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paintings and art-collection blog

paintings and art-collection blog

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lord Frederic Leighton (Great Britain, 1830-1896)


Frederic Leighton, was one of the most famous British artists of the nineteenth century. The recipient of many national and international awards and honours, he was well acquainted with members of the royal family and with most of the great artists, writers and politicians of the late Victorian era. 
 
 He was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire to a medical family. His father was a doctor, and his grandfather had been the primary physician to the Russian royal family in St. Petersburg, where he amassed a large fortune. Leighton's career was always cushioned by this family wealth, his father paying him an allowance throughout his life. Leighton's parents were worried about his choice of career as he wrote in a letter of 1879, "My parents surrounded me with every facility to learn drawing, but, strongly discountenanced the idea of my being an artist unless I could be eminent in art". Leighton did succeed in becoming ‘eminent in art’ with Queen Victoria buying his first painting in 1855 and in 1878 he reached the pinnacle of his profession, becoming the President of the Royal Academy of Arts. He never married and just before his death from heart failure in 1896, he was ennobled, becoming Frederic, Lord Leighton, Baron of Stretton. He is the only British artist to have been awarded this honour and is buried in St Paul's Cathedral.
Portrait of May Sartoris by Frederic Leighton
The new governess
Desdemona
Weaving the wreath
Biondina
Twixt Hope and Fear
Faith
May Prinsep
Lieder ohne Worte
Amarilla

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