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Title: Frederic Lord Leighton - An Illustrated Record of His Life and Work
Author: Rhys, Ernest, 1859-1946
Language: English
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FREDERIC LORD LEIGHTON

Late President of the Royal Academy of Arts

An Illustrated Record of His Life and Work

by

ERNEST RHYS



[Illustration: _Winding the Skein._
               _By permission of the Fine Art Society._
               _F. Leighton. pinxt._
               _Swan Electric Engraving Co. Sc._]


George Bell & Sons

London: George Bell & Sons
1900

First Published, super-royal, 4to, 1895.
Second Edition, revised, colombier 8vo, 1898.
Third Edition, revised, crown 8vo, 1900.



Publishers' Note to Third Edition


The reception given to previous editions of this work encourages the
publishers to hope that a re-issue in a smaller form may be appreciated.
The present volume is reprinted with a few alterations and corrections
from the second edition published in 1898. A chapter on "Lord Leighton's
House in 1900," by Mr. S. Pepys Cockerell, has been added.

The publishers take the opportunity to repeat their acknowledgments of
assistance most kindly given by numerous owners and admirers of the
artist's work. By the gracious consent of H.M. the Queen, the _Cimabue_
in the Buckingham Palace collection, is here reproduced. Especial thanks
are also due to Lord Davey, Lord Hillingdon, Lord Rosebery, Mrs.
Dyson-Perrins, the late Mr. Alfred Morrison, Sir Bernhard Samuelson, Lady
Hallé, Mr. Alex. Henderson, Mr. Francis Reckitts, the late Sir Henry
Tate, the Birmingham and Manchester Corporations, and the President and
Council of the Royal Academy, who have kindly permitted the reproduction
of pictures in their possession. To the late Lord Leighton himself the
author and publishers have to acknowledge their indebtedness for a
large number of studies and sketches, hitherto unpublished, as well as
for his kind co-operation in the preparation of the volume. The author
wishes also to record his thanks to Mr. M. H. Spielmann for permission
to use his admirable account of the President's method of painting.

By arrangement with the holders of several important copyrights,
including Messrs. Thos. Agnew and Sons, P. and D. Colnaghi and Co.,
H. Graves and Co., Arthur Tooth and Sons, the Society for Promoting
Christian Knowledge, the proprietors of the Art Journal, the Berlin
Photographic Company, and the Fine Art Society (whose courtesies in the
matter are duly credited in the list of illustrations), the publishers
have been enabled to represent many of the most popular paintings by the
artist, and a selection of his famous designs for Dalziel's Bible
Gallery.



Contents

                                                                   PAGE

   CHAPTER I. HIS EARLY YEARS                                         3

          II. YEAR BY YEAR--1855 TO 1864                             12

         III. YEAR BY YEAR--1864 TO 1869                             21

          IV. YEAR BY YEAR--1870 TO 1878                             28

           V. YEAR BY YEAR--1878 TO 1896                             39

          VI. HIS METHOD OF PAINTING                                 54

         VII. MURAL DECORATION, SCULPTURE, AND ILLUSTRATION          61

        VIII. DISCOURSES ON ART                                      71

          IX. LORD LEIGHTON'S HOME                                   88

           X. LORD LEIGHTON'S HOUSE IN 1900. BY S. PEPYS COCKERELL   92

          XI. THE ARTIST AND HIS CRITICS                            103

         XII. CONCLUSION                                            115

  APPENDIX I. CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF WORKS                           121

          II. LIST OF LANDSCAPES AND STUDIES SOLD AT CHRISTIE'S
              (JULY, 1896)                                          132

        INDEX                                                       137



List of Illustrations


I. FIGURE SUBJECTS.

                                                                   PAGE

  WINDING THE SKEIN                                      _Frontispiece_
    _By permission of the Fine Art Society._
    (_Photogravure plate._)

  CIMABUE'S MADONNA                                                  10
    _By the gracious permission of Her Majesty the Queen._

  GOLDEN HOURS                                                       21
    _By the kind permission of Lord Davey._

  HELEN OF TROY                                                      22
    _By permission of Messrs. H. Graves and Co._

  ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE                                               22
    _By the kind permission of Francis Reckitts, Esq._

  VENUS DISROBING FOR THE BATH                                       24
    _By the kind permission of Alexander Henderson, Esq._

  ELECTRA AT THE TOMB OF AGAMEMNON                                   24

  DÆDALUS AND ICARUS                                                 26
    _By the kind permission of Alexander Henderson, Esq._

  ST. JEROME                                                         26
    _By the kind permission of the President and Council of
    the Royal Academy of Arts._

  HERCULES WRESTLING WITH DEATH FOR THE BODY OF ALCESTIS             30
    _By the kind permission of Sir Bernhard Samuelson._

  SUMMER MOON                                                        30
    _By the kind permission of the late Alfred Morrison, Esq.,
    from the photogravure published by Messrs. P. and D.
    Colnaghi and Co._

  THE JUGGLING GIRL                                                  32
    _By the kind permission of Lord Hillingdon._

  A CONDOTTIERE                                                      32
    _By permission of the Corporation of Birmingham._

  THE DAPHNEPHORIA                                                   34
    _By permission of the Fine Art Society._

  NAUSICAA                                                           38

  SISTER'S KISS                                                      40
    _By permission of the Fine Art Society._

  PHRYNE AT ELEUSIS                                                  42
    _By permission of the late Lord Leighton._

  DAY DREAMS                                                         42
    _By permission of the Fine Art Society._

  CYMON AND IPHIGENIA                                                44
    _By permission of the Fine Art Society._
    (_Photogravure plate._)

  THE LAST WATCH OF HERO                                             46
    _By permission of the Corporation of Manchester._

  GREEK GIRLS PLAYING AT BALL                                        48
    _By permission of the Berlin Photographic Company._

  THE BATH OF PSYCHE                                                 48
    _By permission of the Berlin Photographic Company._

  FAREWELL                                                           50
    _By permission of Messrs. A. Tooth and Sons._

  "AND THE SEA GAVE UP THE DEAD WHICH WERE IN IT"                    50
    _By the kind permission of Sir Henry Tate._

  THE FRIGIDARIUM                                                    50
    _By permission of Messrs. H. Graves and Co._

  RIZPAH                                                             52
    _By permission of Messrs. Cassell and Co._

  THE BRACELET                                                       52
    _By permission of Messrs. T. Agnew and Sons._

  FATIDICA                                                           52
    _By permission of Messrs. T. Agnew and Sons._

  A BACCHANTE                                                        54
    _By permission of Messrs. H. Graves and Co._

  HIT                                                                54
    _By permission of the proprietors of the "Art Journal."_

  EGYPTIAN SLINGER                                                  112
    _By the kind permission of Lord Davey._

  ELISHA AND THE SHUNAMITE'S SON                                    114
    _By the kind permission of Mrs. Dyson-Perrins._

  "... SERENELY WANDERING IN A TRANCE OF SOBER THOUGHT"             128


II. LANDSCAPES, ETC.

  GARDEN AT GENERALIFE, GRANADA                                      28

  MIMBAR OF THE GREAT MOSQUE AT DAMASCUS                             28

  FOUNTAIN IN COURT AT DAMASCUS                                     132

  THE ISLAND OF ÆGINA, PNYX IN THE FOREGROUND                       132

  RUINED MOSQUE, BROUSSA                                            134

  CITY OF TOMBS, ASSIOUT, EGYPT                                     134

  ATHENS, WITH THE GENOESE TOWER, PNYX IN FOREGROUND                136

  COAST OF ASIA MINOR SEEN FROM RHODES                              136

  RED MOUNTAINS DESERT, CAIRO                                       136


III. PORTRAITS.

  PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST. (In the Uffizi Gallery, Florence)           3

  PORTRAIT OF THE HON. MABEL MILLS                                   36
    _By the kind permission of Lady Hillingdon._

  PORTRAIT OF CAPTAIN (SIR) RICHARD BURTON                           36

  PORTRAIT OF SIGNOR COSTA                                           40

  PORTRAIT OF THE LADY SYBIL PRIMROSE                                46
    _By the kind permission of Lord Rosebery._


IV. STUDIES AND SKETCHES.

  TWO EARLY PENCIL STUDIES                                            6

  SCHEME FOR A PICTURE, "THE PLAGUE IN FLORENCE"                      8

  STUDY FOR A HEAD--"THE DEAD ROMEO"                                 14

  A PENCIL STUDY                                                     16

  A LEMON TREE. (A pencil study)                                     18

  BYZANTINE WELL-HEAD. (A pencil study)                              18

  STUDY FOR "THE DAPHNEPHORIA"                                       34

  STUDY FOR "ELIJAH IN THE WILDERNESS"                               38

  STUDY FOR "CAPTIVE ANDROMACHE" (nude)                              56

  STUDY FOR A FIGURE IN "CAPTIVE ANDROMACHE"                         56

  STUDY FOR "ANDROMACHE"                                             56

  STUDY FOR "PERSEUS AND ANDROMEDA"                                  58

  STUDY FOR A FIGURE IN "THE BATH OF PSYCHE"                         58

  STUDY FOR "SOLITUDE"                                               58

  STUDY FOR A FIGURE IN "THE RETURN OF PERSEPHONE"                   60

  STUDY FOR "PERSEPHONE"                                             60

  STUDIES FOR THE DECORATION OF THE CEILING OF A MUSIC ROOM          62

  CAIN AND ABEL                  {                 }
  MOSES VIEWS THE PROMISED LAND  { From Dalziel's  }
  SAMSON AND THE LION            { "Bible Gallery" }                 70
  SAMSON CARRYING OFF THE GATES  {                 }
    _By permission of Messrs. J. S. Virtue and Co. and the
    Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge._

  "A CONTRAST"                                                       72

  A STUDY IN OILS. (Head of a girl, back view)                       74

  HEAD OF A YOUNG GIRL. (A Study in oils)                            76
    _By the kind permission of Lady Hallé._

  STUDY OF A HEAD                                                    78

  STUDY OF A HEAD                                                    80

  A STUDY IN OILS. (Head of a girl)                                  82


V. FRESCOES, WALL PAINTINGS, ETC.

  TWO FRIEZES--MUSIC, THE DANCE                                      44

  DECORATION FOR THE CEILING OF A MUSIC ROOM                         62

  THE INDUSTRIAL ARTS OF WAR. (From the fresco at South
    Kensington Museum)                                               64

  THE INDUSTRIAL ARTS OF PEACE. (From the fresco at South
    Kensington Museum)                                               64

  CUPID. (From a fresco)                                             66

  PHOENICIANS BARTERING WITH BRITONS. (Panel in the Royal
    Exchange)                                                        66


VI. SCULPTURE.

  AN ATHLETE STRUGGLING WITH A PYTHON. (Bronze statue, from
    two points of view)                                              68

  STUDY IN CLAY FOR "CYMON"                                          68

  STUDY IN CLAY FOR "THE SLUGGARD"                                   68

  STUDY IN CLAY FOR "PERSEUS"                                        68

  STUDY IN CLAY FOR "ANDROMEDA"                                      68

  DESIGN FOR REVERSE OF THE JUBILEE MEDALLION (1887)                130


VII. LORD LEIGHTON'S HOUSE.

  IN THE INNER HALL. (From a photograph taken specially
    by Mr. James Hyatt)                                              88

  IN THE ARAB HALL. (From a photograph by Messrs. Bedford,
    Lemere, and Co.)                                                 96


  BOOKPLATE OF LORD LEIGHTON. (Designed by R. Anning Bell)          120

_With four exceptions all the reproductions are by the Swan
Electric Engraving Company._



FREDERIC LORD LEIGHTON, P.R.A.


LIST OF DIGNITIES AND HONOURS CONFERRED
ON FREDERIC LEIGHTON.

Knighted, 1878; created a Baronet, 1886; created Baron Leighton of
Stretton, 1896; elected Associate of the Royal Academy, 1864; Royal
Academician, 1869; President of the Royal Academy, 1878; Hon. Mem. Royal
Scottish Academy, and Royal Hibernian Academy, Associate of the
Institute of France, President of the International Jury of Painting,
Paris Exhibition, 1878; Hon. Member, Berlin Academy, 1886; also Member
of the Royal Academy of Vienna, 1888, Belgium, 1886, of the Academy of
St. Luke, Rome, and the Academies of Florence (1882), Turin, Genoa,
Perugia, and Antwerp (1885); Hon. D.C.L., Oxford, 1879; Hon. LL.D.,
Cambridge, 1879; Hon. LL.D., Edinburgh, 1884; Hon. D.Lit., Dublin, 1892;
Hon. D.C.L., Durham, 1894; Hon. Fellow of Trinity College, London, 1876;
Lieut.-Colonel of the 20th Middlesex (Artists') Rifle Volunteers, 1876
to 1883 (resigned); then Hon. Colonel and holder of the Volunteer
Decoration; Commander of the Legion of Honour, 1889; Commander of the
Order of Leopold; Knight of the Prussian Order "pour le Mérite," and of
the Coburg Order Dem Verdienste.



[Illustration: PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST (1881)
              _Painted for the Uffizi Gallery_]



FREDERIC LORD LEIGHTON, P.R.A.

AN ILLUSTRATED CHRONICLE



CHAPTER I

HIS EARLY YEARS


To Italy, at whose liberal well-head English Art has so often renewed
itself, we turn naturally for an opening to this chronicle of a great
English artist's career. Frederic Leighton was the painter of our time
who strove hardest to keep alive an Italian ideal of beauty in London;
therefore it is in Italy, the Italy of Raphael and Angelo and his
favourite Giotteschi, that we must seek the true beginnings of his art.

London made its first acquaintance with him and his painting in 1855,
when the picture, _Cimabue's Madonna carried in Procession through the
Streets of Florence_, startled the Royal Academy, and proved that a
'prentice work could be in its way something of a masterpiece. This
picture, the work of an unknown young artist of twenty-five, painted
chiefly in Rome, showed at once a new force and a new quality, and in
its singular feeling for certain of the archaic Italian schools, showed,
too, where for the moment the sympathies of the painter really lay. How
far the potentiality disclosed in it was developed during the forty
years following, how far the ideals in art, which it seemed to declare,
were pursued or departed from, the Royal Academy year by year is
witness. Here, before we turn to consider the history of those later
years, we shall find it interesting to use this first picture as an
index to that period of probation, which is so often the most
interesting part of an artist's history. In accounting for it, and
finding out the determining experiences of the artist's pupilage, we
shall account, also, for much that came after. Although Frankfort and
Paris play their part, the formative influences of that early period, we
shall find, carry us chiefly, and again and again, into Italy.

Frederic Leighton was born on the 3rd of December, 1830, at Scarborough,
the son of a medical practitioner. His father, Dr. Frederic Leighton,
was also the son of a physician who was knighted for eminence in his
profession. Thus we have two generations of medicine and culture in the
family; but there is no sign of art, or love for art, before the third.
This generation produced three children, all devoted to the graphic arts
and to music, of whom the boy, Frederic was the eldest.

A word or two more must be given to his forbears, on grounds of
character and heredity, before we pass. Sir James Leighton, the
grandfather, was Physician to the Court at St. Petersburg, where he
served in succession Alexander the First, and Nicholas, with whom he was
on terms of considerable intimacy. His son, Dr. Frederic Leighton, who
promised to be a still more brilliant practioner, was educated at
Stonyhurst, but after taking his M.D. degree at Edinburgh, just as he
was rapidly acquiring the highest professional reputation, contracted a
cold that led to a partial deafness. This made it impossible for him to
go on practising with safety, and retiring to his study he turned from
physical to metaphysical pursuits. In spite of his deafness, as severe
an embargo on social reputation as can well be laid, Dr. Leighton is
said to have been equally noted among his friends for his keen
intellectual quality and his urbanity.

To be the son of his father, then, counted for something in our hero's
career. Even in art, which Dr. Leighton did not care for particularly,
the boy had very great opportunities. Before he was ten years old, he
went abroad with his mother, who was in ill health; and already he had
shown such decided signs of the _furor pingendi_ during a chance visit
to Mr. Lance's studio in Paris, that it is without surprise that we hear
of him in 1840 as taking drawing lessons from Signor F. Meli, at Rome.
During these early travels the boy's sketch books were full (we are
told) of precociously clever things. The climacteric moment came early
in his career. At Florence, in 1844, when he was fourteen, he delivered
himself of a sort of boyish ultimatum to his father, who, after taking
counsel of Hiram Powers, the American sculptor, wisely gave the boy his
wish, and decided to let him be an artist. Powers when asked, "Shall I
make him an artist?" exclaimed in no uncertain terms, "Sir, you have no
choice in the matter, he is one already;" and on further question, the
father being anxious about the boy's possibilities, said, "He may become
as eminent as he pleases."

Few art students of our time appear to have encountered more fortunate
conditions, on the whole, than did Frederic Leighton in the years
immediately following. The Florentine school of fifty years ago,
however, was not the best for a beginner. It was full of mannerisms,
which a boy of that age was sure to pick up, and exaggerate on his own
account. At that time Bezzuoli and Servolini were the great lights and
directors of the Academy of the Fine Arts, and they delighted,
naturally, in so able and so apt a pupil; that he found it hard to shake
off their teaching becomes evident later.

Those who had the good fortune at any time to have heard Lord Leighton
describe his early wanderings in Europe, must have been struck by the
warmth of his tribute to Johann Eduard Steinle, the Frankfort master,
who did more than any other to correct his style, and to decide the
whole future bent of his art.

Steinle, whose name is barely known to us in England, was one of that
remarkable school of painters, called familiarly "the Nazarenes,"
because of their religious range of subjects, who were inspired
originally by Overbeck and Pfühler. Leighton in recent years described
him as "an intensely fervent Catholic;" a man of most striking
personality, and of most courtly manners, whose influence upon younger
men was fairly magnetic. In the case of this particular pupil,
certainly, his intervention was of most powerful effect. Religious in
his methods, as well as in his sentiment of art, the florid
insincerities and mannerisms of the Florentine Academy, as they were
still to be seen in the young Leighton's work, found in him an admirable
chastener, but it took many years of painfully hard work, lasting until
1852, to undo the evil wrought by decadent Florence.

Prior to this fortunate intercourse with Steinle, the student had an old
acquaintance with Frankfort, which, like Florence, seemed destined to
play a great part in his history. Before going to Florence, and deciding
on his artistic career, in 1844, he had been sent to school in
Frankfort. He returned there from Florence to resume his general
education, and on leaving at seventeen, went for a year to the
Städtelsches Institut.


[Illustration: TWO EARLY PENCIL STUDIES]


In 1848 he went to Brussels, and worked there for a time without any
master, painting the first picture that deserves to be remembered.
Characteristically enough, this depicted _Cimabue finding Giotto in the
fields of Florence_. The shepherd boy is engaged in drawing the figure
of a lamb upon a smooth rock, using a piece of coal for pencil; an
admirable and precocious piece of work. At the time it was first shown
it was considered especially good in its harmonious and original
colouring, nor did a sight of it in 1896 at the Winter Exhibition of the
Royal Academy contradict the generous verdict of contemporary critics.
At Brussels he painted a portrait of himself, a notable thing of its
kind, wherein we see a slight, dark youth, with a face of much charm and
distinction, whose features one easily sees to be like those of later
portraits. Then, immediately before the return to Frankfort, and the
studying there, under Steinle, Leighton spent some months in Paris,
working in an atelier in the Rue Richer.

The conditions of this most informal of life-schools were such as Henri
Murger, who was alive and writing at the time, might have approved, but
were hardly to be called educative in any higher sense. The only master
that these Bohemians could boast was a very invertebrate old artist, who
seems to have been the soul of politeness and irresponsibility, and who
accompanied every weak criticism with the deprecatory conclusion, "Voilà
mon opinion!"

"M. Voilà mon opinion!" is a type not unknown otherwhere than in that
Paris atelier. A fine alterative the student must have found the severe
and stringent tonics that Steinle prescribed immediately afterwards in
Frankfort.

In the admirable monograph on "Sir Frederic Leighton" by Mrs. Andrew
Lang, from which we have drawn on occasion in these pages, an
interesting account is given of an exploit at Darmstadt, in which the
young artist took a chief part. An artists' festival was to be held
there, and Sir Frederic and one of his fellow-students, Signor Gamba,
took it into their heads to paint a picture for the occasion on the
walls of an old ruined castle near the town. The design was speedily
sketched after the most approved mediæval fashion, and no time was lost
in executing the work. "The subject was a knight standing on the
threshold of the castle, welcoming the guests, while in the centre of
the picture was Spring, receiving the representatives of the three arts,
all of them caricatures of well-known figures. In one corner were the
two young artists themselves, surveying the pageant. The Schloss where
this piece was painted is still in existence, and the Grand Duke has
lately erected a wooden roof over the painting, to preserve it from
destruction."

Before leaving Frankfort, Leighton had already interested Steinle in his
projected picture of _Cimabue's Madonna_, and the design for it was made
under Steinle's direction. Under his direct influence, too, and inspired
by Boccaccio, another Florentine picture--a cartoon of its great
plague--was painted. In speaking of the dramatic treatment of its
subject, Mrs. Lang describes "the contrast between the merry revellers
on one side of the picture and the death-cart and its pile of corpses on
the other, while in the centre is the link between the two--a
terror-stricken woman attempting to escape with her baby from the
pestilence-stricken city. We shall look in vain among the President's
later works for any picture with a similar _motif_. In general he shared
Plato's opinion--that violent passions are unsuitable subjects for art;
not so much because the sight of them is degrading, as because what is
at once hideous and transitory in its nature should not be
perpetuated."


[Illustration: SCHEME FOR A PICTURE: THE PLAGUE IN FLORENCE]


We have seen how the spirit and sentiment of Italy continually remained
by the artist in his German studio, and how in Frankfort his artistic
imagination returned again and again to Florence, and to the early
Florentines of his particular adoration--Cimabue and Giotto. The recall
to Italy came inevitably, as Steinle's teaching at last had fully worked
its purpose. Steinle himself counselled the move, and gave his favourite
pupil an introduction to Cornelius in Rome. It was to Rome, therefore,
and not to Florence, that the young artist went--to Rome where sooner or
later the steps of all men who work for art or for religion tend, and
where so few stay. This was in 1852, the year which was represented in
the Commemorative Exhibition at Burlington House by _A Persian Pedlar_,
a small full-length figure of a man in Oriental costume, seated
cross-legged on a divan, with a long pipe in his hand. To 1853 belongs a
_Portrait of Miss Laing_ (Lady Nias), which was shown again at the same
time.

The Rome of the mid-century was Rome at its best, with much artistic
stimulus of the present, as well as of the past. The English colony was
particularly strong. Thackeray was there, moving about after his wont in
the studios and salons; the Brownings were there, and in their prime.
The young painter and his work, including the _Cimabue's Madonna_ in its
earlier stages, made a great impression on Thackeray, who turned prophet
for once on the strength of it. On returning to London and meeting
Millais, he prophesied gaily to that ardent Pre-Raphaelite, then
marching on from success to success: "Millais! my boy, I have met in
Rome a versatile young dog called Leighton, who will one of these days
run you hard for the presidentship!" This was early days for such a
rumour to reach the Academy, who knew an older school, represented by
Landseer and Eastlake, and a younger school, represented by Millais and
Rossetti, but as yet knew not Leighton.

Among the leading artists in Rome at this time, beside Cornelius, were
the two French painters, Bouguereau and Gerome. To these, especially to
Bouguereau, who was a great believer in "scientific composition,"
Leighton was, on his own testimony, largely indebted for his fine sense
of form. Yet another famous Frenchman, Robert Fleury, whom he afterwards
met in Paris, may be mentioned here, since from him he learnt much in
the way of colouring, and the technique of his art.

Turning from the painters to the poets, it was at Rome that Robert
Browning, who was at this time writing his "Men and Women," formed close
acquaintance with the young artist. Something of the atmosphere which
permeates such poems as "Bishop Blougram's Apology," "Andrea del Sarto,"
and others of the same series, seems to linger yet in the record of
those early meetings of poets and painters, with all their associations:

                            "The Vatican,
  Greek busts, Venetian paintings, Roman walls,
  And English books."


One easily supposes Browning speaking through his Bishop Blougram, as,
it is said, he was heard to speak in those days in praise of Correggio,
to whose qualities, Ruskin tells us, Sir Frederic Leighton curiously
approximates:

  "'Twere pleasant could Correggio's fleeting glow
  Hang full in face of one where'er one roams,
  Since he more than the others brings with him
  Italy's self--the marvellous Modenese!"

Italy's self, in truth, Frederic Leighton, like Browning in poetry,
did not fail to bring with him, and revived for us for many years, by
his art and southern glow of colour, in the gray heart of London.


[Illustration: CIMABUE'S MADONNA CARRIED IN PROCESSION THROUGH THE STREETS
OF FLORENCE (1855)]


Among other people whom Leighton met in Rome were George Sand, Mrs.
Kemble, George Mason the painter, of _Harvest Moon_ fame, Gibson the
sculptor, and Lord Lyons. Like Robert Browning, let us add, he was
readily responsive to the quickening of his contemporaries, and
vigorously studied the present in order that he might the better paint
the past, and put live souls into the archaic raiment of Cimabue and old
Florence.

He was working hard all this while, with a devotion and concentration
that impressed other friends beside Thackeray, upon his picture of
_Cimabue's Madonna_, which was exhibited in the Academy of 1855, and as
the work of an unknown hand made a distinct sensation. It was discussed,
angrily by some, delightedly by others. The criticism which Rossetti,
Mr. Ruskin, and other critics bestowed upon it in the press or in
private correspondence[1] will come more fitly into our later pages,
when we turn to deal with contemporary opinions upon Leighton's work.
Enough to say here that it won fame for the artist at a stroke. The
Queen bought it for £600, having bespoken it, I believe, before it left
his studio, and hung it eventually in Buckingham Palace. With this
encouraging first great success, the probationary stage of our artist's
history may be said to close.



CHAPTER II

YEAR BY YEAR--1855 TO 1864


The Academy of forty years ago was very different from that we know
to-day. It was held in the left wing of the National Gallery, and had
not nearly so much space at its disposal as it has in its present
quarters at Burlington House. The exhibition of 1855 contained few
pictures, compared with the multitudinous items of the present shows.

