Sunday, October 30, 2016
Home of a Victorian Artist
I'm not sure how I heard of Leighton House but it was on my list of places to visit while I was in London so on one of the gloriously sunny days I recently spent in the city, I made my way to Holland Park to visit the home of Frederic, Lord Leighton.
Leighton's home bears the famous blue plaque, a historic designation and is operated as a museum.
Photography was not allowed inside the house, a point that was made very clear to me probably because I had a camera hanging front and center around my neck.
However, not being one to follow all the rules, I did manage to snap two shots inside the house using my cell phone in a stealthy sort of way. (After all, there are dozens of photos on the internet, just Google Leighton House and look at the images.) This room on the ground floor is called the Arab Hall and is covered with beautiful Arabic and Islamic tiles.
The home was designed by architect George Aitchison guided by Leighton's precise specifications. It was built to be an artist's home with a studio at the back of the house, facing north with floor to ceiling windows to allow in as much light for the painter to work with natural light flooding the room. I wish I could have gotten a photo of that room, it was beautiful but carefully patrolled by museum guides.
The second photo I took was from the stairway looking down into the Arab Hall and the entrance foyer in front of it.
If you haven't heard of Leighton the artist you might want to check this link to see his most famous painting called "Flaming June". I've never seen that painting in person but, I've seen many a photo of it, especially in art gallery gift shops.
The painting belongs to the Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico.
While I was at Leighton House, I heard one of the guides mention the the painting was on it's way to London for a temporary exhibit at Leighton House from November 2nd 2016 to April 2nd 2017. So, if you are a reader who will be in London during that time, I would recommend you go see it. You will get to see the artist's fabulous home and his most famous painting all in one visit. Here is a link to an article about the painting and it's upcoming visit to London. The article tells quite a story surrounding that famous painting.