Leighton, Frederick (1830-1896) by Scholes, Robert

Frederick Leighton (1830 – 1896) The son of a physician, he was born at Scarborough. His grandfather, Sir James Leighton, also a physician, was long resident at the court of St Petersburg. Frederick Leighton was taken abroad at a very early age. In 1840 he learned drawing at Romei. The family moved to Dresden and Berlin, where he attended classes at the Academy. In 1843 he was sent to school at Frankfort, and in the winter of 1844 accompanied his family to Florence, where his future career as an artist was decided. There he studied under Bezzuoli and Segnolini at the Accademia delle Belle Arti, and attended anatomy classes under Zanetti; but he soon returned to complete his general education at Frankfort, receiving no further direct instruction in art for five years. It was while he was in Rome that he was visited by the novelist Thackeray, who on returning to London, commented to that he In 1849 he studied for a few months in Paris, where he copied and Corregio in the Louvre, and then retirned to Frankfort, where he settled down to serious art work under Eduard von Steinle, whose pupil he declared he was in the fullest sense of the term. In 1855 Leighton sent his vast canvas to the Royal Academy Exhibition, where it was a sensation, creating his reputation as an artist overnight. This vast painting, done in Rome was the product of two years work and is over 17 feet in width. Returning to England, he became president of the Royal Academy in 1878. Millais should look to his laurels… as there is a young fellow called Leighton in Rome … who if I’m not mistaken, will one day be President of the Royal Academy. Titian Cimabue’s Celebrated Madonna is Carried in Procession through the Streets of Florence

Back to top

Back to Top