Generally speaking, the exhibition was of a heavier, more Georgian
aspect, in spite of certain Pre-Raphaelite experiments and other signs
of the coming of a younger generation. Sir Charles Eastlake was
President. Professor Hart was delivering lectures to its students, full
of academic, respectable intelligence, if little more; lectures which
those who are curious may find reported in full in the "Athenæum" of
that time.

More interesting was the appearance of Mr. Ruskin as commentator on the
pictures of the Academy in this year, the first in which he issued his
characteristic "Academy Notes." His long, and, all things considered,
remarkably appreciative criticism of the _Cimabue's Madonna_ we discuss
elsewhere (p. 103). Of another picture of Italy by a very different
painter, which was considered a masterpiece by some critics, we find him
speaking in terms of monition: "Is it altogether too late to warn him
that he is fast becoming nothing more than an Academician?" The one
picture of the year, according to Mr. Ruskin, was the _Rescue_, by
Millais. "It is the only great picture exhibited this year," he writes,
"but this is very great." For the rest, _A Scene from As You Like It_,
by Maclise; another Shakespearean subject, the inevitable _Lear and
Cordelia_, by Herbert; and a _Beatrice_ by the then President, and we
have recalled everything that served to give the Academy of that year
its distinction in the eyes of contemporary critics. Sir Edwin Landseer,
who to the outer world was the one great fact in the art of the time,
does not appear to have exhibited in 1855.

Looking back now to that date, what one discerns chiefly is the
emergence of the Pre-Raphaelites from the more conventional multitude
that were taking up the artistic traditions of the first half of the
century. Millais, Rossetti, Holman Hunt, and their associates, count to
us, to-day, as the representatives of an earlier generation; in 1855
they still stood for all that was daring, unprecedented, and adventurous
in their art.

This newcomer, with his _Cimabue's Madonna_ in a new style, puzzled the
critics considerably. They did not know quite how to allot him in their
casual division of contemporary schools. "Landseer and Maclise we know;
and Millais and Holman Hunt; but who is Leighton?" was the tenor of
their commentary.

Meanwhile an event of great significance to English Art in this year was
happening--an exhibition of English pictures in Paris, the first of its
kind. This beginning of such international exchanges was important; it
has led up to many striking modifications of both English and French
schools since that date. It is curious that it should coincide with the
awakening to certain other foreign influences: that of the early Italian
school upon the Pre-Raphaelites, and that of the later Italian,
popularly known as "the classic school," upon Leighton and Mr. G. F.
Watts.

Of this exhibition of English pictures, which was held in the Avenue
Montaigne, M. Ernest Chesneau, a critic very sympathetic to English art,
tells us, in his admirable book on the "English School of Painting,"
that "for the French it was a revelation of a style and a school of the
very existence of which they had hitherto had no idea; and whether owing
to its novelty, or the surprise it occasioned, or, indeed, to its real
merit, whatever may have been the true cause, most certain it is that
the English, until then little thought of and almost unknown abroad,
obtained in France a great success."

M. Chesneau, in going on to account further for the great impression
made by the English painters in Paris, attributes it largely to the
_singularity_ which, for foreign eyes, marks their work. It is curious,
indeed, that French critics, and M. Chesneau among them, really admire
this singularity, which they count distinctively British. They look for
it in our pictures, and if they do not find it--as in the work of
Leighton--they feel aggrieved.

British eccentricity, whether thinking its way with the aid of genius
into "Pre-Raphaelitism," or now again, with the aid of extreme
cleverness and talent, into certain cruder forms of "impressionism," is
sure of its effect. But an art like Leighton's, whose aim is beauty and
not eccentricity, is apt to be slighted by both French and English
critics, with some notable exceptions. Not all its grace, its classic
quality, its beauty of line and distinction of treatment, avail it, when
it comes into conflict with doctrinaire theories on the one hand, and a
love for mere sensationalism on the other.


[Illustration: THE DEAD ROMEO
               A PENCIL STUDY]


The success of his picture at the Academy, and the incidental
lionizing of a season, did not tempt the artist to stay long in London,
and he went to Paris, where he settled himself in a studio and proceeded
to complete his _Triumph of Music_, and other pictures begun in Rome.

By this time the painter's method might seem assured, but Paris was
still able to add something to his style, with the aid of such masters
as Fleury. English critics, who expected _The Triumph of Music_ to
sustain the reputation won by _Cimabue's Madonna_, were
disappointed--partly because Orpheus was represented as playing a
violin, in place of the traditional lyre. To those who will examine and
compare them more carefully, there is no such discrepancy. _The Triumph
of Music: Orpheus by the power of his Art redeems his wife from Hades_,
which is every whit as distinctive a performance as the _Cimabue's
Madonna_ (as indeed it was conceived and painted largely under the same
conditions), was nevertheless not a popular success. Certainly, it
marks, as clearly as anything can, the sense of colour, the sense of
form, the draughtsmanship, the immensely cultured eye and hand, first
discovered to the English critics by its predecessor. It was sold after
the painter's death.

Of certain other works painted in 1856, 1857, and 1858, some of which
never found their way to the Academy, little need be said. To this
period belong two pictures painted in Paris, the one, _Pan_ under a
fig-tree, with a quotation from Keats's "Endymion":

                       "O thou, to whom
  Broad-leaved fig-trees even now foredoom
  Their ripened heritage,"

and the other, a pendant to it, _A Nymph and Cupid_.

_Salome, the Daughter of Herodias_, painted in 1857, but apparently not
exhibited at the Academy, represents a small full-length figure in white
drapery, with her arms above her head, which is crowned with flowers;
behind her stands a female musician. Another, shown in 1858 at the Royal
Academy, and again in the 1897 retrospective exhibition, was first
entitled _The Fisherman and Syren_, and afterwards _The Mermaid_; it is
a composition of two small full-length figures, a mermaid clasping a
fisherman round the neck. The subject is taken from a ballad by Goethe:

  "Half drew she him,
  Half sunk he in,
  And never more was seen."

In the same year was a painting inspired by "Romeo and Juliet," entitled
_Count Paris, accompanied by Friar Laurence, comes to the house of the
Capulets to claim his bride; he finds Juliet stretched, apparently
lifeless, on the bed_. The picture shows, in addition to the figures
named in its former title, the father and mother of Juliet bending over
their daughter's body, and through an opening beyond numerous figures at
the foot of the staircase.

The latter year marked the painter's return to London, where he entered
more actively into its artistic life than he had done hitherto, and made
closer acquaintance with the Pre-Raphaelites, who were already entering
upon their second and maturer stage. To take Rossetti: it was in 1856
that he made those five notable designs to illustrate "Poems by Alfred
Tennyson," which Moxon and Co. published in the following year; an event
that, for the first time, really introduced him to the public at large.
To 1857, again, belongs Rossetti's _Blue Closet_ and _Damsel of the
Sangrael_, both painted for Mr. W. Morris. And in 1857 and 1858, the
famous and hapless distemper pictures on the walls of the Union Debating
Society's room at Oxford, were engaging Rossetti and his associates,
including Burne-Jones, William Morris, Mr. Val. Prinsep, Mr. Arthur
Hughes, and Mr. Spencer Stanhope.


[Illustration: A PENCIL STUDY]


It was in the summer of 1858, Mr. F. G. Stephens tells us, that the
original Hogarth Club was founded, of which the two Rossettis were
prominent instigators,--one of the most notable of the many protestant
societies that have sprung up at different times from a slightly
anti-Academic bias. It is interesting to find that Leighton's famous
_Lemon Tree_ drawing in silverpoint was exhibited here. The Hogarth Club
held its meetings at 178, Piccadilly, in the first instance; removed
afterwards to 6, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, and finally dissolved, in
1861, after existing for four seasons.

To speak of other painters more or less associated with Rossetti and his
school, Mr. Holman Hunt, whose _Light of the World_ had greatly struck
Paris in 1855, exhibited his _Scapegoat_ at the Academy of 1856, a
picture which called from Mr. Ruskin immense praise, and a
characteristic protest: "I pray him to paint a few pictures with less
feeling in them, and more handling." Of Millais we have already spoken.
In 1856 he exhibited _The Child of the Regiment_, _Peace Concluded_, and
_Autumn Leaves_.

In 1859 Leighton showed three pictures at the Academy. One, _A Roman
Lady_ (then called _La Nanna_), a half-length black-haired figure,
facing the spectator, in Italian costume; another, now called _Nanna_,
then entitled _Pavonia_, a half-length figure of a girl in Italian
costume, with peacock's feathers in the background; and _Sunny Hours_,
which seems to have escaped record so far. The same year saw another of
his pictures, _Samson and Delilah_, exhibited at Suffolk Street.

We must not pass by the famous _Study of a Lemon Tree_ (now at Oxford),
mentioned above, without quoting the praise by Mr. Ruskin, which made it
famous. Mr. Ruskin couples it with another drawing, both of which we
have been fortunately able to reproduce in our pages. These "two perfect
early drawings," he writes, "are of _A Lemon Tree_, and another of the
same date, of _A Byzantine Well_, which determine for you without
appeal, the question respecting necessity of delineation as the first
skill of a painter. Of all our present masters Sir Frederic Leighton
delights most in softly-blended colours, and his ideal of beauty is more
nearly that of Correggio than any seen since Correggio's time. But you
see by what precision of terminal outline he at first restrained, and
exalted, his gift of beautiful _vaghezza_." The _Lemon Tree_ study, let
us add, was drawn at Capri in the spring of 1859. Here, and elsewhere in
the South of Europe, whither the artist returned, escaping from London
at every opportunity, many other notable studies and drawings were made
during this period. Some of these were employed long since for the
backgrounds of pictures familiar to us all. Others, faithful studies of
nature, small oil and water-colour drawings, chiefly landscape, were
scarce known to the general public during the painter's life, but were
eagerly competed for at the sale of his pictures in July, 1896.

The little picture of _Capri at Sunrise_ was hung in the Academy of
1860, the painter's only contribution of that year. In the year
following, we find another small picture of Capri, together with five
others, some of which played their part in winning for the artist his
wider recognition.


[Illustration: A LEMON TREE
               A PENCIL STUDY]


[Illustration: BYZANTINE WELL HEAD
               A PENCIL STUDY]


Meanwhile, the artist was drawing his London ties closer. In 1860 he
took up his abode at 2, Orme Square, where he continued to reside until
he built his famous house in Holland Park Road, some years later. His
art did not for this reason become more like London, or more infected
with that British singularity which some critics would seem to demand.
On the contrary, Italy and the South, the glow of colour, the perfection
of form, the plastic exquisiteness, which mark for us his mature
performances, and which follow after classic ideals, were more and more
clearly to be discerned in the remarkable cycle of pictures associated
with this part of his career.

In 1861 he painted portraits of his sister, _Mrs. Sutherland Orr_, and
of _Mr. John Hanson Walker_, the former shown at the Academy, where also
hung _Paolo e Francesca_, _A Dream_, _Lieder ohne Worte_, _J. A.--a
Study_, and _Capri--Paganos_. Rossetti, writing of this exhibition,
says: "Leighton might, as you say, have made a burst had not his
pictures been ill-placed mostly--indeed, one of them (the only very good
one, _Lieder ohne Worte_) is the only instance of very striking
unfairness in the place."[2] In 1862 there were no fewer than six of the
artist's pictures at the May exhibition of the Academy: the _Odalisque_,
a very popular work, shows a draped female figure, in a very
Leightonesque pose, with her arm above her head, leaning against a wall
by the water. She holds a peacock's feather screen in her left hand,
while a swan in the water at her feet cranes its head upwards towards
her; _Michael Angelo nursing his dying Servant_, a group of two
three-quarter length figures; the servant reclining in an armchair with
his head resting against the shoulder of Michael Angelo--a fairly
powerful but somewhat academic version of the incident--which looks at
first glance like the work of a not very important "old master;" _The
Star of Bethlehem_, showing one of the Magi on the terrace of his house
looking at the strange star in the East, while below are indications of
a revel he has just left. _Duett_, _Sisters_, _Sea Echoes_, and _Rustic
Music_, also belong to this year.

In 1863 he showed _Eucharis_, a half-length figure of a white-robed
girl, with a basket of fruit on her head; _Jezebel and Ahab_; _A
Cross-bow Man_; and _A Girl Feeding Peacocks_; with these we complete
the list of his work as an outsider.



[Illustration: GOLDEN HOURS (1864)]


CHAPTER III

YEAR BY YEAR--1864 TO 1869


In 1864 Leighton was made an Associate of the Royal Academy. To its
summer exhibition he contributed three pictures, showing great and
various power in their composition. _Dante at Verona_, _Orpheus and
Eurydice_, and _Golden Hours_. The first of these, one of the most
remarkable pictures of our modern English school, in which "Dante"
appears, is a large work, with figures something less than life-size. It
illustrates the verses in the "Paradiso":

                       "Thou shalt prove
  How salt the savour is of others' bread;
  How hard the passage, to descend and climb
  By others' stairs. But that shall gall thee most
  Will be the worthless and vile company
  With whom thou must be thrown into the straits,
  For all ungrateful, impious all and mad
  Shall turn against thee."


"Dante, in fulfilment of this prophecy, is seen descending the palace
stairs of the Can Grande, at Verona, during his exile. He is dressed in
sober grey and drab clothes, and contrasts strongly in his ascetic and
suffering aspect with the gay revellers about him. The people are
preparing for a festival, and splendidly and fantastically robed, some
bringing wreaths of flowers. Bowing with mock reverence, a jester gibes
at Dante. An indolent sentinel is seated at the porch, and looks on
unconcernedly, his spear lying across his breast. A young man, probably
acquainted with the writing of Dante, sympathises with him. In the
centre and just before the feet of Dante, is a beautiful child,
brilliantly dressed and crowned with flowers, and dragging along the
floor a garland of bay leaves and flowers, while looking earnestly and
innocently in the poet's face. Next come a pair of lovers, the lady
looking at Dante with attention, the man heedless. The last wears a vest
embroidered with eyes like those in a peacock's tail. A priest and a
noble descend the stairs behind, jeering at Dante."[3]

It was the _Golden Hours_ which, though perhaps less memorable and
imaginative than the others, won the greatest popular success of the
three, a success beyond anything that the artist had so far painted. As
this picture is here reproduced, description is needless, except so far
as regards the colour of the background, which is literally golden. The
dress of the lady who leans upon the spinet is white, embroidered with
flowers. The _Orpheus and Eurydice_ showed that the old friendship,
formed originally in Rome, between the painter and Robert Browning, was
maintained. Some of the poet's lines served as a text for the picture;
and as they are little known we repeat them here:

  "But give them me--the mouth, the eyes, the brow--
  Let them once more absorb me! One look now
  Will lap me round for ever, not to pass
  Out of its light, though darkness lie beyond.
  Hold me but safe again within the bond
  Of one immortal look! All woe that was,
  Forgotten, and all terror that may be,
  Defied,--no past is mine, no future! look at me!"


[Illustration: HELEN OF TROY (1865)
               _By permission of Messrs. Henry Graves and Co._]


[Illustration: ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE (1864)]


To this year, also, belongs a portrait of _The late Miss Lavinia
I'Anson_, a circular panel showing the sky for background. This was
exhibited again in the winter Academy of 1897.

In 1865 the artist showed once again his eclectic sympathies, by the
variety of the subject-pictures that he sent to the Academy, ranging
from _David_ to _Helen of Troy_.

In his tenderly conceived _David_, the Psalmist is seen gazing at two
doves in the sky above; he, sunk in a profound reverie, is seated upon a
house-top overlooking some neighbouring hills. The whole is large in its
handling and treatment, and in the simplicity of its drapery recalls
several of the famous illustrations the artist contributed to Dalziel's
Bible Gallery. It was exhibited with the quotation, "Oh, that I had
wings like a dove! for then would I fly away and be at rest." With the
delightful _Helen of Troy_ we are recalled to the third book of the
Iliad, when Iris bids Helen go and see the general truce made pending
the duel between Paris and Menelaus, of which she is to be the prize. So
Helen, having summoned her maids and "shadowed her graces with white
veils," rose and passed along the ramparts of Troy. In the picture the
light falls on her shoulders and her hair, while her face and the whole
of the front of her form are shadowed over, with somewhat mystical
effect.

To the same year belongs _In St. Mark's_, a picture of a lady with a
child in her arms leaving the church, a lovely and finished study of
colour; _The Widow's Prayer_; and _Mother and Child_, a graceful
reminder of a gentler world than Helen's.

In 1866 the critics had at last a work which seemed to them to follow
the lines of the _Cimabue's Madonna_. This was the radiant and lovely
picture of the _Syracusan Bride leading Wild Beasts in Procession to
the Temple of Diana_. The composition of this remarkable painting
deserves to be closely studied, for it is very characteristic of Sir
Frederic Leighton's theories of art, and his conviction of the
necessarily decorative effect of such works. A terrace of white marble,
whose line is reflected and repeated by the line of white clouds in the
sky painting above, affords the figures of the procession a delightful
setting. The Syracusan bride leads a lioness, and these are followed by
a train of maidens and wild beasts, the last reduced to a pictorial
seemliness and decorative calm, very fortunate under the circumstances.
The procession is seen approaching the door of the temple, and a statue
of Diana serves as a last note in the ideal harmonies of form and colour
to which the whole is attuned. As compared with the _Cimabue's Madonna_,
it is a more finished piece of work, and the handling throughout is more
assured. It was as much an advance, technically, upon that, as the
_Daphnephoria_, which crowned the artist's third decade, was upon this.
According to popular report, it was this picture of the _Syracusan
Bride_ which decided his future election as a full member of the
Academy; but as a matter of fact, it was in 1869 that this election took
place. The picture, let us add, was suggested to the painter by a
passage in the second Idyll of Theocritus: "And for her then many other
wild beasts were going in procession round about, and among them a
lioness." _The Painter's Honeymoon_ and a _Portrait of Mrs. James
Guthrie_ were also exhibited this year; and the wall-painting of _The
Wise and Foolish Virgins_, at Lyndhurst, in the New Forest, was executed
during the summer.


[Illustration: VENUS DISROBING FOR THE BATH (1867)]


[Illustration: ELECTRA AT THE TOMB OF AGAMEMNON (1869)]


In its next exhibition, that of 1867, the Academy held five pictures by
the artist, including the delightful _Pastoral_, two small
full-length figures standing in a landscape of a shepherd and a
girl--whom he is teaching to play the pipes. This again might be
considered a painter's translation from Theocritus, and the _Venus
Disrobing for the Bath_, one of the most debated of all the artist's
paintings of the nude. The paleness of the flesh-tint of this Venus
aroused a criticism which has often been urged against his
pictures--that such a hue was not in nature. In imparting an ideal
effect to an ideal subject, Leighton always, however, followed his own
conviction--that art has a law of its own, and a harmony of colour and
form, derived and selected no doubt from natural loveliness, but not to
be referred too closely to the natural, or to the average, in these
things.

To the 1868 Academy Leighton contributed another biblical theme,
_Jonathan's Token to David_. With this were four others, as widely
varying in subject and conception as need be desired. One was a very
charming portrait of a very pretty woman, _Mrs. Frederick P. Cockerell_.
Then follow three more in that cycle of classic subjects, of which the
painter never tired. The full title of the first runs, _Ariadne abandoned
by Theseus: Ariadne watches for his return: Artemis releases her by death_.
In it the figure of Ariadne, clothed in white drapery, is seen lying on a
rocky promontory overlooking the sea. _Acme and Septimius_ is a circular
picture, with two small full-length figures reclining on a marble bench.
This extract from Sir Theodore Martin's translation of Catullus was
appended to its title in the catalogue:

  "Then bending gently back her head,
  With that sweet mouth so rosy red,
  Upon his eyes she dropped a kiss,
  Intoxicating him with bliss."

A love song on canvas, a pictorial transcript from Catullus, it was
perhaps the most popular picture of the year. The last of the three was
_Actæa, the Nymph of the Shore_. It represents a small full-length nude
figure lying on white drapery by the sea-shore. Actæa is a lovely
figure, full of that grace which Leighton so well knew how to impart to
his idealized figures.

After this year, at any rate, there could be no longer any doubt but
that the artist's power really lay in the creation of ideal forms;
whether presented in monomime or combined in poetic and decorative
groups, called up from the wonderful limbo of classic myth and history.

With 1869 came _Electra at the Tomb of Agamemnon_, a memorable picture,
full of characteristic effects of colour and composition, and a notable
exercise in the grand style. This work, considered from any side, must
be seen to be the outcome of a unique faculty, so unprecedented in
English art as to run every risk of misconception that native
predilections could impose upon those who stopped to criticise it. The
figure of Electra clad in black drapery offered a problem of peculiar
difficulty.

Another painting shown this year was _Dædalus and Icarus_, a strikingly
conceived picture. The two figures are singularly noble conceptions of
the idealized nude; the drapery at the back of Icarus is typical of the
painter in every fold, while the landscape seen far below the stone
platform on which the figures stand, shows a bay of the blue Ægean sea
in full sidelight, with a lovely glimpse of the white walls of a distant
town.

The same exhibition of 1869 saw, also, the vigorously painted diploma
picture, _St. Jerome_, which marked his election as R.A. In it the
saint, nude to the waist, kneels with uplifted arms at the foot of a
crucifix, his lion seen in the background. _Helios and Rhodos_,
another painting exhibited at the same time, shows Helios descending
from his chariot, which is in a cloud above, to embrace the nymph
Rhodos, who has risen from the sea.


[Illustration: DÆDALUS AND ICARUS (1869)]


[Illustration: ST. JEROME (1869)]



CHAPTER IV

YEAR BY YEAR--1870 TO 1878


Sundry journeys into the East during this period of Leighton's career,
gave him new subject-matter, new tints to his palette, and added
something of an oriental fantasy to the classic sentiment of his art.
The sketches of Damascus and other time-honoured eastern cities,
mosques, gardens, and courtyards, which figured largely among Sir
Frederic's studies, were made for the most part in the autumn of 1873.

Previously, as early as 1867, the East had cast its spell upon him. In
1868, he went into Egypt, and made a voyage up the Nile with M. de
Lesseps, then at the flood of good-fortune. The Khedive himself provided
the steamer for this adventure. "It was during this voyage," we are
told, "that Sir Frederic came across a small child with the strangest
and most limited idea of full dress that probably ever occurred to
mortal--a tiny coin strung on to one of her strong coarse hairs." Of the
studies made during the journey, one is a woman's head, draped so as to
have a singularly archaic and Sphinx-like effect. Another is the fine
profile of a young peasant; and yet another, the head of an old man,
simple-minded and philosophical.


[Illustration: GARDEN AT GENERALIFE, GRANADA]


[Illustration: MIMBAR OF THE GREAT MOSQUE AT DAMASCUS
               (Since destroyed by fire)]


In 1869 the _Helios and Rhodos_, already mentioned, served as the first
sign to the public of the new R.A.'s interest in things oriental. To the
1870 exhibition, his only contribution was the picture, _A Nile Woman_,
which is now owned by the Princess of Wales. It is a small
full-length figure of a girl, balancing an empty pitcher upon her head,
at the time of moonrise. Anticipating the Eastern subjects which future
years produced, we may note a picture of _Old Damascus_, showing the
Jews' quarter in that fabled city, in all its motley picturesqueness,
and the delightful _Moorish Garden,--A Dream of Granada_, which were
exhibited in 1874. A powerful picture, shown in 1875, of the _Egyptian
Slinger_,[4] is illustrated later in this volume, but no reproduction
can quite suggest the striking colouring of the original, and the
masterly treatment of its light and shade, in the presentment of this
lonely figure posed high on its platform against the clear evening sky.
The delightful _Little Fatima_, and the _Grand Mosque, Damascus_,
enlarged from the sketch previously alluded to, were also exhibited in
1875.

But perhaps the most picturesque memorial of the East due to the
artist's wanderings of these years, is an architectural, and not a
pictorial one. The fame of the Arab Hall in Lord Leighton's house has
reached even further than that of _Little Fatima_, or his painting of
the _Grand Mosque at Damascus_. Built originally to provide a setting
for some exquisite blue tiles, brought by the owner from Damascus
itself, it remains the most perfect representation of an oriental
interior to be found in London; but this again belongs to a later
period, and we must return to the date whence this chronicle was
interrupted. Before doing so, however, it may be noted that in 1870
began the famous Winter Exhibitions of Old Masters and Deceased British
Artists, of which Leighton was one of the most active supporters.

In the May exhibition of the Royal Academy, 1871, was hung a notable
canvas, _Greek Girls picking up Pebbles by the Sea_, described at the
time as "a delightful composition, comprising figures of almost
exhaustless grace, and wealth of beauty in design and colour."

Another painting, also shown there, _Cleoboulos instructing his daughter
Cleobouline_, is a charming example of its kind. The philosopher, with a
scroll on his lap, sits on a cushioned bench with his young daughter by
his side, his earnest action in delightful contrast with her girlish
grace.

But his great work in 1871 was _Hercules wrestling with Death for the
body of Alcestis_. The scene of this profound tragedy is on the
sea-shore, where the body of Alcestis, robed in white, lies under the
branches of trees in the centre of the picture. On the left is a group
of mourners, a seated girl and a woman prostrate in grief. On the right
are the two struggling figures; Hercules' superb form and tossing
lion-skin contrasting finely, both in action and colouring, with the
tall and coldly grey-robed spectre of Death, who presses forward to the
bed where Alcestis lies, whence he is thrust back by the mighty
Hercules. The exquisite figure of Alcestis with her statuesquely draped
robes and their pure and delicate colouring, forms a wonderful contrast
to the two strenuous figures on the right, while the figures of the
mourners on the left are delightfully posed and full of grace.

