Royal Academy and from 1855 until his death Director of the National Gallery.
The story of Abelard and Heloise dates from the thirteenth century. Abelard wishing to become acquainted with Heloise persuaded Canon Fulbert, her uncle, to allow him to teach Heloise. Using the pretext that his own house was a 'handicap' to his studies, Abelard moved in to the house of Heloise. She was extremely well-educated and they soon became lovers. When her uncle discovered their love, Abelard would later write: 'Oh, how great was the uncle's grief when he learned the truth, and how bitter was the sorrow of the lovers when we were forced to part'. The work is sold with an extensive report regarding subject, technique and materials by Helen Glanville.