Monday, June 5, 2017

Leighton House Museum

Monday, June 5, 2017
Loretta reports from London:

Still adjusting to time change the other day, we decided not to be overly ambitious in our explorations, but set out for the Leighton House Museum, in easy walking distance.  You can see many examples of Frederick Leighton's work here and elsewhere on line. I would have loved to offer you pictures of the house's interior, because it's pretty spectacular, but photography is not allowed inside. However, you can get a good idea if you click here. The orientalist style rooms on the ground floor are knockouts, while the upper story is rather personal and poignant. His bedroom is a surprisingly spartan place, boasting a smallish brass bed, a few chairs, a dresser, a bear rug. Though many of the original furnishings are gone, this is very like what it looked like in his time.  The studio, as one might expect, seemed the most personal of all.

There were his palette and pigments, numerous drawings and paintings, and the windows providing much-needed light. There was as well his last, unfinished painting,  Clytie. While this style of Victorian interpretation of classical themes can get a little heavy for modern minds, I found it made a lump in my throat. It was his last work, and I could do easily imagine his longing to finish it before he died. It stood on an easel in the studio at the head of his coffin.


Hels said...

Although I thought Orientalist taste in Britain would appear to be artificial, I think you are correct. The orientalist style rooms on the ground floor ARE knockouts. The Arab Hall in Leighton House in particular!

Hilary Hadley Wright said...

Welcome to London! It is indeed a beautiful house. How disappointing that you weren't allowed to take interior photographs; seems a bit unreasonable, given that it has often been used as a filming location. To compensate, you can see many interiors lovingly shot in this episode of Poirot:

Anonymous said...

Do you have time to visit Linley Samborne's house? It's a small museum for an unsung hero of late 19th century journalistic creativity and I'm guessing that it is not too far from where you are staying. It's only open at certain times and closed from later in the month...
Link is here

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