In July of this year, it is interesting to remember, appeared Browning's
"Balaustion's Adventure," which contained the following tribute to the
above picture and its painter:

  "I know, too, a great Kaunian painter, strong
  As Herakles, though rosy with a robe
  Of grace that softens down the sinewy strength:
  And he has made a picture of it all.
  There lies Alkestis dead, beneath the sun,
  She longed to look her last upon, beside
  The sea, which somehow tempts the life in us
  To come trip over its white waste of waves,
  And try escape from earth, and fleet as free.
  Behind the body I suppose there bends
  Old Pheres in his hoary impotence;
  And women-wailers, in a corner crouch
  --Four, beautiful as you four,--yes, indeed!
  Close, each to other, agonizing all,
  As fastened, in fear's rhythmic sympathy,
  To two contending opposite. There strains
  The might o' the hero 'gainst his more than match,
  --Death, dreadful not in thew and bone, but like
  The envenomed substance that exudes some dew,
  Whereby the merely honest flesh and blood
  Will fester up and run to ruin straight,
  Ere they can close with, clasp and overcome,
  The poisonous impalpability
  That simulates a form beneath the flow
  Of those grey garments; I pronounce that piece
  Worthy to set up in our Poikilé!"


[Illustration: HERCULES WRESTLING WITH DEATH FOR THE BODY OF ALCESTIS
(1871)]


[Illustration: SUMMER MOON (1872)
               _By permission of Messrs. P. and D. Colnaghi and Co._]


To 1872 belongs the _Summer Moon_, one of the loveliest things ever
shown at the Academy, a picture full of that rarer feeling for light and
colour, which the artist achieved again and again in his treatment of
sunset, twilight, and night effects. _After Vespers_, exhibited the same
year, is a three-quarter length figure of a girl in a green robe
standing in front of a bench, holding in her right hand a string of
beads. This year's Academy held also _A Condottiere_, the noble figure
of a man in armour, now in the Birmingham Municipal Gallery, and a
portrait of the _Right Hon. Edward Ryan_. Hardly less memorable was
_Moretta_, exhibited in the Academy of 1873, in the words of a critic of
the day, "one of the most subtle and fortunate productions of the
painter." _Moretta_ is robed in green, with masses of loosely arranged
hair, and a tender and delicate face. _Weaving the Wreath_, shown the
same year (and again in the Guildhall, 1895), is a very charming figure
of quite a young girl seated on a carpet upon a raised step at the foot
of a building. Behind her is a bas-relief, against which her head,
crowned by a chaplet of flowers, tells out with sculpturesque effect;
the sharp, vertical line of thread strained between her hands, and
thence in diagonal line to the ball at her feet, is curiously rigid, and
by contrast makes the draperies across which it is silhouetted appear
still more mobile.

We are passing over, deliberately, the artist's decorative masterpieces
of this period,--the South Kensington frescoes to wit; of which the
_Arts of War_ belongs to the year 1872, and its companion, _Arts of
Peace_, to 1873. These works will be found treated at length in a later
chapter on the artist's decorative work (pp. 63, 64).

In the Academy of 1874 appeared four pictures, the most important being
the heroic painting,--_Clytemnestra from the Battlements of Argos
watches for the Beacon-fires which are to announce the Return of
Agamemnon_. In this picture, the figure of Clytemnestra is seen standing
erect, with hands folded, supporting the drapery that clothes a majestic
form. For further description, we may be content to quote that given at
the time in the appreciative art columns of the "Athenæum:"

"There is the grandeur of Greek tragedy in Mr. Leighton's _Clytemnestra_
watching for the signal of her husband's return from Troy. The time is
deep in the fateful night, while the city sleeps; moonlight floods the
walls, the roofs, the gates, and the towers with a ghastly glare, which
seems presageful, and casts shadows as dark as they are mysterious and
terrible. The dense blue of the sky is dim, sad, and ominous. But the
most ominous and impressive element of the picture is a grim figure,
the tall woman on the palace roof before us, who looks Titanic in her
stateliness, and huge beyond humanity in the voluminous white drapery
that wraps her limbs and bosom. Her hands are clenched and her arms
thrust down straight and rigidly, each finger locked as in a struggle to
strangle its fellow; the muscles swell on the bulky limbs. Drawn erect
and with set features, which are so pale that the moonlight could not
make them paler, the queen stares fixedly and yet eagerly into the
distance, as if she had the will to look over the very edge of the world
for the light to come."


[Illustration: THE JUGGLING GIRL (1874)]


[Illustration: A CONDOTTIERE (1872)
               _By permission of the Corporation of Birmingham_]


Another picture this year was the _Moorish Garden--a dream of Granada_,
a delightful little canvas, almost square. In the foreground is a young
girl carrying copper vessels, and followed by two peacocks; the
background is obviously taken from the study of a garden at Generalife
(reproduced at p. 28); the _Antique Juggling Girl_ and _Old Damascus:
the Jews' Quarter_, were also in the Academy of 1874.

To 1875 belongs the _Egyptian Slinger_, a picture which, as we shall see
later, provoked severe censure from Mr. Ruskin. As exhibited it differed
much from its present state. Not only was the sky of deeper violet, but
almost in silhouette against the moon, on another raised platform, stood
a draped female figure, afterwards painted out entirely. Other works
shown this year were _Little Fatima_, a small half-length figure of a
little girl in Eastern costume, seen against a dark background; and a
_Portion of the Interior of the Grand Mosque at Damascus_ (reproduced at
p. 28). As the building it depicts has since been burnt down, the fine
transcript has an added interest. We are come now to a year which, even
beyond other years of activity, displayed the artist's characteristic
energy: 1876. In the Academy of that year, with the _Daphnephoria_,
Leighton once more chose a great classic theme, for a painting which, by
its composition, reminded the critics and lovers of art of the artist's
early triumph with the _Cimabue's Madonna_, and of his other great
processional picture, the _Syracusan Bride_.

Of all his works in this class, there is no doubt that the
_Daphnephoria_ is the most technically complete. The procession is seen
defiling along a terrace backed by trees through which the clear
southern sky gleams. A youth carrying the symbolic olive bough, called
the Kopo, adorned with its curious emblems, leads the procession. He is
clad in purple robes and crowned with leaves. The youthful priest, known
as the Daphnephoros (the laurel-bearer) follows, clothed in white
raiment. He is similarly crowned, and carries a slim laurel stem. Then
come three boys, in scanty red and green draperies, which serve only to
emphasize the beauty of their almost naked forms, the middle and tallest
one bearing aloft a draped trophy of golden armour. These are seen to be
pausing while the leader of the chorus, a tall, finely modelled man,
whose back is turned, is giving directions to the chorus with uplifted
right hand; in his left hand is a lyre, and the left arm from the elbow
is characteristically draped. The first row of the chorus is composed of
five children, clothed in purple, crowned with flowers; two rows of
maidens, in blue and white, come next; and these in turn are succeeded
by some boys with cymbals. The interest of the passing procession is
very much enhanced by the effect produced on two lovely bystanders,--a
girl and child in blue, beautifully designed, who are drawing water in
the left foreground. In the valley below is seen the town of Thebes.


[Illustration: THE DAPHNEPHORIA (1876)
               _By permission of The Fine Art Society._]


[Illustration: STUDY FOR "THE DAPHNEPHORIA"]


With the painter's reading of the _Daphnephoria_ it may be
interesting to compare another account of this splendid religious
function. At this festival in honour of Apollo, celebrated every ninth
year by the Boeotians, it was usual, says pleasant Lempriere, "to
adorn an olive bough with garlands of laurel and other flowers, and
place on the top a brazen globe, from which were suspended smaller ones.
In the middle was placed a number of crowns, and a globe of inferior
size, and the bottom was adorned with a saffron-coloured garment. The
globe on the top represented the Sun, or Apollo; that in the middle was
an emblem of the moon, and the others of the stars. The crowns, which
were 365 in number, represented the sun's annual revolution. This bough
was carried in solemn procession by a beautiful youth of an illustrious
family, whose parents were both living. He was dressed in rich garments
which reached to the ground, his hair hung loose and dishevelled, his
head was covered with a golden crown, and he wore on his feet shoes
called _Iphricatidæ_, from Iphricates, an Athenian who first invented
them. He was called Daphnêphoros, 'laurel-bearer,' and at that
time he executed the office of priest of Apollo. He was preceded by one
of his nearest relations, bearing a rod adorned with garlands, and
behind him followed a train of virgins with branches in their hands. In
this order the procession advanced as far as the temple of Apollo,
surnamed Ismenius, where supplicatory hymns were sung to the god."[5]

In the 1876 Academy hung also the striking portrait, _Captain Richard
Burton, H.M.'s Consul at Trieste_; and two very characteristic single
figures, _Teresina_ and _Paolo_. The portrait of Captain Burton has been
fairly described as masterly. "There is no attempt," said one critic,
"at posing or picturesqueness in the portrait. It is the head of a man
who is lean and rugged and brown, but the face is full of character, and
every line tells. It is painted in the same strong and bold, and yet
careful, way that distinguishes the head of Signor Costa, painted three
years later."

The next year saw Leighton's first appearance as a sculptor. It was at
the Academy of 1877 that he exhibited the well-known, vigorously
designed and wrought _Athlete Struggling with a Python_.[6] This
adventure of the R.A. into a new field proved so successful, that the
_Athlete_ took rank as the most striking piece of sculpture of that
year. "In this work," said a friendly critic, "Mr. Leighton has
attempted to succeed in a truly antique way. We are bound to admit that
he has done wisely, bravely, and successfully." The statue was bought,
we may add, for £2,000, as the first purchase made by the trustees of
the Chantrey Fund, and is now in the Tate Gallery at Millbank. It was
afterwards repeated in marble, by the artist's own hand, for the Danish
Museum at Copenhagen.

Still more popular was his _Music Lesson_, another work in the same
exhibition. To realize the full charm of this picture, one must see the
original; for much depends upon the beauty of its colouring. Imagine a
classical marble hall, marble floor, marble walls, in black and white,
and red--deep red--marble pillars; and sitting there, sumptuously
attired, but bare-footed, two fair-haired girls, who serve for pupil and
music-mistress. The elder is showing the younger how to finger a lyre,
of exquisite design and finish; and the expression on their faces is
charmingly true, while the colours that they contribute to the
composition,--the pale blue of the child's dress, the pale flesh tints,
the pale yellow hair, and the white and gold of the elder girl's loose
robe, and the rich auburn of her hair,--are most harmonious. A bit of
scarlet pomegranate blossom, lying on the marble ground, gives the last
high note of colour to the picture. Two other pictures of 1877 must not
be omitted. _Study_ shows us a little girl (the present Lady Orkney), in
Eastern garb, diligently reading a sheet of music which lies before her
on a little desk. There is great charm in the simple grace of the
picture and in the softly brilliant colouring of the child's costume.
Very delightful, too, is the portrait of _Miss Mabel Mills_ (now the
Hon. Mrs. Grenfell), habited in black velvet, and a large dark hat with
coloured feathers, set against a grey background, a picture here
reproduced. _A Study_, _An Italian Girl_, and a _Portrait of H. E.
Gordon_, were all three shown at the Grosvenor Gallery the same year.


[Illustration: PORTRAIT OF THE HON. MABEL MILLS (1877)]


[Illustration: PORTRAIT OF CAPTAIN RICHARD BURTON (1876)]


Another picture, in which a simple theme is treated in a classic
fashion--not dissimilar to that employed for the _Music Lesson_--is
_Winding the Skein_, a lovely painting exhibited at the Academy in 1878.
In this we see two Greek maidens as naturally employed as we often see
English girls in other surroundings. This idealization of a familiar
occupation--so that it is lifted out of a local and casual sphere, into
the permanent sphere of classic art, is characteristic of the whole of
Leighton's work. He, like Sir L. Alma-Tadema and Albert Moore, contrived
also to preserve a certain modern contemporary feeling in the classic
presentment of his themes. He was never archaic; so that the classic
scenarium of his subjects, in his hands, appears as little antiquarian
as a mediæval environment, shall we say, in the hands of Browning.
_Nausicaa_, a full-length girlish figure, in green and white draperies,
standing in a doorway, and _Serafina_, another single figure, and _A
Study_, were also shown the same year. At the Grosvenor Gallery were a
_Portrait of Miss Ruth Stewart Hodgson_, a demure little damsel in
outdoor attire, and a _Study of a Girl's Head_, full face.


[Illustration: NAUSICAA (1878)]



[Illustration: STUDY FOR "ELIJAH AND THE ANGEL"]


CHAPTER V

YEAR BY YEAR--1878 TO 1896


On November 13th, 1878, Frederic Leighton was elected President of the
Royal Academy, in succession to Sir Francis Grant, and immediately
received the honour of knighthood.

In 1879 Leighton sent eight contributions to the Academy, not one of
which, with the possible exception of the _Elijah_, perhaps, has been
counted among his masterpieces. Four of them belong to that group of
ideal figure paintings which almost constitute a _genre_ in themselves:
_Biondina_, _Catarina_, _Amarilla_, and _Neruccia_, a girl with a red
flower in her hair, in white dress, against a dark background. The
finely austere _Elijah in the Wilderness_ was an addition to the notable
group of Scriptural paintings. In this picture the nude figure of the
prophet is seen reclining on a rock, with head and arms thrown back,
while beside him stands an angel holding bread and water. The striking
and powerful _Portrait of Professor Costa_, the _Portrait of the
Countess Brownlow_, and a portrait study, completed the list of the
year's contributions, the largest number ever sent in by Leighton,
before his election or afterward. This year ten of his landscape-studies
in oil were exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery.

It may be thought by the outsider that the coveted office of the
President of the Royal Academy of Arts is, in a way, an ornamental
one,--some such golden sinecure as that of the old High Chamberlains.
Nothing could be more mistaken. "Not everybody," wrote the late Mr.
Underhill, who for some time, as private secretary to Sir Frederic
Leighton, had special opportunities of knowing, "is aware of the tax
upon a man's time and energy that is involved in the acceptance of the
office in question. The post is a peculiar one, and requires a
combination of talents not frequently to be found, inasmuch as it
demands an established standing as a painter, together with great
urbanity and considerable social position. The inroads which the
occupancy of the office makes upon an artist's time are very
considerable. There is, on the average, at least one Council meeting for
every three weeks throughout the whole of the year. There are from time
to time general assemblies for the election of new members and for other
purposes, over which the President is bound, of course, to preside. For
ten days or a fortnight in every April he has to be in attendance with
the Council daily at Burlington House, for the purpose of selecting the
pictures which are to be hung in the Spring Exhibition. He has to
preside over the banquet which yearly precedes the opening of the
Academy, and he has to act as host at the annual conversazione. Finally,
it is his duty every other year to deliver a long, elaborate, and
carefully prepared 'Discourse' upon matters connected with art, to the
students who are for that purpose assembled. It is a post of much honour
and small profit."


[Illustration: SISTER'S KISS (1880)
               _By permission of the Fine Art Society_]


[Illustration: PORTRAIT OF SIGNOR COSTA (1879)]


In filling this post, and neglecting no one of its smallest offices and
endless small courtesies, an artist had needs be without the
characteristic artist's defects of hesitation and delay; and in fact,
Lord Leighton mastered, as much as any statesman of our time, the
indispensable secret of despatch. We quote from Mr. Underhill again:
"To administer the affairs of the Academy, to fulfil a round of social
semi-public and public engagements, and to paint pictures which
invariably reach a high level of excellence, would of course be
impossible--even to Sir Frederic Leighton--were it not for the fact that
he makes the very most of the time at his disposal. 'That's the secret,'
remarked a distinguished member of the Academy to the present writer
some little time before the President's death; 'Sir Frederic knows
exactly how long it will take to do a certain thing, and he apportions
his time accordingly.' This being the case, no one will be surprised to
learn that he attached the greatest importance to punctuality. He
himself never failed to keep an appointment at the exact moment fixed
upon, and he expected, of course, similar punctuality on the part of
others. The stroke of eight from the Academy clock was the signal for
Sir Frederic to enter the Council Room at Burlington House, and to open
the deliberations of the body over which he presided. 'They will never
again get a man to devote so much time and energy to the business of the
Academy,' said Sir Frederic Leighton's most distinguished colleague
shortly before his death; 'never again.'" And since that time the same
tribute has been paid ungrudgingly in public and private often enough.

In 1880, we are tempted by five canvases; of which the _Sister's Kiss_
and _Psamathe_, are perhaps the most important. The former turns a
garden wall to delightful account, in its picture of a child, who is
seated upon it, and of her charmingly drawn elder sister, who gives the
kiss. The composition of this picture may be seen in our reproduction,
but the colour of the bronze green robe--of singular beauty--is of
course not even suggested. More classic, perhaps, and not less
picturesque, is the Greek maiden, Psamathe, who was, if we remember
aright, one of the Nereides. The artist has painted her sitting by the
seashore, gazing over the Ægean, with her back turned to the spectator.
Filmy garments, which have slipped from her shoulders on to the sand;
arms folded about her knees; every detail of the picture carries out the
effect of dreamy loveliness that pervades Psamathe and her surroundings.
_Iostephane_ is a three-quarter length figure, less than life size, of a
girl in light yellow drapery, with violets in her fair hair, who stands
facing the spectator and arranging her draperies over her right arm;
there are marble columns and a fountain in the background. _The Light of
the Harem_ is a version of one of the groups in the fresco of _The
Industrial Arts of Peace_ at South Kensington. The picture now known as
the _Nymph of the Dargle_ was also exhibited this year under the title
of _Crenaia_. It represents a small full-length figure facing the
spectator; the river Dargle flows through Powerscourt, and forms the
waterfall here represented in the background, hence its name.
_Rubinella_, a girl with red gold hair was shown at the Summer
Exhibition and a large number of sketches and studies at the Winter
Exhibition of the Grosvenor Gallery this year.

In 1881, the portrait of the Painter, painted by invitation in 1880 for
the collection of autograph portraits of artists in the Uffizi Gallery,
Florence, deserves particular mention. Not even Mr. Watts' best portrait
of Leighton is quite so like as this, which shows the striking head of
the artist to great effect, assisted by the decorative President's robe
and insignia. The _Idyll_, shown the same year, has been compared by
some critics with the _Cymon and Iphigenia_, the scene and circumstance
of both being to a certain degree similar, while there are similar
effects in both of colour and of composition. In the _Idyll_, we have a
lovely female figure, lying at full length, attended by a second nymph,
and by a piping man, all grouped beneath an arm of a beech tree, that
extends overhead and shadows the upland ridge on which they have come to
rest, while they gaze on a river winding among sunlit meads. The water
reflects the blue and white of sky and clouds; the land is dashed by
shadows. The nymphs' robes are red, blue, and pale yellow.


[Illustration: PHRYNE AT ELEUSIS (1882)]


[Illustration: DAY DREAMS (1882)
               _By permission of the Fine Art Society_]


We ought not to overlook another idyllic picture in the same exhibition,
_Whispers_, an illustration of Horace's well-known line, "Lenesque sub
noctem susurri." In this charming work, amid masses of crimson flowers
and green leaves, two lovers are seen seated upon a marble bench, while
he whispers tenderly in her ear, and she listens with dreamy eyes and
maidenly mien. The noble picture of _Elisha and the Shunamite's Son_
(reproduced at p. 114) was also shown this year, as well as _Bianca_, a
fair-haired girl in a white dress, standing with folded arms, _Viola_,
and two portraits, _Mrs. Augustus Ralli_, exhibited at the Royal
Academy, and _Mrs. Algernon Sartoris_, at the Grosvenor Gallery.

In the 1882 Academy appeared two of the most popular of Sir Frederic's
pictures, _Wedded_ and _Day Dreams_. In the latter, a fair Sybarite is
pressing her cheek against her hands, as she stands near a tapestry,
with eyes gazing far away, the images of love-dreams in them; her purple
mantle, embroidered with silver, produces a charming effect of colour.
Still more famous is _Wedded_,--"one of the happiest of Sir Frederic's
designs," said a critic at the time, "and as a composition of lines,
difficult, subtle, and original, may be called one of the most
remarkable productions of this decade." Other pictures shown this year
were _Antigone_ and the much-debated _Phryne at Eleusis_--a notable
study of the famous hetaira, who is seen standing, and holding out with
one hand the mass of her deep auburn hair. Her skin is of a ruddy golden
hue, as if seen under a glow of sunlight. Red tissue, which falls from
her shoulders and extended arms, and an olive-coloured mantle that has
fallen at the foot of the marble columns behind her, backed by a sky,
very characteristic of the painter, in which snowlike masses of cloud
float in a southern azure, produce a total effect of a certain
super-womanly order of beauty. A _Design for a portion of a Proposed
Decoration in St. Paul's_, a picture entitled _Melittion_, and a
_Portrait of Mrs. Mocatta_, were also hung at the Academy in 1882;
_Zeyra_, a little Eastern child in plum coloured headdress, a rich bit
of colour elaborately painted, was shown at the Grosvenor Gallery.

In 1883, _Memories_, though not one of the most typical of Leighton's
pictures, decidedly pleased the general public. It shows the half-length
figure of a blonde, in a black and gold dress. More interesting
artistically was a decorative frieze, _The Dance_, for a drawing-room,
the design for which we reproduce, and which may, in so far, answer for
itself. Other pictures of 1883 are _Kittens_, a full-length figure of a
fair-haired child in purple and embroidered drapery, seated on a bench
covered with a leopard skin, holding a rose in hand and looking down at
a kitten sitting beside her; and the _Vestal_, a bust of a girl with her
head and shoulders swathed with white gold-embroidered draperies. To
this year also belongs a _Portrait of Miss Nina Joachim_, a child in a
blue frock with crimson sash.


[Illustration: _Cymon and Iphigenia._
               _By permission of the Fine Art Society._
               _F. Leighton. pinxt._
               _Swan Electric Engraving Co. Sc._]


[Illustration: STUDIES FOR TWO FRIEZES "MUSIC" AND "THE DANCE"]


The next year, 1884, brought _Letty_, that most delightful of English
maidens, _A Nap_, _Sun Gleams_, and the imaginative and admirably
romantic _Cymon and Iphigenia_. _Letty_ was one of Leighton's pictures
which particularly excited Mr. Ruskin's admiration. It shows a simply
pretty child, with soft brown hair under a black hat, a saffron kerchief
about her neck. The _Letty_ and the _Cymon and Iphigenia_, with a few
other notable pictures, did much to leave a pleasant recollection of the
exceptional Academy of 1884. "A more original effect of light and
colour, used in the broad, true, and ideal treatment of lovely forms,"
said a French critic, "we do not remember to have seen at the Academy,
than that produced by the _Cymon and Iphigenia_." Engravings and other
reproductions of the picture have made its design, at any rate, almost
as familiar now as Boccaccio's tale itself. There are some divergences,
however, in the two versions. Boccaccio's tale is a tale of spring; Sir
Frederic, the better to carry out his conception of the drowsy desuetude
of sleep, and of that sense of pleasant but absolute weariness which one
associates with the season of hot days and short nights, has changed the
spring into that riper summer-time which is on the verge of autumn; and
that hour of late sunset which is on the verge of night. Under its rich
glow lies the sleeping Iphigenia, draped in folds upon folds of white,
and her attendants; while Cymon, who is as unlike the boor of tradition
as Spenser's Colin Clout is unlike an ordinary Cumbrian herdsman, stands
hard-by, wondering, pensively wrapt in so exquisite a vision.
Altogether, a great presentment of an immortal idyll; so treated,
indeed, that it becomes much more than a mere reading of Boccaccio, and
gives an ideal picture of Sleep itself,--that Sleep which so many
artists and poets have tried at one time or another to render.

In 1885, among the five contributions of the President to the Academy,
appeared the vivacious portrait of Lord Rosebery's little daughter, _The
Lady Sybil Primrose_, who appears in white with a blue sash, carrying a
doll. _A Portrait of Mrs. A. Hichens_ and _Phoebe_ were the only other
pictures this year. A frieze, _Music_, was shown, and at the Grosvenor
Gallery _A Study_ of a fair-haired girl, in green velvet dress. 1886 was
chiefly notable for the statue in bronze of _The Sluggard_, in which
Leighton again furnished us with a plastic characterization of Sleep,
which he designed by way of contrast to his statue of the struggling
Athlete. It was suggested, Mr. Spielmann says, by accidental
circumstances. The model who had been sitting to him fell a-yawning in
his interval of rest, and charmed the artist, not only with his
exceptional beauty of line and play of muscle, but also with the
artistic contrast of energy and languor. But that he might not lay
himself open to the charge that the work was a glorification of
indolence, the sculptor made concession to what after all was an
artistic suggestion, and placed under the yawner's foot

  "The glorious wreath of laurel leaves
  Heel trodden and despised."

The graceful statuette of a little girl who is alarmed by a toad on the
edge of a pool or stream of water, called _Needless Alarms_, appeared at
the same time; and was so much admired by the President's colleague, Sir
John Everett Millais, that he wished to purchase it, whereupon Sir
Frederic presented it to him, and received, in return, the charming
picture of _Shelling Peas_, which Sir John painted specially for this
pleasant exchange. In 1886 also appeared the _Decoration in Painting for
a Music Room_, destined for New York, which is illustrated[7] by
the completed work, and its preliminary studies from life for it.
_Gulnihal_, a single figure, is the only other painting exhibited at the
Academy in this year.


[Illustration: THE LAST WATCH OF HERO (1887)
               _By permission of the Manchester Corporation_]


[Illustration: PORTRAIT OF THE LADY SYBIL PRIMROSE (1885)]


In 1887 appeared a picture which seems scarcely to have received its due
appreciation, _The Jealousy of Simætha the Sorceress_. This is a
seated figure in yellow and white drapery, with a purple mantle wrapped
around her shoulders; a well-wrought, finely-rendered work. _The Last
Watch of Hero_, also first seen this year, is now in the Manchester
Corporation Gallery. It is in two compartments; in the upper, and
larger, Hero, clad in pink drapery, is seen drawing aside a curtain and
gazing out over the sea. Below, in the smaller panel, is the body of the
dead Leander, on a rock washed by the waves. A quotation from Sir Edwin
Arnold's translation of Musæus was appended to its title:

  "With aching heart she scanned the sea-face dim.
       *       *       *       *       *
  Lo! at the turret's foot his body lay,
  Rolled on the stones and washed with breaking spray."

A picture of a little girl with yellow hair and pale blue eyes, entitled
with a verse by Robert Browning:

    "Yellow and pale as ripened corn
    Which Autumn's kiss frees,--grain from sheath,--
    Such was her hair, while her eyes beneath
  Showed Spring's faint violets freshly born,"

was in the same exhibition, and also a design for the reverse of the
Jubilee medallion, executed for her Majesty's Government.

