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Lord Frederic Leighton (1830-1896)

Il Primo barone Frederic Leighton è stato uno scultore e pittore Britannico e membro della Confraternita dei Preraffaelliti. Le sue opere a soggetto storico, biblico e mitologico sono tra gli esempi più raffinati di arte vittoriana.
Destinatario di numerosi premi e riconoscimenti nazionali ed internazionali, conosceva bene i membri della famiglia reale e la maggior parte dei grandi artisti, scrittori e politici della tarda epoca vittoriana.
Studiò all'University College School di Londra, prima di partire per l'Europa continentale in viaggio di studio.
Tra i suoi maestri giovanili, Eduard von Steinle e Giovanni Costa presso cui, a Firenze, venne introdotto all'Accademia di Belle Arti. Tra le sue opere del tempo è famosa la rappresentazione della processione della Madonna di Cimabue attraverso Borgo Allegri.
Durante la maturità, visse ed operò prima a Parigi (dal 1855-1859) e poi a Londra (dal 1860 fino alla morte).
Tra i pittori che conobbe in vita e che influenzarono la sua arte, Ingres, Delacroix, Corot e Jean-François Millet.



A Londra, dopo essere entrato a far parte dei Preraffaelliti, progettò la tomba di Elizabeth Browning, moglie del poeta Robert Browning, e nel 1864 divenne membro della Royal Academy of Arts, per poi diventarne presidente nel 1878; il suo dipinto Flaming June, inizialmente non adeguatamente apprezzato e solo nel 1963 venduto ad un prezzo di appena 1000 £ ad un collezionista per finire a Porto Rico nel museo de Arte de Ponce (per figurare anche come copertina dal titolo La bella durmiente nell'esposizione, allestita nel 2009 al Museo del Prado a Madrid, dedicata alla pittura vittoriana), viene da molti considerato, per forma, colori e iconografia, quale emblema del movimento dei Preraffaelliti.

Venne nominato Cavaliere a Windsor nel 1878, baronetto nel 1886 e infine barone nel 1896.
Morì nel 1896 senza eredi, un giorno dopo l'ufficializzazione della sua carica: la sua casa a Holland Park è ora il Leighton House Museum e ospita una vasta selezione tra disegni e dipinti. | © Wikipedia







1st Baron Leighton, PRA - known as Sir Frederic Leighton was one of the most famous British painters of the nineteenth century.
His paintings were enormously popular, and expensive, during his lifetime, but fell out of critical favour for many decades in the early 20th century.
Leighton was the bearer of the shortest-lived peerage in history; after only one day his hereditary peerage became extinct upon his death.
Leighton was born in Scarborough to a family in the import and export business.
He was educated at University College School, London. He then received his artistic training on the European continent, first from Eduard Von Steinle and then from Giovanni Costa.
When in Florence, aged 24, where he studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti, he painted the procession of the Cimabue Madonna through the Borgo Allegri. He lived in Paris from 1855 to 1859, where he met Ingres, Delacroix, Corot and Millet. In 1860, he moved to London, where he associated with the Pre-Raphaelites.


He designed Elizabeth Barrett Browning's tomb for Robert Browning in the English Cemetery, Florence in 1861. In 1864 he became an associate of the Royal Academy and in 1878 he became its President 1878–96.
His 1877 sculpture, Athlete Wrestling with a Python, was considered at its time to inaugurate a renaissance in contemporary British sculpture, referred to as the New Sculpture.
His paintings represented Britain at the great 1900 Paris Exhibition. Leighton was knighted at Windsor in 1878, and was created a Baronet, of Holland Park Road in the Parish of St Mary Abbots, Kensington, in the County of Middlesex, eight years later. He was the first painter to be given a peerage, in the New Year Honours List of 1896.
The patent creating him Baron Leighton, of Stretton in the County of Shropshire, was issued on 24 January 1896.
Leighton died the next day of angina pectoris. As he was unmarried, after his death his Barony was extinguished after existing for only a day; this is a record in the Peerage. His house in Holland Park, London has been turned into a museum, the Leighton House Museum.
It contains a number of his drawings and paintings, as well as some of his sculptures, including Athlete Wrestling with a Python.
The house also features many of Leighton's inspirations, including his collection of Iznik tiles.
Its centrepiece is the magnificent Arab Hall. The Hall is featured in issue ten of Cornucopia.