vrijdag, december 13, 2013

Frederic Leighton #1

"After a century of decline, artist Frederic Leighton’s London house has at last been restored to its exotic glory

Frederic Leighton was one of the most lauded British painters of the 19th century, the recipient of a knighthood, a baronetcy and finally — and with particular irony given that he was a lifelong bachelor — a hereditary peerage, one day before he died.

This career was built on an early and spectacular success: when he was a 25-year-old student living on the Continent, his first major work, Cimabue’s Celebrated Madonna is Carried in Procession Through the Streets of Florence, was bought by Queen Victoria at the opening of the Royal Academy’s 1855 summer show. Four years later and with his reputation made, he returned to London and rented a house and studio in Kensington. It was located in fashionable Orme Square but, as Leighton wrote to his mother at the time, represented “a sad falling off” of the lifestyle that he had enjoyed in Paris and Rome.

And so he determined to build a studio house of his own, eventually securing a site on Holland Park Road, immediately next to which the artist, Val Prinsep, was in the process of constructing his own residence to Philip Webb’s vigorously gothic design. Leighton’s house could have hardly been more different. It was designed by his friend, the architect George Aitchison, in the manner of an Italianate villa, a choice that deliberately recalled the classical imagery of Leighton’s paintings. Aitchison sited the long, double-height studio on the upper level of the garden elevation, thus allowing the street facade to retain a relatively conventional domestic appearance. Indeed, elegant as it is, the front of the building offers scant indication of what lies beyond, namely, the most sumptuously exotic interior of any house built in 19th century London.
...." (bron: bdonline, tekst: Ellis Woodman)

James Akerman: Artists' Homes No. 7 Studio and Residence at Holland Park Sir Fredk. Leighton PRA, 1880.

"Print cut from 'The Building News', October 1, 1880. This print cut depicts the back view of the house built by George Aitchison for the artist Frederic Leighton, now Leighton House Museum. The second storey studio has large windows and the domed Arab Hall can be seen on the right. In 1864 the artist Frederic Leighton commissioned architect George Aitchison to build this house near Holland Park. A number of other artists settled nearby and Leighton's residence and studio became one of the social centres of the London art world." (bron: Museum of London)

Leighton House. (bron: Tammy Tour Guide)

Leighton House. (bron: Panoramio, foto: Derek Lamden)

Leighton House. (bron: notasdesdealgunlugar)

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