In 1888 appeared another large work, which, although not absolutely a
procession, has much in common with the _Cimabue_, the _Syracusan
Bride_, and _The Daphnephoria_. It was entitled _Captive Andromache_,
and accompanied by a fragment of the "Iliad," translated by E. B.
Browning:

                          ... "Some standing by
  Marking thy tears fall, shall say, 'This is she,
  The wife of that same Hector that fought best
  Of all the Trojans when all fought for Troy.'"

This, and a _Portrait of Amy, Lady Coleridge_, were the artist's only
contributions to the Royal Academy of 1888. The _Portraits of the Misses
Stewart Hodgson_ is also of this year, which saw four landscape studies
exhibited at the Royal Society of Painters in Water Colours, and five at
the Royal Society of British Artists, Suffolk Street.

The _Sibyl_, exhibited in 1889, is a full-length figure swathed in lilac
drapery, seated with her legs crossed, on a chair, her chin supported by
her left hand, and gazing out of the picture. Beside her are scrolls,
and a sombre sky is behind the figure. _Invocation_, a girl in white
robes with arms raised above her head, and a _Portrait of Mrs. F.
Lucas_, were also shown; but _Greek Girls playing at Ball_ is not only
the most important, but is also a picture that shows the mannerism of
Lord Leighton's treatment of drapery at its finest. Elsewhere the
undulating snaky coils may be somewhat distressing, here they float in
the air and help the suggestion of movement. The landscape at the back
is also both typical and beautiful. An _Elegy_ was the fifth of the
artist's contributions to the Academy of 1889.

In 1890 _The Bath of Psyche_ appeared at the Academy. This at once
established its position as a popular favourite, and has probably been
more widely reproduced than any other. It was purchased under the terms
of the Chantrey Bequest, and is now in the Tate Gallery. It was
suggested, so Mr. M. H. Spielmann tells us, by the "paper-knife"
picture, as Lord Leighton called it, which he had painted for Sir L.
Alma-Tadema's wall screen. _Solitude_ was also shown this year, and the
_Tragic Poetess_, a full-length figure, clad in blue and purple drapery,
on a terrace, with the sea beyond. The fourth picture at the Academy was
a very faithfully painted transcript of _The Arab Hall_, at No. 2,
Holland Park Road.


[Illustration: GREEK GIRLS PLAYING AT BALL (1889)
               _By permission of the Berlin Photographic Co._]


[Illustration: THE BATH OF PSYCHE (1890)
               _By permission of the Berlin Photographic Co._]


In 1891 appeared _Perseus and Andromeda_, a very original version of a
theme which it seems the destiny of every painter and sculptor of
classical subjects to attempt at some time. In this Andromeda is bound
to a rock, the monster stands over her with outstretched wings, while
from the clouds above, Perseus, on his winged steed, is discharging
arrows. The clay models for Perseus are reproduced elsewhere (at p. 68).
The _Return of Persephone_ was another important work shown this year.
It represents Persephone, supported by Hermes, being brought back to the
upper world, where she is awaited with outstretched arms by Demeter. A
_Portrait of A. B. Mitford, Esq._, and a marble version of the _Athlete
Struggling with a Python_, were also shown in the same exhibition.

In 1892 a version of a panel of the proposed decoration for the dome of
St. Paul's appeared with the title, _And the Sea gave up the Dead which
were in it_; this, purchased by Mr. Henry Tate, is now among the
pictures he gave to the Gallery at Millbank. The most important of
Leighton's later works, _The Garden of the Hesperides_, in many respects
the most sumptuous piece of decoration he ever achieved, was shown this
year. It is a large circular picture, the centre occupied by a tree
bearing golden apples; under its branches recline the three Hesperides,
caressing the dragon who assists them to guard the treasure. A superbly
brilliant sea is in the distance. The charm of this picture is mainly in
its colour, but as an example of elaborately artificial composition it
is hardly less noteworthy. Unfortunately, despite every effort of Lord
Leighton, most kindly exerted on behalf of the editor of this volume,
the owners of the copyright refused under any condition to allow it to
be illustrated herein. _A Bacchante_, and _At the Fountain_, a girl in
fawn-coloured and violet draperies, with a bunch of lemons overhanging
the marble wall behind her, were shown this year; and also a _Clytie_,
which must not be confused with another known by the same title, the
last picture on which the artist was at work before his death. The 1892
version, shown in the retrospective exhibition, is thus described in its
catalogue: "A small figure of Clytie is seen on the right, kneeling on a
stone building with arms outstretched towards the sun, which is setting
behind a range of moorland hills."

In 1893 _Hit_, _The Frigidarium_, _Farewell_, _Corinna of Tanagra_, and
_Rizpah_ were exhibited at the Academy. Of these the most important is
the last named. It illustrates the story of the two sons of Rizpah, by
Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth, who were slain by the Gideonites. Rizpah,
robed in dark blue, is seen in the act of fetching away their bodies,
which are shrouded by dull lilac and blue draperies. Vultures circle
above, and two leopards approach stealthily. _Farewell_ is a single
figure in olive green and plum-coloured peplis under a portico above the
sea, where she pauses to take a last look at an outward-bound ship.

_Atalanta_ depicts the bust only of a dark-haired girl in purple and
white drapery, with a snake-like ornament twisted round her arm, which
is bare to the shoulder. _Corinna of Tanagra_ is a half-length figure
crowned with leaves, in coloured drapery, resting her clasped hands upon
her lyre. _The Frigidarium_ is an upright figure in semi-transparent red
drapery, which with the background of gold is reflected in the water
beneath her feet.


[Illustration: FAREWELL (1893)
               _By permission of Messrs. Arthur Tooth and Sons_]


[Illustration: "AND THE SEA GAVE UP THE DEAD WHICH WERE IN IT."--REV.
XX. 13 (1892)]


[Illustration: THE FRIGIDARIUM (1893)
               _By permission of Messrs. H. Graves and Co._]


In 1894 were shown _The Spirit of the Summit_, a white-robed figure with
upturned face, sitting on a snowy peak, with starlit sky beyond; _The
Bracelet_; _Fatidica_, a figure in green-white robes; _At the Window_, a
dark-haired boy in blue, looking over the ledge of a window; and _Summer
Slumber_. This last is a somewhat elaborate composition; a girl in
salmon colour draperies is lying asleep on the broad rim of a marble
fountain, masses of flowers are in the mid distance, and a vista of
sunny landscape through the open window beyond.

In 1895, the last year of the artist's working life, he sent six
pictures to the Academy, and completed the wall decoration at the Royal
Exchange (here illustrated), _Phoenicians Bartering with Britons_. The
paintings were entitled, _Flaming June_ (a picture reproduced in colours
for a Christmas number of the "Graphic"), in which the "broad" painting
of the sea beyond was a notable exception to the artist's usual
handling; _Lachrymæ_, a standing figure in robes of black and blue
green, resting her arm upon a Doric column; _'Twixt Hope and Fear_, a
seated figure of a black-haired Greek girl, robed in white and olive,
with a sheep-skin thrown around her; _The Maid with her Yellow Hair_, a
girlish figure in lemon-coloured drapery, reading from a red-backed
book; _Listener_, a child seated with crossed legs on a fur rug; and a
_Study of a Girl's Head_, with auburn, wavy hair.

In the 1896 Academy _Clytie_ was the only picture. In Lord Leighton's
studio in various stages of completion were a _Bacchante_, a half-length
figure of a fair-haired girl crowned with leaves, and a leopard skin
over her shoulder; _The Fair Persian_, a bust of a girl with flowing
dark hair, crowned by a jewelled circlet; and _The Vestal_, a
half-length figure of a girl in white drapery, these were all exhibited
at the Winter Exhibition of 1897.

To _Clytie_, his last picture, a small monograph has been devoted by the
Fine Art Society. In this we read: "'Thank goodness my ailment has not
interfered with my capacity for work, for I have never had a better
appetite for it, nor I believe done better. I was idle for five months
in the summer, but since my return I have been working hard and have
produced the pictures you see.' Thus he spoke to the present writer [of
the monograph in question] as he led the way across his studio....
Turning to the _Clytie_ he continued: 'This I have been at work upon all
the morning. Orchardson has been so good as to say I have never done
anything finer than the sky. You know the story. I have shown the
goddess in adoration before the setting sun, whose last rays are
permeating her whole being. With upraised arms she is entreating her
beloved one not to forsake her. A flood of golden light saturates the
scene, and to carry out my intention, I have changed my model's hair
from black to auburn. To the right is a small altar, upon which is an
offering of fruit, and upon a pillar beyond I shall show the feet of a
statue of Apollo.'

"But a few days after this occurrence the dead President lay in
semi-state in his coffin, before the picture. A drawing in the 'Graphic'
(January 26th, 1896) shows the interior of the studio, with the figure
of Clytie, in her attitude of despair, stretching her arms above the
body of her creator."

Here the record, year by year, is closed. A few pictures seem to have
escaped the honours of exhibition. One,[8] _A Noble Lady of Venice_, in
possession of Lord Armstrong, does not appear to have been
exhibited. It is probably the picture which was sold at Christie's in
1875 for 950 guineas. A _Lady with Pomegranates_, which sold for 765
guineas at the sale of Baron Grant's pictures in 1877, does not appear
in our list of exhibited works; nor, it may be, are all the early
pictures included therein. But the official catalogues of the Royal
Academy May Exhibitions, and of the special Winter Exhibition devoted to
the artist's works, have been freely drawn upon for description, and to
the list of his life's work, as it appeared in the first edition of this
work, many additions have been made.


[Illustration: RIZPAH (1893)]


[Illustration: THE BRACELET (1894)
               _By permission of Messrs. T. Agnew and Sons_]


[Illustration: FATIDICA (1894)
               _By permission of Messrs. T Agnew and Sons_]



CHAPTER VI

HIS METHOD OF PAINTING


For particulars of the wonderfully thorough "method," which Leighton
used in preparing his pictures, we cannot do better than quote the
following admirable account by Mr. M. H. Spielmann (published during the
painter's life), which he has allowed us to reprint here.[9]

"I have said that the sense of line in composition, in figure and
drapery, is one of the chief qualities of the artist; and the conviction
that the method in which he places them upon canvas with such unerring
success--for it may be said that the President rarely, if ever, produces
an ugly form in a picture--would be both interesting and instructive,
prompted me to learn in what manner his effects are produced. This I
have done, having special regard to one of his Academy pictures, _The
Sibyl_, which, being a single figure, simplifies greatly the explanation
of the mode of procedure. This explanation holds good in every case, be
the composition great or small, elaborate or simple; the _modus
operandi_ is always the same.


[Illustration: A BACCHANTE (1896)
               _By permission of Messrs. Henry Graves and Co._]


[Illustration: "HIT" (1893)
               _By permission of "The Art Journal"_]


"Having by good fortune observed in a model an extraordinarily fine and
'Michelangelesque' formation of the hand and wrist--an articulation as
rare to find as it is anatomically beautiful and desirable--he bethought
him of a subject that would enable him to introduce his
_trouvaille_. As but one attitude could display the special
formation to advantage, the idea of a Sibyl, sitting brooding beside her
oracular tripod, was soon evolved, but not so soon was its form
determined and fixed. Like Mr. Watts, Sir Frederic Leighton thinks out
the whole picture before he puts brush to canvas, or chalk to paper;
but, unlike Mr. Watts, once he is decided upon his scheme of colour, the
arrangement of line, the disposition of the folds, down to the minutest
details, he seldom, if ever, alters a single line. And the reason is
evident. In Sir Frederic's pictures--which are, above all, decorations
in the real sense of the word--the design is a pattern in which every
line has its place and its proper relation to other lines, so that the
disturbing of one of them, outside of certain limits, would throw the
whole out of gear. Having thus determined his picture in his mind's eye,
he in the majority of cases makes a sketch in black and white chalk upon
brown paper to fix it. In the first sketch, the care with which the
folds have been broadly arranged will be evident, and, if it be compared
with the finished picture, the very slight degree in which the general
scheme has been departed from will convince the reader of the almost
scientific precision of the artist's line of action. But there is a good
reason for this determining of the draperies before the model is called
in; and it is this. The nude model, no matter how practised he or she
may be, never moves or stands or sits, in these degenerate days, with
exactly the same freedom as when draped; action or pose is always
different--not so much from a sense of mental constraint as from the
unusual liberty experienced by the limbs, to which the muscular action
invariably responds when the body is released from the discipline and
confinement of clothing.

"The picture having been thus determined, the model is called in, and is
posed as nearly as possible in the attitude desired. As nearly as
possible I say, for, as no two faces are exactly alike, no two models
ever entirely resemble one another in body or muscular action, and
cannot, therefore, pose in such a manner as exactly to correspond with
either another model or another figure--no matter how correctly the
latter may be drawn. From the model the artist makes the careful
outline, in brown paper, a true transcript from life, which may entail
some slight corrections of the original design in the direction of
modifying the attitude and general appearance of the figure. This would
be rendered necessary, probably by the bulk and material of the drapery.
So far, of course, the artist's attention is engaged exclusively by
'form,' 'colour' being always treated more or less ideally. The figure
is now placed in its surroundings, and established in exact relation to
the canvas. The result is the first true sketch of the entire design,
figure and background, and is built up of the two previous ones. It must
be absolutely accurate in the distribution of spaces, for it has
subsequently to be 'squared off' on to the canvas, which is ordered to
the exact scale of the sketch. At this moment, the design being finally
determined, the sketch in oil colours is made. It has been deferred till
now, because the placing of the colours is, of course, of as much
importance as the harmony. This done, the canvas is for the first time
produced, and thereon is enlarged the design, the painter re-drawing the
outline--never departing a hair's breadth from the outlines and forms
already obtained--and then highly finishing the whole figure in warm
monochrome from the life. Every muscle, every joint, every crease is
there, although all this careful painting is shortly to be hidden with
the draperies; such, however, is the only method of insuring absolute
correctness of drawing. The fourth stage completed, the artist
returns once more to his brown paper, re-copies the outline accurately
from the picture, on a larger scale than before, and resumes his studies
of draperies in greater detail and with still greater precision, dealing
with them in sections, as parts of a homogeneous whole. The draperies
are now laid with infinite care on to the living model, and are made to
approximate as closely as possible to the arrangement given in the first
sketch, which, as it was not haphazard, but most carefully worked out,
must of necessity be adhered to. They have often to be drawn piecemeal,
as a model cannot by any means always retain the attitude sufficiently
long for the design to be wholly carried out at one cast. This
arrangement is effected with special reference to painting--that is to
say, giving not only form and light and shade, but also the relation and
'values' of tones. The draperies are drawn over, and are made to conform
exactly to the forms copied from the nudes of the underpainted picture.
This is a cardinal point, because in carrying out the picture the folds
are found fitting mathematically on to the nude, or nudes, first
established on the canvas. The next step then is to transfer these
draperies to the canvas on which the design has been squared off, and
this is done with flowing colour in the same monochrome as before over
the nudes, to which they are intelligently applied, and which nudes must
never--mentally at least--be lost sight of. The canvas has been prepared
with a grey tone, lighter or darker, according to the subject in hand,
and the effect to be produced. The background and accessories being now
added, the whole picture presents a more or less completed
aspect--resembling that, say, of a print of any warm tone. In the case
of draperies of very vigorous tone, a rich flat local colour is probably
rubbed over them, the modelling underneath being, though thin, so sharp
and definite as to assert itself through this wash. Certain portions of
the picture might probably be prepared with a wash or flat tinting of a
colour the _opposite_ of that which it is eventually to receive. A blue
sky, for instance, would possibly have a soft, ruddy tone spread over
the canvas--the sky, which is a very definite and important part of the
President's compositions, being as completely drawn in monochrome as any
other portion of the design; or for rich blue mountains a strong orange
wash or tint might be used as a bed. The structure of the picture being
thus absolutely complete, and the effect distinctly determined by a
sketch which it is the painter's aim to equal in the big work, he has
nothing to think of but colour, and with that he now proceeds
deliberately, but rapidly.


[Illustration: NUDE STUDY FOR "CAPTIVE ANDROMACHE"]


[Illustration: STUDY FOR A FIGURE IN "CAPTIVE ANDROMACHE"]


[Illustration: STUDY FOR "ANDROMACHE"]


"Such is the method by which Sir Frederic Leighton finds it convenient
to build up his pictures. The labour entailed by such a system as this
is, of course, enormous, more especially when the composition to be
worked out is of so complex a character as the _Captive Andromache_ of
last year, every figure and group of which were treated with the same
completeness and detail as we have seen to attend the production of so
simple a picture as _The Sibyl_. Deliberateness of workmanship and
calculation of effect, into which inspiration of the moment is never
allowed to enter, are the chief characteristics of the painter's
craftsmanship. The inspiration stage was practically passed when he took
the crayon in his hand; and to this circumstance probably is to be
assigned the absence of realism which arrests the attention of the
beholder."

Mr. Spielmann has instanced, in the above account, the tragic and lovely
_Captive Andromache_, exhibited in 1888; and we may further add
that exquisite painting of _Greek Girls playing at Ball_, of 1889; or
the still more exquisite _Bath of Psyche_, of the year following. All
three are full of technical delicacy and finesse. For other qualities
take that radiantly pictured myth, the _Perseus and Andromeda_, or the
_Return of Persephone_ (both of 1891); or the lovely _Clytie_ of 1892,
whose sunset background was painted at Malinmore, on the west coast of
Donegal; or the _Atalanta_ or the _Rizpah_ of 1893.


[Illustration: STUDY FOR "PERSEUS AND ANDROMEDA"]


[Illustration: STUDY FOR "THE BATH OF PSYCHE"]


[Illustration: STUDY FOR "SOLITUDE"]


The memorable picture, first named of these, which shows Andromache at
the Well, is in particular a most characteristic example of the artist's
larger style. In it, true to his classic predilections, he gives a new
setting to the touching old story of Andromache's captivity. Following
up the earlier scene in the "Iliad," where Andromache begs her husband
Hector not to sally forth to battle, but to stay and defend the city,
and where, finding her prayers in vain, and weeping, she bids Hector
farewell, the picture shows the fulfilment of Andromache's fears and the
dire prophecy which Hector had recalled to his wife.

By way of contrast to this sombre canvas, take the glowing and brilliant
colours of the _Perseus and Andromeda_, one of the three pictures shown
at the Academy in 1891. The painting of the surroundings of Andromeda,
the deep blue water in the sea lagoon beneath, and these radiant
elemental people of air and light, provides such a glow of colour, as
haunts the eye for long after one has gazed one's fill upon it.
Something of the same feeling for the spirit that is in the forces of
the earth, lurks behind many of Leighton's representments of the classic
myths. It is certainly to be found, with a difference, in the _Return of
Persephone_, exhibited with the _Perseus_, which becomes in the
artist's hands a profound allegory of the return of Spring, with all
kind of symbolical meanings in the three figures of Proserpine, Ceres,
and Hermes, that are seen meeting before the mouth of Hades. _The Spirit
of the Summit_, one of the latest of these embodiments of the relation
of Man to Nature, may be read to mean Man's finer spirit of aspiration,
and the mountainous imagination of Art itself. It is characteristic of
the artist that, in the later years of his career, at a time when most
artists and men are apt to give up something of their earlier pursuit of
ideals, he retained undiminished a feeling for the unaccomplished
heights of the imagination. _The Spirit of the Summit_ may serve, then,
as the symbol, not so much of things attained, and Art victorious, as of
things that are always to be attained, and of Art striving and
undeterred. In this way it may serve, too, as in some sort the emblem of
Leighton's own ideals, and of his whole career. His artistic temper was
throughout, one of endless energy, endless determination; with a dash of
that finer dissatisfaction which is always seeking out new embodiments,
under all difficulties, of Man's pursuit, in a difficult, and often an
unbeautiful world, of Truth and Beauty. Above all, he was a consummate
draughtsman, and as Francisco Pacheco, the father-in-law of Velasquez,
wrote in his "Arte de la Pintura" (1649): "Drawing is the life and soul
of painting; drawing, especially outline, is the hardest; nay, the Art
has, strictly speaking, no other difficulty. Without drawing painting is
nothing but a vulgar craft; those who neglect it are bastards of the
Art, mere daubers and blotchers."


[Illustration: STUDY FOR "THE RETURN OF PERSEPHONE"]


[Illustration: STUDY FOR "PERSEPHONE"]



CHAPTER VII

MURAL DECORATION, SCULPTURE, AND ILLUSTRATION


The drawings of Lord Leighton deserve special consideration. The famous
_Lemon Tree_ was made at Capri in the Spring of 1859; it is work that no
Pre-Raphaelite could have finished more minutely, yet it has nothing
"niggling" in its treatment. In a conversation[10] Lord Leighton is said
to have referred to the many days spent upon the production of this
study--dwelling specially on the difficulty he experienced in finding
again and again each separate leaf in the perspective of the confused
branches, as morning after morning he returned at sunrise to continue
the work. The drawing of each leaf reveals the close observation which
ultimately recorded its particular individuality. You feel that as a
shepherd knows his sheep to call each by its name, so the artist must
have become familiar with every separate leaf and twig before he had
completed his task. The whole is broad and simple, and scarcely suggests
the enormous patience which must have been needed to carry out the
self-imposed toil. Nothing is shirked, nothing is scamped; from the stem
to the outermost leaf, every part in succession reveals equal interest,
and yet the whole is not without that larger quality which brings it
together in a harmonious whole, so that it is as much the study of a
tree as the study of each separate item that composes it.

The _Byzantine Well-head_ is another notable instance of similar labour
devoted to an architectural subject; this was evidently a favourite with
its author; for during his life it hung close by his bed in the simple
chamber of his otherwise sumptuous home, a room devoid of luxury and
almost ascetic in its appointments.[11]

The great mass of studies, on brown paper chiefly, which he had
carefully preserved, were purchased by the Fine Art Society, and some
two hundred and fifty were exhibited at their gallery in December, 1896,
and a selection in facsimile has been published in sumptuous form. In a
prefatory note to the catalogue of these studies Mr. S. Pepys Cockerell
says: "It is seldom that we are privileged to watch at ease the workings
of another's mind, but these drawings, the intimate record of a long
life-time, offer an unusually good opportunity. One might call them the
confessions of an artist; and anyone who wants to know what Leighton was
really like, has only to use his eyes. One thing, at any rate, no one
can fail to see, viz., that he had the qualities which result in
industry. Whatever success he achieved was only gained after desperate
labour. It is curious that while he had the reputation for working with
ease, he considered himself to have no facility for anything, whether
for art, for writing, or for speaking. I recollect his once saying:
'Thank Heaven, I was never clever at anything,' for he believed with Sir
Joshua, that everything is granted to well-deserved labour."

The landscape studies in oil (of which a list almost complete will be
found in Appendix II.), show equal observation and sympathetic
perception of the beauty of colour, as well as of the beauty of
form. The truth of these carefully recorded impressions of scenery was
no less patent than the masterly "selection" which had set itself to
depict all that seemed of value, and escaped at once the photographic
imitation of one school, and the evasion of detail of another. They all
preserve a certain classic repose, without violence to topographical
accuracy, or painter-like intention.


[Illustration: STUDY FOR THE CEILING OF A MUSIC-ROOM]


[Illustration: STUDY FOR THE CEILING OF A MUSIC-ROOM]


[Illustration]


[Illustrations: DECORATION FOR THE CEILING OF A MUSIC-ROOM]


We have had occasion to refer frequently, in passing, to Leighton's
decorative works, but we have purposely deferred any description of
them, preferring to treat them separately. To know how present was his
feeling for decorative effect at all times, it is sufficient to glance
never so casually at his own house, about which we hope presently to say
something,--genuine expression as it is of his Art. Now we wish rather
to touch on his more public performances. Of these, the famous frescoes
which fill large lunettes in the central court at South Kensington, _The
Industrial Arts of War_ and _The Industrial Arts of Peace_, are the best
known, as they are among the most characteristic of all the artist's
productions.

The fresco of _The Arts of War_ is a very complex piece of work. It is
crowded with figures, full of that orderly disorder which one must
expect to find, on the hurried morning of a day of battle, in these
delightfully decorative warriors. "In the centre"--we quote here Mrs.
Lang's description--"is a white marble staircase, leading from the
quadrangle to an archway, beyond which is another courtyard. Seen
through the archway, knights are riding by.... The busy scene in the
courtyard suggests an immediate departure to the seat of war. In the
corner to the right crossbows are being chosen and tested; a man is
kneeling by a pile of swords, and descanting on their various merits to
an undecided customer, while those weapons that he has already disposed
of are having their blades tried and felt. A little way off, to the left
of the archway, some men-at-arms are trying on the armour of a youth who
has still to win his spurs.... The whole is distinguished by the extreme
naturalness and simplicity of all the actions, and by soft, glowing
colours, chiefly dark olive green and splendid saffrons."

In _The Arts of Peace_, its companion, the central portion of the fresco
is devised as the interior of a Greek house, where within a semicircular
alcove we see a number of Greek maidens and older women, delightfully
grouped, mainly occupied in the art of personal adornment. Before this
house is the waterside, with a very decorative boat, confined by a
gracefully-looped chain, whose curve, as it hangs, is very subtly
designed to complete the salient lines of the whole composition. On
either side of this interior we have groups of men, more vigorously
treated,--drawing water, bearing burdens, pushing a boat from land. The
total effect of these finely posed contrasted groups, of the admirably
architectured walls, piers, and pavements, and of the striking
background, as of another hill-crowned Athens, is most complete and
satisfying. The colouring throughout, diversified with extreme art as it
is, is full of that southern radiance, and clear, sunlit glamour, so
often found in the artist's pictures. To realize this fully, South
Kensington must be visited, for word-painting at its best but poorly
reproduces the art that it doubtfully imitates.


