October 9, 2008

The Art of Frederic Leighton

Frederic Leighton (1830 - 1896) the famous British painter and sculptor was born to a wealthy family in Scarborough, England. He was educated in Frankfurt and London. He spent much of his youth traveling Europe with his family. This coupled with his own tours of the Middle East, exposed him to a wide range or influences.

(Leighton, Frederic. The Music Lesson. c. 1877. Oil on canvas.
Guild Hall Art Gallery, London.)

He settled in London in 1859 and sold a painting to Queen Victoria. Soon after and for years to come, he enjoyed enormous success and was regarded as the greatest artist of the day. He was knighted at Windsor in 1878.

(Leighton, Frederic. The Fisherman and the Siren. c. 1877.
Oil on canvas. Private Collection.)

He died in 1896 and unlike most artists, his reputation declined after his death. Flaming June, inspired by a model, who feel asleep in his studio is one of Leighton’s most famous and sensual paintings.

(Leighton, Frederic. Flaming June. c. 1895. Oil on canvas.
Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico.)

He is best known for his mythological subjects and he produced dreamy mood paintings that link him with the Aesthetic movement.

(Leighton, Frederic. A Girl. c. 1855. Oil on canvas.)

During the lengthy reign of Queen Victoria, Leighton's paintings reflect the golden age of Victorian Art. Leighton also heavily influenced the Academic traditonal art movement with his classical subject matter. His work is so beautiful and is much appreciated here!

Enjoy :)

Reference: King, R. Art. New York: Dk Publishing, 2008.