[Illustration: FRESCO: THE INDUSTRIAL ARTS OF WAR (1872)]


[Illustration: FRESCO: THE INDUSTRIAL ARTS OF PEACE (1873)]


But these were by no means the first attempts of the artist to
acclimatize the noblest form of mural decoration, which cannot even at
this date be regarded as fully naturalized amongst us. In 1866 he
commenced work on a fresco of _The Wise and Foolish Virgins_, which
forms the altarpiece of the beautiful modern church at Lyndhurst,
erected on the site of the older building commemorated in Charles
Kingsley's ballad. This painting still remains a lasting attraction to
visitors in the New Forest village. In the centre, the Bridegroom, clad
in white, bearing lilies in His left hand, extends His right to the
foremost of the five wise virgins. Angels at each side of the central
figure welcome the one group, and repel the other. On the extreme right
is a kneeling figure, "Ora;" on the left, "Vigila," a figure trimming a
lamp. The scale of the figures is over life-size, and the unfortunate
position of the work, immediately under a large east window, so that the
figures appear standing on the altar, has provoked adverse criticism;
but the painting itself, as a triumphant accomplishment of a peculiarly
difficult undertaking, and a superb scheme of line and colour, has won
favourable comments at all times. It was painted in the medium, a
mixture of copal, wax, resin, and oil, previously employed with success
by Mr. Gambier Parry in his decorations for Ely Cathedral.

It is interesting to read the account of the execution of this work,
which is said to have been carried out chiefly on Saturday afternoons,
the artist catching a mid-day train from town, and working on it from
the moment of his arrival until dusk. Experience of the London and South
Western Railway Company thirty years ago makes one doubt whether leaving
town at mid-day should not be taken as arriving at Lyndhurst Road at
that time, for otherwise it would have been a miracle to accomplish the
task by daylight. It is, however, exhilarating to find that the
sustained enthusiasm of the young artist was equal to the effort
involved in mastering so many obstacles; for the result, despite the
increased attention given to decoration in these later years, may even
now be considered, so far as modern ecclesiastical painting is
concerned, to be without a rival in England.

The beautiful _Cupid with Doves_, is also said to be from a fresco;
whether a genuine painting on the wall itself (after the true fresco
manner) or not, it has the larger qualities peculiar to the method which
distinguishes several other works that were certainly not executed in
this medium,--the latest of Leighton's mural decorations, for example, a
painting of _Phoenicians Bartering with Britons_, which the President
of the Royal Academy in 1895 presented as the first of a series of
panels in the Royal Exchange. Although, as this was painted on canvas,
it cannot be ranked as a legitimate successor in the direct line of the
Lyndhurst and South Kensington frescoes, it is marked by many of the
architectural qualities which distinguish a painting designed to be in
true relation to the planes of its surroundings, and employs a
convention which makes it appear an integral part of the wall surface,
not a mere panel accidentally placed within a frame supplied by the
features of the building itself.

The South Kensington frescoes, as we have before stated, were painted in
1872-3. Some ten years later Sir Frederic collaborated with Sir Edward
(then Mr.) Poynter in the decoration of the dome of St. Paul's. His
share was to have filled eight _medallions_, so called, in the
compartments into which his colleague divided the dome. The design for
one of these, _The Sea gave up the Dead which were in it_, was exhibited
at the Academy of 1892, and is now among the works presented by Mr. Tate
to the National Gallery of British Art. This is another treatment of a
great subject, in which the problem of reconciling the dramatic with
the decorative has been seriously attempted. The dome of St. Paul's, had
it been completed according to this scheme, might have been a worthy if
a somewhat academic presentation of the tremendous visions of the
Apocalypse.


[Illustration: CUPID: FROM A FRESCO]


[Illustration: PHOENICIANS BARTERING WITH BRITONS
               PANEL IN THE ROYAL EXCHANGE (1895)]


Certain others of Leighton's decorative works we have already mentioned,
such as the design for a ceiling, now in New York. Not so well known is
his frieze delineating a dance, for an English drawing-room; or the
small frieze with a design of Dolphins, also in England. A scheme in
water-colours for a mural decoration, entitled _The Departure for the
War_, was never carried out; the sketch for it was sold with the
remaining works at Christie's, July, 1896. The single figures in mosaic
of _Cimabue_ and _Pisano_, at the South Kensington Museum, must not be
forgotten.

To the public--or at least that portion which limits its art to the
exhibitions of the Royal Academy--Leighton, as we have seen, made his
_début_ as a sculptor with the group, _An Athlete struggling with a
Python_ (known also as _An Athlete strangling a Python_), which in the
bronze version is now among works purchased under the terms of the
Chantrey bequest in the Tate Gallery. But long before that date he had
successfully essayed plastic art; his first effort being for the
medallion of a monument to Mrs. Browning in the Protestant cemetery at
Florence. Two other monuments, to the memory of Major Sutherland Orr
(his sister's husband), and Lady Charlotte Greville, must also be
mentioned. We have already spoken of _The Athlete_, _The Sluggard_, and
_Needless Alarms_. But it would be unfair to omit mention of many small
works--small, that is to say, in scale, for they are distinguished by
great breadth of handling--which were prepared as auxiliary studies for
his paintings. Visitors to the studio in Holland Park Road, were always
impressed by several of these models, which stood on a large chest in
the bay of a great studio window. Especially noteworthy was a group of
three singing maidens, who figure in _The Daphnephoria_, and another of
the "choragus" for the same picture; for later works, the mounted
Perseus, and Andromeda with the monster, both designed for the picture
of that legend. Others belonging to a slightly earlier period
included--the sleeping Iphigenia, a crouching figure of her attendant,
and a nude figure of Cymon, all, of course, for _Cymon and Iphigenia_.
These models were made to be clad in wet drapery of exquisitely fine
texture, and were prepared only for ten minutes' drawing of the first
idea of the figures; all serious study being made from the draped model,
or the lay figure. Such help as they have rendered must all be referred
to the period before the finished cartoon was ready to be traced on the
canvas. Since Lord Leighton's decease most of these have been
successfully cast in bronze, and are the property of the Royal Academy.
In the studio were also the first sketches in clay for _The Sluggard_,
and also for _The Athlete_, which was not originally intended to be
carried further. Indeed, several people mistook it for a genuine
antique, and admired it accordingly; Dalou, the great French sculptor,
was especially so struck by it, that he advised its author to work out
the idea in full size. The three years' labour devoted to the task, the
failures by the way, and its ultimate triumphant success, both here and
in Paris, are too well known to need recapitulation. A replica was
commissioned for the Copenhagen Gallery, and probably no work of its
accomplished author did more to win him the appreciation of French and
German artists.


[Illustration: BRONZE STATUE: AN ATHLETE STRUGGLING WITH A PYTHON (1877)]


[Illustration: BRONZE STATUE: AN ATHLETE STRUGGLING WITH A PYTHON (1877)]


[Illustration: STUDY IN CLAY FOR "CYMON"]


[Illustration: STUDY IN CLAY FOR "THE SLUGGARD"]


[Illustration: STUDY IN CLAY FOR "PERSEUS"]


[Illustration: STUDY IN CLAY FOR "ANDROMEDA"]


In this brief mention of Lord Leighton's achievements in sculpture, the
medal commemorating the Jubilee of Queen Victoria, a study for which is
reproduced at p. 130, must not be overlooked.

Although to those who have not followed closely the splendid period of
English illustration which may be said to have reached its zenith at the
time when Dalziel's "Bible Gallery" was published, it may be a surprise
to find "Frederic Leighton" figuring as an illustrator, yet the nine
compositions in that book are by no means his sole contribution to the
art of black and white.

For each instalment of "Romola," as it ran through the pages of the
"Cornhill Magazine," the artist contributed a full page drawing, and an
initial letter. The twenty-four full pages were afterwards reprinted in
"The Cornhill Gallery" (Smith and Elder, 1865). These are most notable
works, even when measured by the standard of their contemporaries. The
same magazine contains two other works from his pen, one illustrating a
poem, "The great God Pan," by Mrs. Browning, and another illustrating a
story by Mrs. Sartoris, entitled "A Week in a French Country House."
These, and the nine compositions in the "Bible Gallery" (the pictures
from which have lately been re-issued in a popular form by the Society
for Promoting Christian Knowledge) exhaust the list of those which can
be traced. As four of the magnificent designs are reproduced here, it
would be superfluous to describe them; the titles of the five others
are: _Abram and the Angel_, _Eliezer and Rebekah_, _Death of the First
Born_, _The Spies' Escape_, and _Samson at the Mill_.

One of the original drawings on wood is now on view at the South
Kensington Museum, and, by comparison with impressions from the engraved
blocks, we see how small has been the loss in translation, so admirably
has the artist mastered the limitation of the technique that was to
represent his work in another medium. The reproductions here given are
considerably reduced, and necessarily lose something, but they retain
enough to prove that had the artist cared to rest his reputation upon
such works, he might have done so with a light heart, for whenever the
golden period of English illustration is recalled, these comparatively
few drawings will inevitably be recalled with it.

A photographic silver-print from a drawing which forms the frontispiece
to a little book of fairy tales is of hardly sufficient
importance--charming though its original must have been--to be included
among the book illustrations. The drawing, _A Contrast_, reproduced at
p. 72, is undated; the idea it is intended to suggest, a model who once
stood for some youthful god, revisiting the adolescent portrait of
himself when old age has him gripped fast with rheumatism and failing
vigour.

To-day, when one has heard sculptors claim that Lord Leighton's finest
work was in their own craft, one has also heard many illustrators not
merely extol these drawings--notably the Bible subjects--as his
masterpieces, but jealously refuse to consider him entitled to serious
regard as an artist in any other medium. This attitude, so curiously
unlike the usual welcome from experts which awaits an artist who
ventures into fresh mediums for expressing himself, should be put on
record as a unique tribute; the more worthy of attention, because in
each instance it was advanced not wholly as praise, but to some extent
as a reproach on Leighton's painting. No intended compliment could carry
more genuine appreciation than this warm approval from fellow experts in
the special subjects of which they are masters.


[Illustration: CAIN AND ABEL]


[Illustration: MOSES VIEWS THE PROMISED LAND]


[Illustration: SAMSON AND THE LION]


[Illustration: SAMSON CARRYING THE GATES]



CHAPTER VIII

DISCOURSES ON ART


We must next speak of the late President's Addresses and Discourses on
Art, and of that other art of oratory, which, we shall find, as he
conceived it, had something of the same monumental quality he imparted
to his painting. His presidential speeches at the annual banquet of the
Academy would alone be sufficient to show this; but it is of course to
his Addresses and Discourses that we must turn if we would understand
his feeling for the two unallied arts.

His success in the one is to be explained, we shall find, in very much
the same way as his success in the other. Like most speakers of any
distinction, Lord Leighton left nothing to chance. In his speeches and
Discourses, as in his pictures, the most careful and exact preparation
was made for every effect, however apparently casual it may have seemed.
His Discourses were obviously based upon classic models; for their full
periods, sonorously and deliberately arranged, have a rhythm that
attends to the whole period, and not merely, as is often the way with
English speakers, to each sentence in turn.

In quoting from these Discourses, we do so, however, with an eye to his
own proper art as a painter, and to his whole theory and sentiment of
that art and its functions, and its allied plastic arts, even more than
to his art as a speaker. Indeed, the Discourses form a unique
contribution to the art criticism of our time; they cover the most
interesting and various periods in the history of the Art of Europe; and
although the cycle he had mapped out was interrupted before he had
completed it--first by illness which postponed the biennial discourse,
and then by death--the portions already delivered touch incidentally on
the theory and philosophy of all Art in a highly suggestive and eloquent
way.

In his first Discourse, delivered to the Academy students on the 10th of
December, 1879, the new President took occasion to estimate the modern
predicament and general position of Art, as a prelude to the
consideration of its special developments, in later Discourses. "I wish
in so doing," he said, "to seek the solution of certain perplexities and
doubts which will often, in these days of restless self-questioning in
which we live, arise in the minds and weigh on the hearts of students
who think as well as work."

In answering the question of questions in Art for us to-day--that is,
what are its chances in the present, compared with the glory and
splendour of its achievement in the past?--Leighton provides us with
some memorable passages in his first Discourse. Speaking of the
"Evolution of Painting in Italy," he turned it to notable account in his
argument, as in this reference to the Florentine school:

"It is, perhaps," he said, "in Tuscany, and notably in Florence, that we
see the national temperament most clearly declared in its art, as indeed
in all its intellectual productions; here we see that strange mixture of
Attic subtlety and exquisiteness of taste, with a sombre fervour and a
rude Pelasgic strength which marks the Tuscans, sending forth a Dante, a
Brunelleschi, and a Michael Angelo,--a Fiesole, a Boccaccio, and a
Botticelli, and we find that eagerness in the pursuit of the
knowledge of men and things, which was so characteristic of them, summed
up in a Macchiavelli and a Lionardi da Vinci."


[Illustration: A CONTRAST]


How different the conditions when we turn to consider English Art, as it
stands to-day: "The whole current of human life setting resolutely in a
direction opposed to artistic production; no love of beauty, no sense of
the outward dignity and comeliness of things, calling on the part of the
public for expression at the artist's hands; and, as a corollary, no
dignity, no comeliness for the most part, in their outward aspect;
everywhere a narrow utilitarianism which does not include the
gratification of the artistic sense amongst things useful; the works of
artists sought for indeed, but too often as a profitable merchandise, or
a vehicle of speculation, too often on grounds wholly foreign to their
intrinsic worth as productions of a distinctive form of human genius,
with laws and conditions of its own."

The modern student may well question, whether the great artists of the
past, if they lived now under our different conditions, would achieve
all that they did then. For further bewilderment, the differences to be
seen in the past itself, between school and school, and one age and
another, may lead him to doubt "whether Art be not indeed an ephemeral
thing, a mere efflorescence of the human intelligence, an isolated
development, incapable of organic growth." To such doubts, comes the
reassuring answer: "That Art is fed by forces that lie in the depth of
our nature, and which are as old as man himself; of which therefore we
need not doubt the durability; and to the question whether Art with all
its blossoms has but one root, the answer we shall see to be: Assuredly
it has; for its outward modes of expression are many and various, but
its underlying vital motives are the same."

The new President concluded his first Discourse with an eloquent plea
for sincerity in Art: "Without sincerity of emotion no gift, however
facile and specious, will avail you to win the lasting sympathies of
men"--a truth which perhaps needs more repeating to-day than ever it
did!

In the second Discourse (December 10th, 1881), we are called upon to
consider that other question which has so often perplexed the artist,
especially the English artist, in whom the moral sentiment is apt to
take a threatening form on occasion: "What is the relation in which Art
stands to Morals and to Religion?"

For his reply, Leighton took in turn the two contentions: one, that the
first duty of all artistic productions is the inculcation of a moral
lesson, if not indeed of a Christian truth; the other, that Art is
altogether independent of ethics. His conclusion is the only sagacious
and sane one: that whilst Art in itself is indeed independent of ethics,
yet is there no error so deadly as to deny that "the moral complexion,
the ethos, of the artist does in truth tinge every work of his hand, and
fashion, in silence, but with the certainty of fate, the course and
current of his whole career." The steps that lead irresistibly to this
conclusion, are very clearly indicated in the course of this Discourse;
and the more convincingly, because the speaker is himself so sympathetic
to the religious inspiration of Italian art, on the one hand, and to its
merely natural æsthetic growth on the other.


[Illustration: A STUDY IN OILS]


"The language of Art," he said then, "is not the appointed vehicle of
ethic truths;... On the other hand, there is a field in which she has no
rival. We have within us the faculty for a range of emotion, of
exquisite subtlety and of irresistible force, to which Art, and Art
alone amongst human forms of expression, has a key; these then, and
no others, are the chords which it is her appointed duty to strike; and
form, colour, and the contrasts of light and shade are the agents
through which it is given to her to set them in motion. Her duty is,
therefore, to awaken those sensations directly emotional and indirectly
intellectual, which can be communicated only through the sense of sight,
to the delight of which she has primarily to minister. And the dignity
of these sensations lies in this, that they are inseparably connected by
association of ideas with a range of perception and feelings of infinite
variety and scope. They come fraught with dim complex memories of all
the evershifting spectacle of inanimate creation and of the more deeply
stirring phenomena of life; of the storm and the lull, the splendour and
the darkness of the outer world; of the storm and the lull, the
splendour and the darkness of the changeful and the transitory lives of
men."

In his third Discourse, which was delivered on the 10th December, 1883,
the President entered on his exhaustive discussion, continued in many
subsequent Discourses, of "The relation of Artistic Production to the
conditions of time and place under which it is evolved, and to the
characteristics of the races to which it is due." In this Discourse he
briefly and suggestively reviews the Art of Egypt, Assyria, and Greece,
endeavouring to account for the main characteristics of each. In Egypt
he shows how a nation securely established in a peace and pre-eminence
lasting for ages, blessed beyond measure in a fertile and prospering
climate, a nation beyond all things pious and occupied in reverential
care of the dead, should give birth to an art serene, magnificent, and
vast. "Those whose fortune it has been," he eloquently said, "to stand
by the base of the Great Pyramid of Khoofoo, and look up at its far
summit flaming in the violet sky, or to gaze on the wreck of that
solemn watcher of the rising sun, the giant Sphinx of Gizeh, erect,
still, after sixty centuries in the desert's slowly rising tide; or who
have rested in the shade of the huge shafts which tell of the pomp and
splendour of hundred-gated Thebes; must, I think, have received
impressions of majesty and of enduring strength which will not fade
within their memory."

After old Egypt, and the account of Chaldæan and Assyrian Art, with its
warlike expression, we are led on in turn to the consideration of Greek
Art, and the causes of its development. "Nothing that I am aware of in
the history of the human intelligence," he said, "is for a moment
comparable to the dazzling swiftness of the ripening of Greek Art in the
fifth century before Christ." After speaking of the fortunate balance
and interaction of races which resulted in the Greek Art of that era, he
goes on to speak of the exceptionally favouring circumstances of the
people: "Here are no vast alluvial plains, such as those along which, in
the East, whole empires surged to and fro in battle; no mighty flood of
rivers, no towering mountain walls: instead, a tract of moderate size; a
fretted promontory thrust out into the sea--far out, and flinging across
the blue a multitude of purple isles and islets towards the Ionian,
kindred, shores." Such a fortunate environment, joined to the
extraordinarily high ideal formed by the Greeks of citizenship, had much
to do with the fostering of Greek Art, in all "its nobility and its
serenity, its exquisite balance, its searching after truth, and its
thirst for the ideal."


[Illustration: HEAD OF A YOUNG GIRL
               A STUDY IN OILS]


In his fourth Discourse Lord Leighton carried on his inquiry upon the
origins and conditions of Art into the difficult region of the
Etruscans; whose plastic work, like their speech, he considers, was at
best an uncouth, vigorous imitation, or re-shaping, of Greek models.
As examples of Etruscan Art, we are referred to "the two lovely bronze
mirrors, preserved at Perugia and Berlin, representing,--one, Helen
between Castor and Pollux,--the other, Bacchus, Semele, and Apollo....
In either case, the design is distinctly Greek; nevertheless a certain
ruggedness of form and handling is felt in both, betraying a temper less
subtle than the Hellenic; and we read without surprise on the one
'Pultuke,' and 'Phluphluus' on the other." Lest it should be thought
that something less than justice is done to Etruscan Art, take this fine
description of the tomb of Volumnus Violens:

"The recumbent effigy of the Volumnian is, indeed, rude and of little
merit; rude also in execution is the monument on which it rests, but in
conception and design of a dignity almost Dantesque. Facing the visitor,
as he enters the sepulchral chamber, this small sarcophagus--small in
dimensions, but in impressiveness how great!--rivets him at once under
the taper's fitful light. Raised on a rude basement, the body of the
monument figures the entrance to a vault; in the centre, painted in
colours that have nearly faded, appears a doorway, within the threshold
of which four female figures gaze wistfully upon the outer world; on
either side two winged genii, their brows girt with the never-failing
Etruscan serpents, but wholly free from the quaintness of early Etruscan
treatment, sit cross-legged, watching, torch in hand, the gate from
which no living man returns. Roughly as they are hewn, it would be
difficult to surpass the stateliness of their aspect or the art with
which they are designed; Roman gravity, but quickened with Etruscan
fire, invests them: ... and our thoughts are irresistibly carried
forward to the supreme sculptor whom the Tuscan land was one day to
bear."

From Etruria, we pass naturally on to Rome; for, as we are significantly
reminded, "The Romans lay, until the tide of Greek Art broke on them
after the fall of Syracuse, wholly under the influence of the
Etruscans.... Etruria gave them kings, augurs, doctors, mimes,
musicians, boxers, runners; the royal purple, the royal sceptre, the
fasces, the curule chair, the Lydian flute, the straight trumpet, and
the curved trumpet. The education of a Roman youth received its
finishing touches in Etruria: Tuscan engineers had girt Rome with walls;
Tuscan engineers had built the great conduit through which the swamp,
which was one day to be the Forum, was drained into the Tiber. What
wonder, then, that in architecture, also in painting, in sculpture, in
jewellery, and in all the things of taste, Etruscans gave the law to the
ruder and less cultured race?"

This influence lasted, until the counter-current of Greece found an
inlet to Roman life, filtering "through Campania into Rome from the
opposite end of the peninsula." And then, from the fall of Syracuse, and
the bringing of its spoils to Rome, we find a perfect craze for Grecian
marbles, bronzes, pictures, gems, inflaming the magnates, nobles, and
_nouveaux riches_ of Rome. How fortunate that influence was in another
field, that of literature, we know. In plastic art, by reason of the
essentially inartistic spirit of the Roman race, the result was
practically small; save indeed in one department, that of portraiture,
to which the essential impulse was, as Leighton very suggestively shows,
"ethic, not æsthetic." Even in Roman architecture, our critic finds
little to weaken his view of the Roman æsthetic inefficiency. "It was
not," he said, "the spontaneous utterance of an æsthetic instinct, but
the outcome of material needs and of patriotic pride," and hence only an
incomplete expression of Roman civilization. "To them, in brief, art
was not vernacular: their purest taste, their brightest gifts of mind,
found no utterance in it."


[Illustration: STUDY OF A HEAD]


"We have seen Art," he concluded, "such Art as it was given to Rome to
achieve--rise and fall with the virtues of the Roman people. From the
lips of the most seeing of its sons we know the solvent in which those
virtues perished: that solvent was the greed, the insatiate greed, of
gold--'auri sacra fames'--the rot of luxury. 'More deadly than arms,'
Juvenal magnificently exclaims, 'luxury has swept down upon us, and
avenges the conquered world.'

                           ...... 'Sævior armis
  Luxuria incubuit, victumque ulciscitur orbem.'"


From Rome we are taken, in the fifth Discourse, delivered on the 10th
December, 1887, to the making and the racial re-shaping of Italy, that
began with the fifth century. All through these Discourses the speaker
laid great stress upon the ethnological history of the European races,
as he turned to one after another, and essayed to trace their artistic
idiosyncracy and their artistic evolution. Italy is, to the ethnologist
as well as to the art student, one of the most interesting countries in
Europe. Rome almost alone, among the Italian provinces, retained her
racial and æsthetic peculiarities, unaffected to the end of the chapter;
and even when she wielded "the sceptre of the Christian world," still
she produced no one flower of native genius, we are reminded, unless
Giulio Romano, that "brawny and prolific plagiarist of Raphael," as
Leighton well stigmatizes him, be thought a genius; which criticism
forbid!

It was different with Tuscany, where the introduction of new racial
elements had a distinct effect. This "new amalgam" produced in the
field of Art, we are told, an infinitely nobler and more exquisite
result than had grown out of the old conditions. Still, however, the old
Etruscan allied grace and harsh strength lingered on in the art of
Christian Etruria. "Of the subtle graces which breathe in that art, from
Giotto to Lionardo, it is needless to speak; and surely in the rugged
angularities of a Verocchio, a Signorelli, or a Donatello, and in the
shadow of sadness which broods over so much of the finest Florentine
work, the more sombre phase of the Etruscan temper still lives on."

In the end, if we try to account for the artistic power and mastery of
one people in Italy, and the lack of that power in another, we are
driven to the conclusion that the source of the artistic gift is hidden
and obscure. One may cite the opposite examples of Venice and of
Genoa,--the one so masterfully artistic; the other so impotent. And yet
the same favouring conditions, _à priori_, might have seemed to exist
for both.

With the intermingling of the peoples, and the rejuvenescence of the
physical life, came the spiritual outburst of Christianity. And the
influence, again, of Christianity upon Italian Art was immense. In place
of joy in the ideals of bodily perfection, "loathing of the body and its
beauty, as of the vehicle of all temptation, a yearning for a life in
which the flesh should be shaken off, a spirit of awe, of pity, and of
love, became the moving forces that shaped its creations."

After great religious periods, we often find that great scientific
periods follow. The ethical impulse that religion gives, is converted
into other forms of energy, by reason of man's awakened consciousness of
the meaning of things, physical and material as well as spiritual.


[Illustration: STUDY OF A HEAD]


In Italy a reaction against the Christian doctrine of the degradation of
the flesh led to a new recognition of the beauty of man and of his
physical environment. Anatomy and perspective were studied, accordingly,
with a new sense of their significance in Art. The spirit of science led
to "such amazing studies of leaf and flower as Lionardo loved to draw.
Thus to Tuscan artists the new movement brought the love of nature, and
the light of science."

We come upon Dante and Petrarch in this Discourse, in tracing the
history of Italian Art during the centuries of transition: "With Dante
we reach the threshold of the Renaissance. He stands on the verge of the
middle ages; in him the old order ends. With Petrarch the new order
begins." It is not so much as a poet, however, that Petrarch counts in
this process from one period to another; but rather as an intellectual
pioneer, leading the way into the great pagan world. Petrarch "was the
first Humanist," in short.

We cannot stay to dwell upon the effect of the Humanists and all they
stood for, good and evil, in Italian Art and Letters. We pass on, now,
from Petrarch and the influence the movement had on Italian literature,
to its effect on Italian Art. The Renaissance did not affect Art in the
same way, as Botticelli may serve to show. "But perhaps," said the
lecturer, "the various operations in the province of Art of the two main
motive forces of the Renaissance--the impulse towards the scientific
study of nature, and the impulse to reinstate the classic spirit--may be
best illustrated by reference to Lionardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michael
Angelo." The passages in which Leighton characterised these three
masters are among the most striking of all those uttered by him within
the walls of the Academy. Lionardo's scientific "avidity of research,"
Raphael's "classic serenity," and Angelo's "mediæval ardour," are turned
to admirable effect in the pages of this Discourse; and the tribute paid
to them on the part of an English painter who has zealously sought to
live and work in the light of their great examples, has indeed an
interest that is personal, in a sense, as well as general and critical.

Take this concluding sentence upon Raphael:

"Whatever was best in the classic spirit was absorbed and eagerly
assimilated by him, and imparted to the work of his best day that
rhythm, that gentle gravity, and that noble plenitude of form, which are
its stamp, and proclaim him the brother of Mozart and of Sophocles."

Or this, again, on Michael Angelo, as distinguishing him from Raphael:

"The type of human form which he lifted to the fullest expressional
force is the last development of a purely indigenous conception of human
beauty, whereas the type which we know as Raphaelesque is a classic
ideal warmed with Christian feeling. Sublimely alone as Buonarotti's
genius stands, towering and unapproached, ... it does but mark the
highest summit reached in the magnificent continuity of its evolution,
by the purely native genius of Tuscan Art."

Having arrived at Tuscan Art, and at Michael Angelo, in whom it reaches
its consummate development, we leave Italy, and turn now to the
description of Art in Spain, given by Lord Leighton in his Discourse of
December, 1889. And first we have some account of the extraordinarily
various racial strains which were contributed to form the significant
figure of the fifteenth-century Spaniard. On the ancient Iberian stock
was grafted Celtic, Greek, Phoenician, and Carthaginian blood; and to
these infusions succeeded the great invasion of the Visigoths of the
fifth century.


[Illustration: STUDY OF A HEAD]


"The Art of Spain," he said, "was, at the outset, wholly borrowed, and
from various sources; we shall see heterogeneous, imported elements,
assimilated sometimes in a greater or less degree, frequently flung
together in illogical confusion, seldom, if ever, fused into a new,
harmonious whole by that inner welding fire which is genius; and we
shall see in the sixteenth century a foreign influence received and
borne as a yoke"--(that of the Italian Renaissance) "because no living
generative force was there to throw it off--with results too often
dreary beyond measure; and, finally, we shall meet this strange freak of
nature, a soil without artistic initiative bringing forth the greatest
initiator--observe, I do not say the greatest artist--the greatest
initiator perhaps since Lionardo in modern art--except it be his
contemporary Rembrandt--Diego Velasquez."

In his Discourse of December, 1891, we have, rapidly sketched, the
Evolution of Art in France. Touching again on the question of race, the
lecturer adduced the great race of Gauls, submitting first to Roman, and
afterwards to Frankish, or Teutonic, domination and admixture. The main
characteristics of the Gaulish people he judges to be, "a love of
fighting and a magnificent bravery, great impatience of control, a
passion for new things, a swift, brilliant, logical intelligence, a gay
and mocking spirit--for 'to laugh,' says Rabelais, 'is the proper mark
of man,'--an inextinguishable self-confidence." With the reign of
Charlemagne began the development of the architecture of France, but not
until the tenth and eleventh centuries did the "movement reach its full
force; and its development was due mainly to the great monastic
community, which, founded by St. Benedict early in the sixth century,
had poured from the heights of Monte Cassino its beneficent influence
over Western Europe."

Here we have it explained how the principle of Gothic architecture, "the
substitution of a balance of active forces for the principle of inert
resistance," was gradually evolved. This principle once found, Gothic
architecture reached its most splendid period in a wonderfully short
space of time; cathedrals and churches were built everywhere, and before
the end of the thirteenth century, the most splendid Gothic buildings
were begun or completed. With the end of the thirteenth century Gothic
architecture began to decline, lured by the "fascination of the statical
_tour de force_, the craving to bring down to an irreducible minimum the
amount of material that would suffice to the stability of a building
extravagantly lofty."

Many more extracts we would gladly make, whether from the account of the
French sculpture of this period, marked as it was by "sincerity and
freshness, often by great beauty and stateliness;" or from the criticism
of such artists as Jean Cousin, who painted windows which were "limpid
with hues of amethyst, sapphire, and topaz, and fair as a May morning;"
or again, of Watteau, of whom we are told that "in the vivacity and
grace of his drawing, in the fascination of his harmonies, rich and
suave at once, in the fidelity with which he reflected his times without
hinting at their coarseness, this wizard of the brush remains one of the
most interesting, as he is one of the most fascinating, masters of his
country's art."

In the Discourse of 1893 the History of Gothic Architecture was pursued,
from its native France to its adopted home in Germany. At the end of
last century Goethe declared that not only was the Gothic style native
to Germany, but no other nation had a peculiar style of its own; "for,"
he said, "the Italians have none, and still less the Frenchmen"!
According to Leighton, "the Germans, as a race, were, speaking broadly,
never at one in spirit with ogival architecture. The result was such as
you would expect; in the use of a form of architecture which was not of
spontaneous growth in their midst, and unrestrained, moreover, as they
were, by a sound innate instinct of special fitness, German builders
were often led into solecisms, incongruities, and excesses, from which
in the practice of their native style they have been largely free." Of
this style, which may be called the German-Romanesque, the best examples
are to be found among the churches of the Rhineland. In the thirteenth
century this style, admirably as it expressed the genius of the Teuton,
succumbed to invading French influence. "I have often wondered," he
continued, "at the strange contrast between the reticent and grave
sobriety of the architecture of Germany before the fall of the
Hohenstaufens, and its erratic self-indulgence in the Gothic period."
There is much, however, to be said in praise of the Gothic churches of
Germany, their fine colouring, suggestiveness, and variety. Take the
description of the Church of St. Lorenz in Nuremberg. "Nothing could
well be more delightful than the impression which you receive on
entering it; the beauty of the dark brown stone, the rich hues of the
stained glass, the right relation of tone value, to use a painter's
term, between the structure and the lights--the sombre blazoned shields
which cluster along the walls, the succession on pier beyond pier of
pictures powerful in colour and enhanced by the gleaming gold of
fantastic carven frames, above all the succession of picturesque objects
in mid-air above you, a large chandelier, a stately rood-cross, and to
crown all, Veit Stoss's masterpiece, the Annunciation, rich with gold
and colour; all these things conspire to produce a whole, delightful and
poetic, in spite of much that invites criticism in the architectural
forms themselves." Still more interesting is the word-picture of the
great Cathedral of Cologne, "a monument of indomitable will, of science,
and of stylistic orthodoxy ... its beautiful rhythm, its noble
consistency and unity, its soaring height, rivet the beholder's gaze";
and yet, the building, in spite of all, does not entirely convince: "the
kindling touch of genius" seems to be wanting.

Take, finally, this description of Albert Dürer: "He was a man of a
strong and upright nature, bent on pure and high ideals, a man ever
seeking, if I may use his own characteristic expression, to make known
through his work the mysterious treasure that was laid up in his heart;
he was a thinker, a theorist, and as you know, a writer; like many of
the great artists of the Renaissance, he was steeped also in the love of
science.... Superbly inexhaustible as a designer, as a draughtsman he
was powerful, thorough, and minute to a marvel, but never without a
certain almost caligraphic mannerism of hand, wanting in spontaneous
simplicity--never broadly serene. In his colour he was rich and vivid,
not always unerring in his harmonies, not alluring in his
execution--withal a giant."

With this tribute to a great predecessor we must leave these Discourses,
which need, to be properly appreciated, to be studied as a whole; as
indeed they form Leighton's deliberate exposition of his whole
principles of Aesthetics. In working this out, Discourse by Discourse,
he was not content to rely upon convenient literary sources, or
previously acquired knowledge of his subject; but undertook special
journeys, and spent long periods, abroad, to procure his own evidence
at first hand. This gives his Discourses all the value of original
research, based on new materials, to add to their purely critical value.
Had they been completed, they would have formed an invaluable
contribution to the history and the philosophy of Art.



CHAPTER IX

LORD LEIGHTON'S HOME


If we seek for practical expression of Leighton's sympathy for
decorative art, we may find it most satisfactorily in his own home as it
appeared during his life. Mr. George Aitchison, R.A., designed the whole
house;--even the Arab Hall being largely built from drawings made
specially by him in Moorish Spain. Although the exterior of No. 2,
Holland Park Road has individuality, rather than distinction, it was
within that its special charms were found. One of the first things seen
on entering was a striking bronze statue, "Icarus," by Mr. Alfred
Gilbert; a typical instance of Leighton's generous recognition of
artistic contemporaries.

In earlier pages we spoke of the Arab Hall and its Oriental enchantment.
No attempt to paint the effects of such an interior in words can call it
up half as clearly as the slightest actual drawing. There is a dim dome
above, and a fountain falling into a great black marble basin below;
there are eight little arched windows of stained glass in the dome; and
there are white marble columns, whose bases are green, whose capitals
are carved with rare and curious birds, supporting the arches of the
alcoves. The Cairo lattice-work in the lower arched recesses lets in
only so much of the hot light of midsummer (for it is in summer that one
should see it to appreciate its last charm), as consists with the
coolness, and the quiet, and the perfect Oriental repose, which give
the chamber its spell.


[Illustration: THE HOUSE: THE INNER HALL]


More in what we may call the highway of the house, from entrance hall to
studios, is the large hall, out of which the Arab Hall leads, and from
which the dark oak staircase ascends with walls tiled in blue and white.
Here, on every side, one saw all manner of lovely paintings and
exquisite _bric-à-brac_: a drawing of _The Fontana della Tartarughe in
Rome_ by Leighton's old mentor, Steinle; other bronzes and paintings,
and in full view a huge stuffed peacock, which seemed to have shed some
of its brilliant hues upon its surroundings.

In the drawing-room hung many Corots and Constables, with a superb
Daubigny, and a most tempting example of George Mason,--a picture of a
girl driving calves on a windy hill, amid a perfect embarrassment of
such artistic riches. The famous Corots, a sequence of panels,
representing _Morning_, _Noon_, _Evening_, and _Night_, which cost Lord
Leighton less than 1,000 francs each, were sold for 6,000 guineas for
the four, at Christie's, in July, 1896. Still another small Corot, a
picture of a boat afloat on a still lake, was also in this room. One of
the Constables that hung there is literally historic--for it is the
sketch for that famous _Hay Wain_ which, exhibited in Paris, at once
upset the classical tradition, and gave impetus to the whole modern
school of French landscape. Near it was one of Constable's many pictures
of Hampstead Heath,--simply a bit of dark heath against a sympathetic
sky; but so painted as to be a masterpiece of its kind. These pictures
were but a few of the many artfully disposed things of beauty, born in
older Italy, or newer France, or in our new-old London.

Upon the staircase there were pictures at every turn to make one pause,
step by step, on the way. Sir Joshua Reynolds was represented by an
unfinished canvas of Lord Rockingham, in which the great Burke, in his
minor function of secretary, also figures. Then came G. F. Watts's
earlier portrait of Leighton himself; and here a genuine Tintoretto.
There was the P.R.A.'s famous _Portrait of Captain Burton_; and over a
doorway his early painting of _The Plague at Florence_, with another
early work, _Romeo and Juliet_, one of his very few Shakespearean
pictures.

From the landing whence most of these things were visible, you entered
at once the great studio. Round the upper wall ran a cast of the
Parthenon frieze, and beneath this the wall on one side was riddled and
windowed, as it were, with innumerable framed pictures, small studies of
foreign scenes; so that one looked out in turn upon Italy and the South,
Egypt and the East, or upon an Irish sunset, or a Scottish
mountain-side.

Opposite these, below the great window, were many of the artist's
miniature wax models and studies. Else, the ordinary not unpicturesque
lumber of an artist's studio was conspicuously absent. The secret of
Leighton's despatch and careful ordering of his days, was to be read,
indeed, in every detail of his work-a-day surroundings. Even in a dim
antechamber, with a trellised niche most mysteriously overlooking the
Arab Hall, at one end of the studio, in which the curious visitor might
have expected to find dusty studies, discarded canvases, and other such
æsthetic remnants,--even that was found to contain not lumber, but a
Sebastian del Piombo, a sketch of Sappho by Delacroix, a landscape by
Costa, a Madonna and Child of Sano di Pietro del Piombo.

At the extreme other end of the main studio was the working studio of
glass, built to combat the fogs by procuring whatever vestige of light
Kensington may accord in its most November moods. The last addition to
the building, not long before Lord Leighton's death, was a gallery,
known as "The Music Room," expressly designed to receive his
pictures--mostly gifts from contemporary artists; or, to speak more
accurately, works that had been exchanged for others in a wholly
non-commercial spirit. These included, _Shelling Peas_, by Sir J. E.
Millais, _The Corner of the Studio_, by Sir L. Alma-Tadema, _The
Haystacks_, and _Venus_, by G. F. Watts, and _Chaucer's Dream of Good
Women_, by Sir E. Burne-Jones.

Such was the daily environment of that hard, unceasing, indefatigable
labour which, natural faculty taken for granted, is always the secret of
an artist's extraordinary production. And it was an environment, as one
felt on leaving it for the gray London without, that well accorded with
the radiant painted procession of the figures, classic and other, that
file through Lord Leighton's pictures.



CHAPTER X

LORD LEIGHTON'S HOUSE IN 1900


In the preceding chapter a picture is drawn of the "House Beautiful," as
it was in Lord Leighton's lifetime. It was then full to overflowing with
all manner of treasures; but now all that were removable have been
dispersed. Only the shell, the house itself, remains. Yet denuded as it
is, that is still well worth looking at. The architectural features to
which Mr. Rhys, dazzled by other things, hardly did justice, are now all
the more apparent.

One of the rarest of all accomplishments, at any rate in England, is a
cultivated taste in architecture; but it so happened that amongst his
many acquirements Lord Leighton possessed it in a remarkable degree. In
fact he received, although a painter by profession, the gold medal of
the Royal Institute of British Architects in virtue of the intimate
knowledge of architecture he had displayed in some of his
backgrounds--for instance, those of the frescoes at South Kensington. It
is a great honour, and one by no means lightly bestowed. At any rate,
when there was a question of building himself a house, though he might
not have been able to build it himself, he was thoroughly qualified to
choose an architect. His choice fell upon Professor Aitchison, now R.A.,
and he probably hit upon the only man of his generation able to put his
feeling into bricks and mortar, viz., the feeling for a beauty sedate,
delicate, and dignified.

We must remember the condition of things architectural in the sixties to
do justice to the independence of employer and architect. It was a time
when the Albert Memorial was possible, and when men tried to guide their
steps by the light of "The Seven Lamps of Architecture." A sentimental
fancy for Gothic based on irrational grounds was all but universal, and
it needed courage to avow a preference for the classical. The compromise
in favour of quaintness and capricious prettiness which began under the
name of the "Queen Anne style," and has contributed so many picturesque
and pleasing buildings to our modern London, had not yet budded. Nor
would it ever at any time of his life have thoroughly responded to
Leighton's taste. So long as he could detect a defect he was
dissatisfied, and extreme nicety is not what the Dutch style pretends
to. It depends upon a picturesque combination of forms of no great
refinement in themselves, but which give a varied skyline and a pretty
play of light and shade. It amuses at the first glance, and as it rarely
demands a second, it is well suited to turbid atmospheres, which blur
outlines, and a chilly climate in which people cannot loiter out of
doors. Moreover, the old-world memories it evokes, although in a minor
degree than was the case with the Gothic, contribute to its facile
popularity. But the classical taste is a love for form and delicate
beauty of line _as such_, quite irrespective of any associations which
may accompany them, or lamps, be they seven or seventy times seven. And
to build his house in this style was the natural thing for a sculptor
and fastidious seeker after the ideal in form. He found the man he
wanted in Professor Aitchison.

We must go over the outside and inside of the house, but rapidly; for to
do more than just indicate the points worth attention would be waste of
effort. To convey an idea of the feelings produced by architecture is
perhaps possible, but it is perfectly vain to hope to picture it or
reproduce in words the actual beauties of proportion or of colour. Those
who wish to verify them must see for themselves and examine the building
carefully.

The aspect of the house as seen from the street is, it must be admitted,
hardly symmetrical; but it is evident also that the first design has
been much altered and added to. At one end the Arab Hall, with its dome
and "bearded" battlements, is an obvious afterthought, in great contrast
with the serious simplicity of the rest. And at the other end the glass
studio, which was added later still, is also clearly an excrescence. The
centre part was the original house, and the studio was the chief feature
of it, and very much as it is now. It is, of course, on the north side,
and the street, the south side, is occupied by small rooms which, with
their repeated small openings, offer no great scope for designing.
Still, the whole has that look of dignity which always accompanies high
finish; and the entrance, far from being commonplace, because it has
nothing quaint or surprising about it, has a certain ample serenity
which it is rare to find. The mouldings of stonework and woodwork, few
and simple as they are, are not taken out of a pattern-book, as is
usually the case, but are specially designed each for its own position.
All the refinement of a building consists in its mouldings, and no one
has designed mouldings better than Professor Aitchison. A vast
improvement has been made in this respect in the last twenty years or
so, and it is largely due to his influence. At any rate he was one of
the first and he remains the best of modern designers of mouldings.
There are some fine examples of his work in the house.

On the north the house looks into a fair-sized garden, skilfully
planted, so that it looks much larger than it is. In the mind of the
writer this aspect is intimately bound up with the recollection of
delightful Sunday mornings in summer, when he sat chatting on random
subjects with the President, who, in slippers, a so-called "land and
water hat," and a smock frock, leant back in a garden-chair and talked
as no one else could. The quiet, the sun overhead, the grass under our
feet, the green trees around us, and the house visible between them,
form an ineffaceable picture of æsthetic contentment it is a delight to
recall. It recurred every Sunday whenever the weather was fine and warm.
Then it was that there was leisure to appreciate the admirable symmetry
of the architecture; for in England it is so rare to sit out of doors
where one may look at architecture that even if architects were to
design exteriors with all the subtlety of a Brunelleschi or a Bramante,
they would seldom get anyone to notice their work.

The studio occupies the whole of the upper story, and the architect had
a good opportunity, as there was no need to cut it up as is the case
when several rooms have to be provided for, by numerous uniform lights.
Here, in the centre, is one great light between wide spaces of wall
judiciously divided by string courses, and in the upper part on either
side of the great window is a row of three small windows. At the east
end is a small door leading into a pretty little Venetian balcony with
stone parapet. The whole makes a very beautiful building, and the
details and proportions are all worth examining.

This central part was what one saw through the trees as one sat in the
garden. Less visible were the glass studio on its iron columns, an
excellent piece of work, considering its few possibilities, and the Arab
Hall at the other end. Of course the latter looks a little incongruous.
It is a professed reproduction of Arab architecture, but carried out,
like the rest of the house, with unstinted expense, care, and finish.

We will now go inside by the front door. The cornice of the ceiling of
the vestibule first entered is singularly fine. Like every other good
artist Professor Aitchison improved as he went on, and this is one of
his latest designs in mouldings. When the entrance was altered some
years before the President's death, an opportunity occurred for putting
in a new ceiling.

Passing on into the hall one comes upon a very picturesque arrangement
of staircase. It is lit from above by a broad skylight. The stairs begin
to rise against the wall of the dining-room which is recessed; while on
the first floor the wall of the studio is projected and carried on
columns, beyond which the stairs rise. So that figures coming through
the hall in the light, begin mounting the stairs in the shadow, and
re-emerge into the light, as the stairs turn, with a very varied and
striking effect. By the first short flight of steps, and between the two
columns, is a seat made of a Persian chest or cassone, beautiful and
unusual in shape, and richly inlaid. Lord Leighton bought it in Rhodes
or Lindos, and was very proud of it. It could not be removed and sold
with the rest of the treasures at Christie's as it was a "fixture." The
floor of the hall is of marble mosaic, mostly black and white. Only one
small piece by the dining-room door, a very agreeable design, is in
pinkish marbles.


[Illustration: THE HOUSE: THE ARAB HALL]


On the left, down a short passage, is the Arab Hall. It is so unlike
anything else in Europe that its reputation has withdrawn all
attention from the rest of the house. It certainly is a most sumptuous
piece of work. Elsewhere Leighton satisfied his love of chastened form;
in this room and its approach he gave full scope to his delight in rich
colours. The general scheme is a peacock blue, known technically as
Egyptian green, and gold, with plentiful black and white. Here and there
tiny spots of red occur, but they are rare. The harmony begins in the
staircase hall. The walls, except in the recessed part, where there are
genuine oriental tiles, are lined to the level of the first floor with
tiles of a fine blue, from the kilns of Mr. De Morgan, and the soffitt
of the stairs is coloured buff, with gold spots. In the passage the tone
increases in richness. The ceiling is silver and the cornice gold, while
the walls, except for a fine panel of oriental tiles over the
drawing-room door, are lined with the same tiles as the staircase. Then
between two grand columns of red Caserta marble, with gilt capitals
modelled by Randolph Caldecott, we pass into the Arab Hall itself, and
we come upon the full magnificence of the effect. It is made up of
polished marbles of many colours, gilt and sculptured capitals,
alabaster, shining tiles, glistening mosaic of gold and colours, brass
and copper in the hanging corona, and coloured glass in the little
pierced windows, in fact, of every form of enrichment yet devised by
Eastern or Western Art. From the floor, which is black and white, the
tone rises through blue to lose itself in the gloom of a golden dome,
sparsely lit by jewel-like coloured lights.

In the centre a jet of water springs up, to fall back into a basin of
black marble. The form of the basin which deepens towards the centre in
successive steps, is an adaptation of the pattern of a well-known
oriental fountain. All is equally black in this pool, and the border
unfortunately is barely distinguishable from the water. After a dinner
party at which Sir E. Burne-Jones, Mr. Whistler, Mr. Albert Moore, and
many others were present, I recollect how, when we were smoking and
drinking coffee in this hall, somebody, excitedly discoursing, stepped
unaware right into the fountain. Two large Japanese gold tench, whose
somnolent existence was now for the first time made interesting, dashed
about looking for an exit, and there was a general noise of splashing
and laughter. The dark, apparently fathomless pool was rather a mistake.
Mishaps like that just mentioned occurred, I believe, more than once.
There had been at first a white marble basin, but it did not give
satisfaction, because, being in several pieces, it leaked, whereas the
black one is all cut out of one block, at great expense, of course. But
the white had the advantage of lightness where light is none too
plentiful. In our winter, when days are dark and cold, black pools, with
marble columns and floors, tiled walls, and dim domes about them do not
fall in with English notions of cosy woollen comfort. The season to do
justice to this hall is when summer comes round. When the sun breaks
through the lattice work of the musharabiyehs, and the light is thrown
up on the storied tiles, and up the polished columns to the glinting
mosaic, to die away in the golden cupola, the effect is indeed superb,
and to sit on the divan, by the splash of the fountain, and look from
the glories within to the green trees without, is to live not in London
but in the veritable Arabian nights.

The hall is square. On one side is the entrance. In the centre of each
of the other sides is a lofty arched recess. Those to the north and
south are windows, shuttered with genuine musharabiyehs bought in Cairo
and having deep cushioned divans. The recess to the west has only a
small pierced window high up. It has a raised step, and in it used to
stand certain bronze reproductions from Pompeii, with pots, vases, etc.,
now gone. Some of the tiles were bought in Damascus in 1873. The price
paid was £200 for the complete tile surface of one room. What would they
be worth now? Others, particularly the great inscription spoken of
below, were bought later in Cairo, and the rest at odd times. Here and
there are single tiles, but most of them are in sets forming fine
panels. An interesting one, in the south-east corner, represents hawks
clutching their prey, cheetahs and deer, a hunter, etc., and another has
herons, fish, tortoises, deer, etc. Set into the woodwork in the western
recess are four tiles with female figures. These are either Persian or
come from the neighbourhood of Persia, for the Anatolian or Egyptian
Mahommedan tolerated no representations of life. The rest repeat in
pleasing variety the usual motives of oriental design, viz., vines,
cypresses, pinks and vases, doorways (? the entrances of mosques), with
hanging lamps, and conventional floral designs. Above the entrance runs
the chief treasure, the grand series of tiles bearing the great
inscription. It is about sixteen feet long. According to Mr. Harding
Smith it may be translated thus:

"In the name of the merciful and long-suffering God. The Merciful hath
taught the Koran. He hath created man and taught him speech. He hath set
the sun and moon in a certain course. Both the trees and the grass are
in subjection to him."

It cannot be said that there is anything very new in that. There rarely
is in such inscriptions. There are three others, but so far as they have
been deciphered they appear to be incomplete, and in two cases, at any
rate, to much the same effect as the big one. Just pious reminders. The
real interest of them lies in the decorative effect of the imposing
procession of letters across the wall, and the splendour of their
colours. For beauty and condition this great inscription is said to be
without a rival in any collection in Europe.

Let into the woodwork panelling in the west bay there are two small
lustred Persian tiles of the thirteenth century. They have been
mutilated as to the faces of the figures by true believers. The rest
belong to the sixteenth or early seventeenth centuries, a time when
artistic production was stimulated by the commercial wealth brought by
the trade of Venice and Genoa with the East through Anatolia, Damascus
and Cairo.

Round three sides above the tiles runs a decorative mosaic frieze, by
Walter Crane, of an arabesque design on a gold ground. It is a beautiful
and fanciful piece of work in itself, and it serves moreover to blend
the prevailing colour of the tiles with the gilding of the upper
regions. But it does not continue round the fourth side, because over
the entrance, above the great inscription, an oriel window of
musharabiyeh work looks down into the hall from the first floor of the
house.

The pierced windows, or at least eight of them, were brought from Cairo,
and when bought had the original glass in them; but in the east the
glass is stuck in with white of egg, and as they were, as usual,
ill-packed, the glass all came out and was ground to fragments in the
jolting of the journey. Only enough could be saved to fill the window in
the upper part of the west recess opposite the entrance. The remainder
had to be filled with English imitations.

Returning now to the staircase, we find it ends on the first floor in a
landing leading to the great studio. On the left it is open to the
little studio; so-called because, having a skylight, Lord Leighton used
it for painting out-of-door effects until he had the glass studio built.
Adjoining it, or forming an extension of it, is another room, built only
a year or two before the late owner's death. After the addition of the
glass studio the two were only used as an antechamber, and were hung
with the pictures presented by brother artists, and with a few old
masters. The mouldings round the skylights are very pretty. The latticed
window before mentioned looks down from the little studio into the Arab
Hall.

The great studio is a large room about sixty feet by twenty-five and
about seventeen in height. In the centre of the north side is the lofty
window forming a bay and extending into a skylight in the top. High up
on either side of it are the three small openings mentioned when
speaking of the exterior. A curtain hangs in front of them, and in point
of fact they were never used. In the west wall is an apse with a gilt
semi-dome, which appears in some of Lord Leighton's pictures. Across the
east end runs a gallery at about eight feet from the floor with
bookshelves under it on either side, and in the middle a broad passage
leads into the glass studio, and still outside this is a wide balcony
looking into the garden. Casts of a portion of the Panathenaic frieze of
the Parthenon run along the upper part of the wall of the great studio, fit
emblem of the lifelong devotion of the President to classic art. Such
then is the workshop. Even now, comparatively bare as it is at the
present moment of writing, this is one of the most picturesque suites of
rooms in existence; but to see it on one of the grand occasions of
Leighton's musical receptions was a very different sight and one not
easily to be forgotten. Then when walls and easels were covered with
pictures, when rare carpets hung from the gallery, flowers and palms
filled the bay window, beautiful women and men of every form of
distinction crowded the floor to listen to Joachim and Piatti, nothing
was wanting which could give beauty or interest to the spectacle.

It will be seen that the house is still rich in artistic beauty and
still has objects of value. But the most precious of its contents are
after all its associations. Its floors have been trodden by all that was
most notable in the society of its owner's day, people whose names alone
would be an epitome of our times. It was also the workshop of a great
artist. But, above all, it was the centre of a great influence which
profoundly modified English art.

Whatever judgment the future may pass upon his own productions, the fact
must never be lost sight of that even without them Leighton was a great
man. Intellectually, spiritually, and socially he was the most brilliant
leader and stimulator of artists we have ever seen in England. His
earnest example and lifelong persistence fanned the flame of enthusiasm
among all branches of art workers. He taught Englishmen to study form,
and it was under his encouragement that sculpture, which was fallen so
low, has now risen into so good a place. Finally he did more than anyone
else has done to raise the status of the artist in society.

The house which he built himself was his hobby, and in the refinement
and catholicity of taste it shows, there is so just a reflex of his
characteristics that an account of it is indispensable to any book which
claims to describe the man.

S. PEPYS COCKERELL.



CHAPTER XI

THE ARTIST AND HIS CRITICS


Before closing our record it will be well to quote, as we promised
earlier, some of the contemporary criticism that Sir Frederic's work has
encountered from time to time; and especially the criticism of his
earlier performances, while he was still in the years of his
pre-Academic probation.

As a provocation to criticism, most interesting of all is his picture,
the _Cimabue's Madonna carried in Procession through the Streets of
Florence_, upon which we have already commented. As we may here remind
our readers, it was painted at Rome chiefly, in 1853-4, and was
exhibited at the Academy of 1855. In that year, as good fortune would
have it, Mr. Ruskin issued for the first time, "Notes on some of the
Principal Pictures Exhibited in the Rooms of the Royal Academy." Some
pages of this famous pronouncement are devoted to this very picture, and
we cannot do better than quote freely from a criticism so remarkable.

"This is a very important and very beautiful picture," says Mr. Ruskin.
"It has both sincerity and grace, and is painted on the purest
principles of Venetian art--that is to say, on the calm acceptance of
the whole of nature, small and great, as, in its place, deserving of
faithful rendering. The great secret of the Venetians was their
simplicity. They were great colourists, not because they had peculiar
secrets about oil and colour, but because when they saw a thing red,
they painted it red; and ... when they saw it distinctly, they painted
it distinctly. In all Paul Veronese's pictures, the lace borders of the
table cloths or fringes of the dresses are painted with just as much
care as the faces of the principal figures; and the reader may rest
assured that in all great art it is so. Everything in it is done as well
as it _can_ be done. Thus in the picture before us, in the background is
the Church of San Miniato, strictly accurate in every detail; on the top
of the wall are oleanders and pinks, as carefully painted as the church;
the architecture of the shrine on the wall is well studied from
thirteenth-century Gothic, and painted with as much care as the pinks;
the dresses of the figures, very beautifully designed, are painted with
as much care as the faces: that is to say, all things throughout with as
much care as the painter could bestow. It necessarily follows that what
is most difficult (_i.e._ the faces) should be comparatively the worst
done. But if they are done as well as the painter could do them, it is
all we have to ask; and modern artists are under a wonderful mistake in
thinking that when they have painted faces ill, they make their pictures
more valuable by painting the dresses worse.

"The painting before us has been objected to because it seems broken up
in bits. Precisely the same objection would hold, and in very nearly the
same degree, against the best works of the Venetians. All faithful
colourists' work, in figure-painting, has a look of sharp separation
between part and part.... Although, however, in common with all other
works of its class, it is marked by these sharp divisions, there is no
confusion in its arrangement. The principal figure is nobly principal,
not by extraordinary light, but by its own pure whiteness; and both the
Master and the young Giotto attract full regard by distinction of form
and face. The features of the boy are carefully studied, and are indeed
what, from the existing portraits of him, we know those of Giotto must
have been in his youth. The head of the young girl who wears the garland
of blue flowers is also very sweetly conceived.

"Such are the chief merits of the picture. Its defect is that the equal
care given to the whole of it is not yet _care enough_. I am aware of no
instance of a young painter, who was to be really great, who did not in
his youth paint with intense effort and delicacy of finish. The handling
here is much too broad; and the faces are, in many instances, out of
drawing, and very opaque and feeble in colour. Nor have they in general
the dignity of the countenance of the thirteenth century. The Dante
especially is ill-conceived--far too haughty, and in no wise noble or
thoughtful. It seems to me probable that Mr. Leighton has greatness in
him, but there is no absolute proof of it in this picture; and if he
does not, in succeeding years, paint far better, he will soon lose the
power of painting so well."

To Mr. Ruskin's account, which is sufficient to enable one to realize
the picture in some detail, we may add further the criticism of the
"Athenæum" of May 12th, 1855, which is interesting as showing how the
work affected a contemporary critic of another order. It speaks of Mr.
Leighton as "a young artist who, we believe, has studied in Italy," and
goes on to say: "There can be no question that the picture is one of
great power, although the composition is quaint even to sectarianism;
and though the touch, in parts broad and masterly, is in the lesser
parts of the roughest character." The last clause of the sentence bears
out, it may be perceived, a significant indictment in Mr. Ruskin's
deliverance, which lays stress on a defect that the artist, in his
maturer brush-work, does not show.

Rossetti, writing to his friend William Allingham, May 11th, 1855, says:
"There is a big picture of _Cimabue_, one of his works in procession, by
a new man, living abroad, named Leighton--a huge thing, which the Queen
has bought, which everyone talks of. The R.A.'s have been gasping for
years for someone to back against Hunt and Millais, and here they have
him, a fact that makes some people do the picture injustice in return.
It was _very_ uninteresting to me at first sight; but on looking more at
it, I think there is great richness of arrangement, a quality which,
when _really_ existing, as it does in the best old masters, and perhaps
hitherto in no living man--at any rate English--ranks among the great
qualities.

"But I am not quite sure yet either of this or of the faculty for
colour, which I suspect exists very strongly, but is certainly at
present under a thick veil of paint, owing, I fancy, to too much
continental study. One undoubted excellence it has--facility, without
much neatness or ultra-cleverness in the execution, which is greatly
like that of Paul Veronese; and the colour may mature in future works to
the same resemblance, I fancy. There is much feeling for beauty, too, in
the women. As for purely intellectual qualities, expression, intention,
etc., there is little as yet of them; but I think that in art richness
of arrangement is so nearly allied to these, that where it exists (in an
earnest man) they will probably supervene. However, the choice of
subject, though interesting in a certain way, leaves one quite in the
dark as to what faculty the man may have for representing incident or
passionate emotion. But I believe, as far as this showing goes, that he
possesses qualities which the mass of our artists aim at chiefly, and
only seem to possess. Whether he have those of which neither they nor he
give sign, I cannot tell; but he is said to be only twenty-four years
old. There is something very French in his work, at present, which is
the most disagreeable thing about it; but this I dare say would leave
him if he came to England."[12]

In the year following Leighton's academical _début_, he exhibited a
picture entitled _The Triumph of Music_, which the "Athenæum," hereafter
so sympathetic towards his work, described as "anything but a triumph of
art."

Partly, perhaps, because of the general tone of discouragement in all
the criticisms of this year, the artist did not send in anything to the
Academy of 1857. In 1858 his two pictures--_The Fisherman and the
Syren_, and _Count Paris_, although admirably conceived, and extremely
interesting to us now, received no word of friendly criticism that is
worth recording.

At the Academy of 1859 were exhibited two pictures by him, which served
to reassure at last those critics who had been shaking their heads over
his supposed inability to follow up his first success. We turn to the
"Athenæum" again, to study its gradual conversion from an attitude of
critical distrust to one of critical sympathy:

"Mr. Leighton," says the "Athenæum," "after a temporary eclipse,
struggles again to light. His heads of Italian women this year are
worthy of a young old master: anything more feeling, commanding, or
coldly beautiful, we have not seen for many a day.... This is real
painting, and we cannot but think that a painter who can paint so
powerfully will soon be able to surpass that processional picture of
his,..." _i.e._, the _Cimabue_.

In 1860, the artist, who then entered upon his thirtieth year, exhibited
a small picture, _Capri, Sunrise_, which won great praise for its
successful treatment of Italian landscape under the Scirocco, whose
sulphurous light is cast with evil suggestion upon the white houses and
green vegetation. In paying his tribute to the quality of the picture,
the critic of the "Athenæum" cannot resist, however, the old cry of
great expectations. For the effect of the _Cimabue's Madonna_ had
aroused critics to regard the painter as one who would continue the
legend of the great historical schools, and carry on the traditions of
the so-called grand style. But the critic proposes, the creator
disposes: the artist went his own way, following still his own ideals.

In 1861, some rather warm discussion raged over two of the artist's
contributions to the Royal Academy, which appeared in its catalogue as
Nos. 399 and 550, and which, it was said, had been deliberately slighted
by the hanging committee. In later years, Leighton must sometimes have
smiled when he heard (as from his position he must needs have,) the
annual plaint of the "skied." It is to the "Art Journal," whose
criticisms, when they had to do with the new and rising schools, used to
be always entertaining, if often provoking, in those days, that we turn
for a contemporary account of these things, rather than to any other
source. The critic having premised, with a delightful and convincing air
of "I told you so!" that his first effort (the inevitable _Cimabue's
Madonna_) having exhausted the poor artist, "he has been coming down the
ladder of fame ever since," continues in characteristic tones: "Instead
of being hung too high, the _Dream_, had it been properly hung, would
have been displayed upon the ceiling." The picture, according to this
authority, consisted only of a questionable combination of the "lower
forms of mere decorative ornamentation," and was in fact, "not so much a
picture as a very clever treatment for the centre of a ceiling." So much
for what was really the first clear sign of the artist's delightful
decorative faculty.

It is clear from various evidences of the feeling of the critics about
Leighton at this time, that they had begun to look upon him as one whose
ideals were frivolous, and not seriously minded, or weighted with the
true British substantiality of the old Academy tradition. In the very
next year, the artist, by the chances of his own temperamental
many-sided delight in life and art, did something to reassure his
admonitors once more. No. 217 at the Royal Academy of 1862 was his
picture, _The Star of Bethlehem_, which, with some natural and not
unfair deductions, won considerable praise from the critic last quoted.
In this painting, which shows curiously the mingled academic and natural
quality of the artist, the critic found profound incompatibilities of
conception and technique; and next year, the same critic was stirred to
exclaim,--"The pictures which of all others give most trouble and
anxiety to the critic are perhaps those of Mr. Millais and Mr.
Leighton,"--a very suggestive conjunction of names, let us add.

It was probably the same critic, who speaking of the _Dante at Verona_,
in 1864, said gravely, "The promise given by the _Cimabue_ here reaches
fruition."

Writing in 1863, Mr. W. M. Rossetti, a critic whom it is interesting to
be able to cite, said of two of the artist's pictures of that year, the
_Girl feeding Peacocks_ and the _Girl with a Basket of Fruit_, they
belong "to that class of art in which Mr. Leighton shines--the art of
luxurious exquisiteness; beauty, for beauty's sake; colour, light, form,
choice details, for their own sake, or for beauty's."

In the same year, Mr. Rossetti spoke of the young artist as the one
"British painter of special faculty who has come forward with the most
decided novelty of aim"--since, that is, the new development of art
under the little band of Pre-Raphaelites,--with which Mr. W. M. Rossetti
was himself so closely associated.

By way of contrast, we may cite the "Art Journal" of 1865, which
provides a most extraordinary criticism of _David_, of that year. "We
would venture to ask," says this ingenious critic, "why the divine
psalmist has so small a brain? Within this skull there is not compass
for the poet's thoughts to range. We state as a physiological fact, that
a head so small, with a brow so receding, could not have belonged to any
man who has made himself conspicuous in the world's history. Again,
descending to mere matter of costume, there cannot be a doubt that the
purple mantle flung on the psalmist's shoulders is wholly wanting in
study of detail, and constitutes a blot on the landscape. Barring these
oversights, the picture possesses merits."

At this period we hear the first critical murmurs against the artist's
very deliberately chosen method of flesh-painting. In 1867, speaking of
the _Venus Disrobing_, the "Art Journal" critic says: "According to the
manner, not to say the mannerism, of the artist, it has a pale silvery
hue, not as white as marble, not so life-glowing as flesh." With this we
may compare, for the comparison is instructive, the "Athenæum," whose
notice is more sympathetic. The figure of the goddess it describes as
"all rosy white, ... admirably drawn, and modelled with extreme care."

Again, in 1868, the "Art Journal" says of Sir Frederic's _Actæa_: "The
artist has made some attempt to paint flesh in its freshness and
transparency, and indeed the more he renounces the opacity of the German
school, and the more he can realize the brilliance of the old Venetian
painters, the better."

In 1869, the "Athenæum" praised the _Sister's Kiss_, as "a lovely
group," but complained that the execution was a "little too smooth,"--a
complaint not infrequently echoed from time to time by the artist's
critics. Some years later we find Mr. W. M. Rossetti making the same
complaint in criticising _Winding the Skein_.

In 1875 the picture, _Portions of the Interior of the Grand Mosque at
Damascus_, won great praise, as "a remarkably delicate piece of work, in
which the beautiful colouring of the tiled walls and mosaic pavement are
skilfully rendered."

In 1876, the quondam hostile "Art Journal" is completely converted by
the _Daphnephoria_: "To project such a scene upon canvas presupposes a
man of high poetic imagination, and when it is accompanied by such
delicacy and yet such precision of drawing and such sincerity of
modelling, the poet is merged in the painter and we speak of such a one
as a master. There is, indeed, nothing more consolatory to those who
take an interest in British art than the knowledge that we have among us
a man of such pure devotion and lofty aim."

It was in 1875, that Mr. Ruskin, resuming his _rôle_ of an Academy
critic, claimed Leighton as "a kindred Goth," and confessed, "I
determined on writing this number of 'Academy Notes,' simply because I
was so much delighted with Mr. Leslie's _School_, Mr. Leighton's _Little
Fatima_, Mr. Hook's _Hearts of Oak_, and Mr. Couldery's _Kittens_."

In his lectures on the Art of England, the same critic, speaking of
Leighton's children, says: "It is with extreme gratitude, and
unqualified admiration, that I find Sir Frederic condescending from the
majesties of Olympus to the worship of those unappalling powers, which,
heaven be thanked, are as brightly Anglo-Saxon as Hellenic; and painting
for us, with a soft charm peculiarly his own, the witchcraft and the
wonderfulness of childhood."

Upon the _Egyptian Slinger_ of the same year, which Mr. Ruskin terms the
"study of man in his Oriental function of scarecrow (symmetrically
antithetic to his British one of game preserver)," his criticism is
interesting, but adverse. The critic who elsewhere acknowledged fully
the artist's acutely observant and enthusiastic study of the organism of
the human body, confesses himself unable to recognize his skill, or to
feel sympathy with the subjects that admit of its display. It is, he
goes on to say further of the _Slinger_, "it is, I do not doubt,
anatomically correct, and with the addition of the corn, the poppies,
and the moon, becomes semi-artistic; so that I feel much compunction in
depressing it into the Natural History class; and the more, because it
partly forfeits its claim even to such position, by obscuring in
twilight and disturbing our minds, in the process of scientific
investigation, by sensational effects of afterglow and lunar effulgence,
which are disadvantageous, not to the scientific observer only, but to
less learned spectators; for when simple persons like myself, greatly
susceptible to the influence of the stage lamps and pink side-lights,
first catch sight of this striding figure from the other side of the
room, and take it, perhaps, for the angel with his right foot on the sea
and the left on the earth, swearing there shall be Time no longer; or
for Achilles alighting from one of his lance-cast-long leaps on the
shore of Scamander, and find on near approach that all this grand
straddling and turning down of the gas mean practically only a lad
shying stones at sparrows, we are only too likely to pass it petulantly
without taking note of what is really interesting in this eastern custom
and skill."


[Illustration: EGYPTIAN SLINGER (1875)]


The most recent criticism of importance on the art of Leighton is
contained in an admirable volume by M. de la Sizeranne.[13] We take this
opportunity of quoting a few sentences from an appreciation which opens
with the significant remark that Sir Frederic Leighton is officially the
representative of English painting on the Continent, and, in reality,
the representative of Continental painting in England, and concludes by
tracing the definitely English ideal that underlies the artist's work.
Elsewhere the critic says, "Ce qui est britannique en M. Leighton,
quoique bien voilé par son éclectisme, transparaîtra encore." Apart from
Leighton's distinctively native predilection for certain subjects, M. de
la Sizeranne finds him very English in his treatment of draperies, for
instance, a treatment which he traces ingeniously to the much study
given to the Greek drapery of the Elgin marbles by the English School,
since the days of the Pre-Raphaelites. Elsewhere, taking as his text the
picture _The Spirit of the Summit_, he says: "Des sujets qui élèvent la
pensée vers les sommets de la vie ou de l'histoire, de sorte qu'on ne
puisse se rappeler un nez ou une jambe sans se souvenir de quelque haute
leçon évangélique, ou de moins de quelque grande nécessité sociale,
voilà ce que M. Leighton a traité. Et un style beaucoup plus sobre que
celui d'Overbeck, beaucoup plus viril que celui de M. Bouguereau, voilà
comment il les a traités." Again: "La grandeur de la communion humaine,
la noblesse de la paix, tel est le thème qui a le plus souvent et le
mieux inspiré M. Leighton. Et cela il ne l'a pas trouvé en France, ni
ailleurs. C'est bien une idée anglaise." No better summing up of the
chronicle of the life work of the artist could well be found.

But we have pursued far enough this study of an artist's progress
through the thorny, devious ways of art criticism. We have reached the
point, in fact, where the comparative uncertainties of an artist's
career make way for the certainties. With one quotation more, in which
we have a tribute from another critic, Mr. Comyns Carr, we may fitly
close: "No painter of our time," said Mr. Carr, "maintains a firmer or
more constant adherence to those severe principles of design which have
received the sanction of great example in the past. Sir Frederic
Leighton has never lowered the standard of his work in deference to any
popular demand, and for this persistent devotion to his own highest
ideals he deserves well of all who share his faith in the power of
beauty."


[Illustration: ELISHA AND THE SHUNAMITE'S SON (1881)]



CHAPTER XII

CONCLUSION


In now bringing this record to a close, we will of set purpose remain
true to the chronicler's function, pure and simple; attempting no
profounder or more critical summing up of our subject, than consists
with the plain record of a remarkable career.

After a year of indifferent health, during part of which time he was
ordered abroad for rest and change, being thus unable to preside at the
annual banquet in May, Leighton returned to England apparently
convalescent. Although unable to deliver the biennial presidential
address, which fell due in December, 1895, he met the students on that
occasion, and apologized for not delivering the Discourse which was due,
in these words: "The cloud which has hung over me hangs over me
still."[14]

Early in 1896 a peerage was bestowed upon him, and all the world
applauded the honour conferred on Art in his name. On January 13th,
1896, the news of his death came as a terrible surprise. The new peer,
Baron Leighton of Stretton, was buried with much state at St. Paul's
Cathedral, before men in general had wholly recognized that Lord
Leighton was the popular "Sir Frederic," the President of the Royal
Academy, and one of the most familiar figures at any important
function--at court or elsewhere.

Except perhaps in the case of politicians, who live in some degree by
the public recognition of their personal qualities, it is difficult to
render tribute gracefully and well to a contemporary. But we cannot
close these pages, now, without pausing to recall how fortunate it has
been that English Art, for seventeen years, had as its titular head an
artist whose affluent artistic faculty was but the open sign of a
crowded life, loyal throughout to the great causes, high ideals, and,
let us add, the early friendships, chosen long ago in the mid century.
We are now at that century's end,--an end not without its reproach, as
expressed by a decadence more self-conscious than dignified, more
critical than creative; but in Lord Leighton's Art there was little
diminution in his active energy, and of that finer health and spirit of
life, which is behind all beauty! Like his distinguished friend and
colleague, Mr. G. F. Watts (whose tribute to him as a man and as an
artist has been expressed again and again in eloquent terms), Leighton
remained, in his later period as in his youth, generously alive to all
the things that count, devoted still to the Art, the current life, and
the great national traditions, of his own country.

From another famous colleague, Sir E. J. Poynter, P.R.A., one may fitly
add here the following further sentences of contemporary tribute, which
were written by way of dedication to his "Ten Lectures on Art,"
published some years ago:--"I came to-day from the 'Varnishing Day' at
the Royal Academy Exhibition with a pleasant conviction that there is on
all sides a more decided tendency towards a higher standard in Art, both
as regards treatment of subject and execution, than I have before
noticed; and I have no hesitation in attributing this sudden improvement
in the main to the stimulus given to us all by the election of our new
President, and to the influence of the energy, thoroughness and nobility
of aim which he displays in everything he undertakes. I was probably the
first, when we were both young and in Rome together, to whom he had the
opportunity of showing the disinterested kindness which he has
invariably extended to beginners, and to him, as the friend and master
who first directed my ambition, and whose precepts I never fail to
recall when at work (as many another will recall them), I venture to
dedicate this book with affection and respect."

"As we are, so our work is!" said Leighton in one of the most memorable
of his Discourses; "and the moral effect of what we are will control the
artist's work from the first touch of the brush or chisel to the last."
"Believe me," he concludes, in a striking passage that may very fitly
serve us, too, with a conclusion to these passages, "believe me,
whatever of dignity, whatever of strength we have within us, will
dignify and will make strong the labours of our hands; whatever
littleness degrades our spirit will lessen them and drag them down.
Whatever noble fire is in our hearts will burn also in our work,
whatever purity is ours will also chasten and exalt it; for as we are,
so our work is, and what we sow in our lives, that, beyond a doubt, we
shall reap for good or for ill in the strengthening or defacing of
whatever gifts have fallen to our lot."

It would be superfluous to quote from the elegiac tributes which
appeared in the public press after Lord Leighton's death, and invidious
to repeat certain unkind and unjust strictures which marred the
otherwise unanimous note of appreciation. It is obvious that an artist
with so strongly marked a personality must needs have been fettered by
the very limits he himself had set. At one time, when a painter of
eminence openly expressed his preference for Lord Leighton's unfinished
work, and begged him to keep a certain picture as "a beautiful sketch,"
he replied: "No, I shall finish it, and probably, as you suggest, spoil
it. To complete satisfactorily is what we painters live for. I am not a
great painter, but I am always striving to finish my work up to my first
conception."

There are many mansions in the city of Art, and if the one of Lord
Leighton's building was not to the taste of all his contemporaries, the
edifice can be left to await the final test of years. Fashions in taste
change rapidly, and much of his finish that finds disfavour to-day may
in time charm once again. A career overburdened by official honour was
destined to provoke a certain amount of envious protest; but as a man,
no voice has urged a word against his ideally perfect performance, not
merely of his official duties, but of others which indeed were laid upon
him by his position. These he obeyed without ostentation--almost without
men's knowledge. His kindly help, by commendation or by commission given
to young artists; his broad and tolerant view of work conceived in
direct opposition to all he valued himself, was not hidden from his
friends. "It is with a sense of amazement," a critic writes in a private
letter, "that one afternoon after a protest that nothing he said was to
be published, I heard him discuss the prospects and the works of our
ultra-modern painters. Even in fields beyond his sympathy he picked out
the chaff from the wheat, and was judicially accurate in his verdicts of
the difference between 'tweedle-dum' and 'tweedle-dee,' both one would
have said, entirely unknown to him."

In Lord Leighton British artists lost a truer friend than many of them
suspected, one who wielded his power justly to all, and was more often
on the side of progress than not, a power for reform that can never be
estimated at its actual value, working within a highly conservative
body, full of vested interests and prejudice--as is the habit of
academies of Art and Literature abroad no less than at home. That
Leighton, who controlled its destinies so long, was loyal to its true
interests, and never forgot the institution with which he was associated
so many years is evident from his last words: "Give my love to all at
the Academy."


[Illustration: BOOKPLATE OF LORD LEIGHTON. DESIGNED BY R. ANNING BELL.]



APPENDIX I

LIST OF PRINCIPAL WORKS

_With date and place of exhibition_


1850  (_circa_). *CIMABUE FINDING GIOTTO IN THE FIELDS OF FLORENCE.[15]
      (49-1/2 × 37 in.) Steinle Institute (Frankfort).

1850. THE DUEL BETWEEN ROMEO AND TYBALT. (37 × 50 in.)

1851  (_circa_). THE DEATH OF BRUNELLESCHI. Steinle Institute.

1851. [EARLY PORTRAIT OF LEIGHTON BY HIMSELF.]

1852. *A PERSIAN PEDLAR.

  "   [BUFFALMACCO, THE PAINTER. A humorous subject, taken from Vasari,
      was undertaken about this date.]

1853. PORTRAIT OF MISS LAING (Lady Nias).

1855. *CIMABUE'S CELEBRATED MADONNA IS CARRIED IN PROCESSION THROUGH
      THE STREETS OF FLORENCE. In front of the Madonna, and crowned with
      laurels, walks Cimabue himself, with his pupil Giotto; behind it,
      Arnolfo di Lapo, Gaddo Gaddi, Andrea Tafi, Nicola Pisano,
      Buffalmacco and Simone Memmi; in the corner, Dante.
      (87-1/2 × 205 in.)                                           R.A.[16]

  "   THE RECONCILIATION OF THE MONTAGUES AND CAPULETS over the dead
      bodies of Romeo and Juliet. Paris International Exhibition.[17]

1856. THE TRIUMPH OF MUSIC. (80 × 110 in.)                             R.A.

      "Orpheus, by the power of his art, redeems his wife from Hades."

1857. *SALOME, the daughter of Herodias. (44-1/2 × 25 in.)

1858. *THE MERMAID (THE FISHERMAN AND THE SYREN).
      (From a ballad by Goethe.) (26-1/2 × 18-1/2 in.)                 R.A.

          "Half drew she him,
          Half sunk he in,
          And never more was seen."

  "   "COUNT PARIS, accompanied by Friar Lawrence and a band of
      musicians, comes to the house of the Capulets, to claim his
      bride: he finds Juliet stretched apparently lifeless on her
      bed."--_Romeo and Juliet_, act IV., sc. 5. (26-1/2 × 18-1/2 in.) R.A.

  "   REMINISCENCE OF ALGIERS.                                         S.S.

        _These were_,

          [A SUBJECT FROM KEATS'S HYMN TO PAN,] _in the first book of
          "Endymion," a figure of Pan under a fig-tree, with the
          inscription_,

                                "_O thou, to whom
              Broad-leaved fig-trees even now foredoom
              Their ripen'd fruitage;_"

        _and the other_,

          [A PENDANT TO THE "PAN,"] _the figure of a nude nymph about
          to bathe, with a little Cupid loosening her sandal._

1859. SUNNY HOURS.                                                     R.A.

  "   *ROMAN LADY (La Nanna).                                          R.A.

  "   *NANNA (Pavonia).                                                R.A.

  "   SAMSON AND DELILAH.                                              S.S.

1860. CAPRI--SUNRISE.                                                  R.A.

1861. *PORTRAIT OF MRS. SUTHERLAND ORR. [Mrs. S. O., a portrait.]
      (28 × 18 in.)                                                    R.A.

  "   *PORTRAIT OF JOHN HANSON WALKER, ESQ. (23 × 17 in.)

  "   PAOLO E FRANCESCA.                                               R.A.

          "Ma solo un punto fu quel che ci vinse
          Quando legemmo il disiato riso
          Esser baciato da cotanto amante,
          Questi, che mai da me non fia diviso,
          La bocca mi baciò tutto tremante:
          Galeotto fu'l libro e chi lo scrisse:
          Quel giorno più non vi legemmo avante."

  "   A DREAM.                                                         R.A.

          ... "Not yet--not yet--
          Still there is trial for thee, still the lot
          To bear (the Father wills it) strife and care;
          With this sweet consciousness in balance set
          Against the world, to soothe thy suffering there
             Thy Lord rejects thee not.
          Such tender words awoke me hopeful, shriven
          To life on earth again from dream of heaven."

  "   LIEDER OHNE WORTE.                                               R.A.

  "   J. A. A STUDY.                                                   R.A.

  "   CAPRI--PAGANOS.                                                  R.A.

1862. ODALISQUE.                                                       R.A.

  "   *THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM. (60 × 23-1/2 in.)                        R.A.

          One of the Magi, from the terrace of his house, stands
          looking at the star in the East; the lower part of the
          picture indicates a road, which he may be supposed
          just to have left.

  "   SISTERS.                                                         R.A.

  "   *MICHAEL ANGELO NURSING HIS DYING SERVANT. (43 × 36 in.)         R.A.

  "   DUETT.                                                           R.A.

  "   SEA ECHOES.                                                      R.A.

  "   RUSTIC MUSIC.

1863. JEZEBEL AND AHAB, having caused Naboth to be put to death,
      go down to take possession of his vineyard; they are met at
      the entrance by Elijah the Tishbite:                             R.A.

          "Hast thou killed, and also taken possession?"

  "   *EUCHARIS. (A Girl with a Basket of Fruit.) (32-1/2 × 22 in.)    R.A.

  "   A GIRL FEEDING PEACOCKS.                                         R.A.

  "   AN ITALIAN CROSSBOW-MAN. (15 × 24-1/2 in.)                       R.A.

1864. DANTE AT VERONA.                                                 R.A.

  "   *ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE. (49 × 42 in.)                             R.A.

          "But give them me--the mouth, the eyes,--the brow--
          Let them once more absorb me! One look now
          Will lap me round for ever, not to pass
          Out of its light, though darkness lie beyond!
          Hold me but safe again within the bond
          Of one immortal look! All woe that was,
          Forgotten, and all terror that may be,
          Defied--no past is mine, no future! look at me!"
                              ROBERT BROWNING: _A Fragment_.

  "   *GOLDEN HOURS. (36 × 48 in.)                                     R.A.

  "   *PORTRAIT OF THE LATE MISS LAVINIA I'ANSON. (Circular, 12-1/2 in.)

1865. *DAVID. (37 × 47 in.)                                            R.A.

          "Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly
          away and be at rest." _Psalm_ lv.

  "   MOTHER AND CHILD.                                                R.A.

  "   WIDOW'S PRAYER.                                                  R.A.

  "   HELEN OF TROY.                                                   R.A.

          "Thus as she spoke, in Helen's breast arose
          Fond recollections of her former lord,
          Her home, and parents; o'er her head she threw
          A snowy veil; and shedding tender tears
          She issued forth not unaccompanied;
          For with her went fair Æthra, Pittheus' child.
          And stag-eyed Clymene, her maidens twain.
          They quickly at the Scæan gate arrived."

  "   IN ST. MARK'S.                                                   R.A.

1866. PAINTER'S HONEYMOON.                                             R.A.

  "   PORTRAIT OF MRS. JAMES GUTHRIE.                                  R.A.

  "   SYRACUSAN BRIDE LEADING WILD BEASTS IN PROCESSION TO THE
      TEMPLE OF DIANA.                                                 R.A.

          (Suggested by a passage in the second Idyll of Theocritus.)

          "And for her, then, many other wild beasts were going in
          procession round about, and among them a lioness."

  "   THE WISE AND FOOLISH VIRGINS. (Fresco in Lyndhurst Church.)

1867. *PASTORAL. (51-1/2 × 26 in.)                                     R.A.

  "   *GREEK GIRL DANCING. (Spanish Dancing Girl: Cadiz in the old
      times.) (34 × 45 in.)                                            R.A.

  "   KNUCKLE-BONE PLAYER.                                             R.A.

  "   *ROMAN MOTHER. (24 × 19 in.)                                     R.A.

  "   *VENUS DISROBING FOR THE BATH. (79 × 35-1/2 in.)                 R.A.

  "   *PORTRAIT OF MRS. JOHN HANSON WALKER. (18 × 16 in.)

1868. JONATHAN'S TOKEN TO DAVID.                                       R.A.

          "And it came to pass in the morning, that Jonathan went
          out into the field at the time appointed by David, and
          a little lad with him."

  "   *PORTRAIT OF MRS. FREDERICK P. COCKERELL. (23-1/2 × 19-1/2 in.)  R.A.

  "   *PORTRAIT OF JOHN MARTINEAU, ESQ. (23-1/2 × 19-1/2 in.)

  "   *ARIADNE ABANDONED BY THESEUS; Ariadne watches for his return;
      Artemis releases her by death. (45 × 62 in.)                     R.A.

  "   *ACME AND SEPTIMIUS. (Circular, 37-1/2 in.)                      R.A.

          "Then bending gently back her head
          With that sweet mouth, so rosy red,
          Upon his eyes she dropped a kiss,
          Intoxicating him with bliss."
                              CATULLUS (Theodore Martin's translation).

  "   *ACTÆA, THE NYMPH OF THE SHORE. (22 × 40 in.)                    R.A.

1869. *ST. JEROME. (Diploma work, deposited in the Academy on his
      election as an Academician.) (72 × 55 in.)                       R.A.

  "   *DÆDALUS AND ICARUS. (53-1/2 × 40-1/2 in.)                       R.A.

  "   *ELECTRA AT THE TOMB OF AGAMEMNON. (59-1/2 × 29 in.)             R.A.

  "   *HELIOS AND RHODOS. (65-1/2 × 42 in.)                            R.A.

1870. A NILE WOMAN. (21-1/2 × 11-1/2 in.)                              R.A.

  "   STUDY.                                                           S.S.

1871. *HERCULES WRESTLING WITH DEATH FOR THE BODY OF ALCESTIS.
      (54 × 104-1/2 in.)                                               R.A.

  "   GREEK GIRLS PICKING UP PEBBLES BY THE SHORE OF THE SEA.          R.A.

  "   *CLEOBOULOS INSTRUCTING HIS DAUGHTER CLEOBOULINE.
      (24 × 37-1/2 in.)                                                R.A.

  "   VIEW OF ASSIOUT(?) (_A sketch._)                                 S.S.

  "   SUNRISE AT LONGSOR. (_A sketch._)                                S.S.

  "   VIEW OF THE RED MOUNTAINS NEAR CAIRO. (_A sketch._)              S.S.

1872. *AFTER VESPERS. (43 × 27-1/2 in.)                                R.A.

  "   *SUMMER MOON. (Guildhall, 1890.) (39-1/2 × 50-1/2 in.)           R.A.

  "   PORTRAIT OF THE RIGHT HON. EDWARD RYAN, Secretary of the
      Dilettanti Society, for which the picture was painted.
      (S.P.P., 1893.)                                                  R.A.

  "   A CONDOTTIERE.                                                   R.A.

  "   *THE INDUSTRIAL ARTS OF WAR at the International Exhibition
      at South Kensington. (Monochrome, 76 × 177 in.)

  "   THE CAPTIVE.                                                     S.S.

  "   AN ARAB CAFÉ, ALGIERS.                                           S.S.

1873. *WEAVING THE WREATH. (Guildhall, 1895.)                          R.A.

  "   MORETTA. (Guildhall, 1894.) (20-1/2 × 14-1/2 in.)                R.A.

  "   *THE INDUSTRIAL ARTS OF PEACE. (Monochrome, 76 × 177 in.)        R.A.

  "   A ROMAN.                                                         S.S.

  "   VITTORIA.                                                        S.S.

1874. *MOORISH GARDEN: a dream of Granada. (41 × 40 in.)
      (Guildhall, 1895.)                                               R.A.

  "   OLD DAMASCUS: Jews' Quarter.                                     R.A.

  "   *ANTIQUE JUGGLING GIRL. (Guildhall, 1892.) (41-1/2 × 24 in.)     R.A.

  "   CLYTEMNESTRA from the battlements of Argos watches for the
      beacon fires which are to announce the return of Agamemnon.      R.A.

  "   ANNARELLA, ANA CAPRI.                                            D.G.

  "   RUBINELLA, CAPRI.                                                D.G.

  "   LEMON TREE, CAPRI.                                               D.G.

  "   WEST COURT OF PALAZZO, VENICE.                                   D.G.

1875. *PORTION OF THE INTERIOR OF THE GRAND MOSQUE OF DAMASCUS.
      (62 × 47 in.)                                                    R.A.

  "   *PORTRAIT OF MRS. H. E. GORDON (35-1/2 × 37 in.)                 R.A.

  "   *LITTLE FATIMA. (15-1/2 × 9-1/4 in.)                             R.A.

  "   VENETIAN GIRL.                                                   R.A.

  "   *EGYPTIAN SLINGER. (Eastern Slinger Scaring Birds in
      Harvest-time: Moonrise.) (Guildhall, 1890.)                      R.A.

  "   FLORENTINE YOUTH.                                                S.S.

  "   RUINED MOSQUE IN DAMASCUS.                                       S.S.

1876. *PORTRAIT OF SIR RICHARD FRANCIS BURTON, K.C.M.G. (Portrait
      of Capt. Richard Burton, H.M. Consul at Trieste). (23-1/2 ×
      19-1/2 in.) (Paris, 1878; Melbourne, 1888; S.P.P., 1892.)        R.A.

  "   *THE DAPHNEPHORIA. (89 × 204 in.)                                R.A.

          A triumphal procession held every ninth year at Thebes,
          in honour of Apollo and to commemorate a victory of the
          Thebans over the Æolians of Arne. (See Proclus,
          "Chrestomath," p. 11.)

  "   TERESINA.                                                        R.A.

  "   PAOLO.                                                           R.A.

1877. *MUSIC LESSON. (36-1/2 × 37-1/8 in.) (Paris, 1878.)              R.A.

  "   *PORTRAIT OF MISS MABEL MILLS (The Hon. Mrs. Grenfell).
      (23 × 19 in.)                                                    R.A.

  "   *AN ATHLETE STRANGLING A PYTHON.[18] Bronze. (Paris, 1878.)      R.A.

  "   *PORTRAIT OF H. E. GORDON. (23-1/2 × 19 in.)                     G.G.

  "   AN ITALIAN GIRL.                                                 G.G.

  "   *STUDY. (A little girl with fair hair, in a pink robe.)
      (24 × 28 in.)                                                    R.A.

  "   A STUDY.                                                         G.G.

1878. *NAUSICAA. (57-1/2 × 25-1/2 in.) (Guildhall, 1896.)              R.A.

  "   SERAFINA.                                                        R.A.

  "   *WINDING THE SKEIN. (39-1/2 × 63-1/2 in.)                        R.A.

  "   A STUDY.                                                         R.A.

  "   *PORTRAIT OF MISS RUTH STEWART HODGSON. (50-1/2 × 35-1/2 in.)    G.G.

  "   STUDY OF A GIRL'S HEAD.                                          G.G.

  "   SIERRA: ELVIZA IN THE DISTANCE, GRANADA.                         S.S.

  "   THE SIERRA ALHAMA, GRANADA.                                      S.S.

1879. BIONDINA.                                                        R.A.

  "   CATARINA.                                                        R.A.

  "   *ELIJAH IN THE WILDERNESS. (91 × 81-1/2 in.) (Paris, 1878.)      R.A.

  "   PORTRAIT OF SIGNOR G. COSTA.                                     R.A.

  "   AMARILLA.                                                        R.A.

  "   A STUDY.                                                         R.A.

  "   PORTRAIT OF THE COUNTESS BROWNLOW.                               R.A.

  "   *NERUCCIA. (19 × 16 in.)                                         R.A.

  "   A STUDY.                                                         S.S.

  "   THE CARRACA HILLS.                                               S.S.

  "   A STREET IN LERICI.                                              S.S.

  "   VIA BIANCA, CAPRI.                                               G.G.

  "   ARCHWAY IN ALGIERS.                                              G.G.

  "   RUINS OF A MOSQUE, DAMASCUS.                                     G.G.

  "   STUDY OF A DONKEY.                                               G.G.

  "   ON THE TERRACE, CAPRI.                                           G.G.

  "   SKETCH NEAR DAMASCUS.                                            G.G.

  "   VIEW IN GRANADA.                                                 G.G.

  "   STUDY OF A DONKEY, EGYPT.                                        G.G.

  "   STUDY OF A HEAD.                                                 G.G.

  "   NICANDRA.                                                        G.G.

1880. *SISTER'S KISS. (48 × 21-1/2 in.)                                R.A.

  "   *IOSTEPHANE. (37 × 19 in.)                                       R.A.

  "   THE LIGHT OF THE HAREM. (60 × 33 in.)                            R.A.

  "   PSAMATHE. (36 × 24 in.)                                          R.A.

  "   *THE NYMPH OF THE DARGLE (Crenaia). (29-1/2 × 10 in.)            R.A.

  "   RUBINELLA.                                                       G.G.

  "   THE POZZO CORNER, VENICE.           Winter Exhibition.           G.G.

  "   JACK AND HIS CIDER CAN.               "        "                 G.G.

  "   THE PAINTER'S HONEYMOON.              "        "                 G.G.

  "   WINDING OF THE SKEIN (with sketch).   "        "                 G.G.

  "   HEAD OF URBINO.                       "        "                 G.G.

  "   STEPS OF THE BARGELLO, FLORENCE.      "        "                 G.G.

  "   A CONTRAST.                           "        "                 G.G.

  "   GARDEN AT CAPRI.                      "        "                 G.G.

  "   TWENTY-NINE STUDIES OF HEADS,
      FLOWERS, AND DRAPERIES.               "        "                 G.G.

1881. ELISHA RAISING THE SON OF THE SHUNAMITE. (32 x 54 in.)
      (Guildhall, 1895.)                                               R.A.

  "   PORTRAIT OF THE PAINTER.[19]                                     R.A.

  "   *IDYLL. (41-1/2 × 84 in.)                                        R.A.

  "   *PORTRAIT OF MRS. STEPHEN RALLI. (48 × 33 in.)                   R.A.

  "   *WHISPERS. (48 × 30 in.)                                         R.A.

  "   VIOLA.                                                           R.A.

  "   *BIANCA. (18 × 12-1/2 in.)                                       R.A.

  "   PORTRAIT OF MRS. ALGERNON SARTORIS.                              G.G.

1882. *DAY-DREAMS. (47-1/2 × 35-1/2 in.)                               R.A.

  "   WEDDED.                                                          R.A.

  "   PHRYNE AT ELEUSIS. (86 × 48 in.) (Melbourne, 1888.)              R.A.

  "   ANTIGONE.                                                        R.A.

  "   "AND THE SEA GAVE UP THE DEAD WHICH WERE IN IT."
      _Rev._ xx. 13. (Design for a portion of a decoration in
      St. Paul's.)                                                     R.A.

  "   MELITTION.                                                       R.A.

  "   *PORTRAIT OF MRS. MOCATTA. (23-1/2 × 19-1/2 in.)

  "   ZEYRA.                                                           G.G.

1883. THE DANCE: decorative frieze for a drawing-room in a
      private house.                                                   R.A.

  "   *VESTAL. (24-1/2 × 17 in.)                                       R.A.

  "   *KITTENS. (48 × 31-1/2 in.)                                      R.A.

  "   MEMORIES.                                                        R.A.

  "   *PORTRAIT OF MISS NINA JOACHIM. (16 × 13 in.)

1884. *LETTY. (18 × 15-1/2 in.)                                        R.A.

  "   *CYMON AND IPHIGENIA. (64 × 129 in.)                             R.A.

  "   A NAP.                                                           R.A.

  "   SUN GLEAMS.                                                      R.A.

1885. "... SERENELY WANDERING IN A TRANCE OF SOBER THOUGHT."
      (46 × 27 in.)                                                    R.A.

  "   PORTRAIT OF THE LADY SYBIL PRIMROSE.                             R.A.

  "   *PORTRAIT OF MRS. A. HICHENS. (26-1/2 × 20-1/2 in.)              R.A.

  "   MUSIC: a frieze.                                                 R.A.

  "   PHOEBE. (Manchester, 1887.)                                      R.A.

  "   A STUDY.                                                         G.G.

  "   TOMBS OF MUSLIM SAINTS.                                          S.S.

  "   MOUNTAINS NEAR RONDA PUERTA DE LOS VIENTOS.                      S.S.

1886. PAINTED DECORATION FOR THE CEILING OF A MUSIC-ROOM.[20]
      (7 ft. × 20 ft.)                                                 R.A.

  "   GULNIHAL.                                                        R.A.

  "   *THE SLUGGARD. Statue, bronze.                                   R.A.

  "   *NEEDLESS ALARMS. Statuette.                                     R.A.

1887. *THE JEALOUSY OF SIMÆTHA, THE SORCERESS. (35-1/2 × 55-1/2 in.)   R.A.

  "   *THE LAST WATCH OF HERO. (62-1/2 × 35-1/2 in., with predella
      12-1/2 × 29-1/2 in.)                                             R.A.

          "With aching heart she scanned the sea-face dim.
          .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
          Lo! at the turret's foot his body lay,
          Rolled on the stones, and washed with breaking spray."

              _Hero and Leander: Musæus_ (translated by Edwin Arnold).

  "   [Picture of A LITTLE GIRL WITH GOLDEN HAIR AND PALE BLUE EYES.]

            "Yellow and pale as ripened corn
            Which Autumn's kiss frees--grain from sheath--
            Such was her hair, while her eyes beneath,
          Showed Spring's faint violets freshly born."
                              ROBERT BROWNING.

  "   *Design for the reverse of THE JUBILEE MEDALLION. (_Executed
      for Her Majesty's Government._)                                  R.A.

          _Empire, enthroned in the centre, rests her right hand on
          the sword of Justice, and holds in her left the symbol of
          victorious rule. At her feet, on one side, Commerce
          proffers wealth, on the other a winged figure holds
          emblems of Electricity and Steam-power. Flanking the
          throne to the right of the spectator are Agriculture and
          Industry--on the opposite side, Science, Literature, and
          the Arts. Above, interlocking wreaths, held by winged
          genii representing respectively the years 1837 and 1887,
          inclose the initials,_ V.R.I.

1888. *CAPTIVE ANDROMACHE. (77 × 160 in.)                              R.A.

                                    ".... Some standing by,
           Marking thy tears fall, shall say, 'This is she,
           The wife of that same Hector that fought best
           Of all the Trojans, when all fought for Troy.'"
                          _Iliad_, VI. (E. B. Browning's translation.)

  "   *PORTRAIT OF AMY, LADY COLERIDGE. (42 × 39-1/2 in.)
      (S.P.P., 1891.)                                                  R.A.

  "   *PORTRAITS OF THE MISSES STEWART HODGSON. (47 × 39-1/2 in.)

  "   FOUR STUDIES.                                                  R.W.S.

  "   FIVE STUDIES.                                                    S.S.

1889. *SIBYL. (59 × 34 in.)                                            R.A.

  "   *INVOCATION. (54 × 33-1/2 in.)                                   R.A.

  "   ELEGY.                                                           R.A.

  "   GREEK GIRLS PLAYING AT BALL. (45 × 78 in.)                       R.A.

  "   *PORTRAIT OF MRS. FRANCIS A. LUCAS. (23-1/2 × 19-1/2 in.)        R.A.

1890. SOLITUDE.                                                        R.A.

  "   *THE BATH OF PSYCHE.[21] (75 × 24-1/2 in.)                       R.A.

  "   *TRAGIC POETESS. (63 × 34 in.)                                   R.A.

  "   *THE ARAB HALL. (33 × 16 in.) (Guildhall, 1890.)                 R.A.

1891. *PERSEUS AND ANDROMEDA. (91-1/2 × 50 in.)                        R.A.

  "   *PORTRAIT OF A. B. FREEMAN-MITFORD, ESQ., C.B.
      (46-1/2 × 38-1/2 in.)                                            R.A.

  "   *RETURN OF PERSEPHONE. (79 × 59-1/2 in.)                         R.A.

  "   ATHLETE STRUGGLING WITH A PYTHON--group, marble.                 R.A.

1892. *"AND THE SEA GAVE UP THE DEAD WHICH WERE IN IT."
      (Circular, 93 in.)                                               R.A.

  "   AT THE FOUNTAIN. (49 × 37 in.)                                   R.A.

  "   *THE GARDEN OF THE HESPERIDES. (Circular, 66 in.)
      (Chicago, 1893; Guildhall, 1895.)                                R.A.

  "   BACCHANTE.                                                       R.A.

  "   *CLYTIE. (32-1/2 × 53-1/2 in.)                                   R.A.

  "   PHRYNE AT THE BATH. (24 × 12 in.)                                S.S.

  "   MALIN HEAD, DONEGAL.                                             S.S.

  "   ST. MARK'S, VENICE.                                              S.S.

  "   INTERIOR OF ST. MARK'S, VENICE.                                  S.S.

  "   THE DOORWAY, NORTH AISLE, VENICE.                                S.S.

  "   RIZPAH (the small study in oils). (7 × 7 in.)                    S.S.

1893. *FAREWELL! (63 × 26-1/2 in.)                                     R.A.

  "   *HIT! (29 × 22 in.)                                              R.A.

  "   *ATALANTA. (26-1/2 × 19 in.)                                     R.A.

  "   RIZPAH. (36 × 52 in.)                                            R.A.

  "   *CORINNA OF TANAGRA. (47-1/2 × 21 in.)                           R.A.

  "   THE FRIGIDARIUM.                                                 R.A.

1894. *THE SPIRIT OF THE SUMMIT. (77-1/2 × 39-1/2 in.)                 R.A.

  "   *THE BRACELET. (59-1/2 × 23 in.)                                 R.A.

  "   *FATIDICA. (59-1/2 × 23 in.)                                     R.A.

  "   *SUMMER SLUMBER. (45-1/2 × 62 in.)                               R.A.

  "   AT THE WINDOW.                                                   R.A.

  "   WIDE WONDERING EYES. (20 × 15-1/2 in.)                    Manchester.

  "   THE ROMAN CAMPAGNA, MONTE SORACTE IN THE DISTANCE.               S.S.

  "   THE ACROPOLIS OF LINDOS.                                         S.S.

  "   FIUME MORTO, GOMBO, PISA.                                        S.S.

  "   GIBRALTAR FROM SAN ROCQUE.                                       S.S.

1895. LACHRYMÆ. (60 × 24 in.)                                          R.A.

  "   THE MAID WITH THE YELLOW HAIR.                                   R.A.

  "   *"'TWIXT HOPE AND FEAR." (43-1/2 × 38-1/2 in.)                   R.A.

  "   *FLAMING JUNE. (46 × 46 in.)                                     R.A.

  "   LISTENER.                                                        R.A.

  "   A STUDY.                                                         R.A.

  "   PHOENICIANS BARTERING WITH BRITONS.                   Royal Exchange.

  "   BOY WITH POMEGRANATE.                                Grafton Gallery.

  "   MISS DENE.

  "   AQUA CERTOSA, ROME.                                              S.S.

  "   CHAIN OF HILLS SEEN FROM RONDA.                                  S.S.

  "   ROCKS, MALIN HEAD, DONEGAL.                                      S.S.

  "   TLEMÇEN, ALGERIA.                                                S.S.

1896. *CLYTIE. (61-1/2 × 53-1/2 in.)                                   R.A.

  "   CANDIDA. (21 × 41-1/2 in.)                             Antwerp, 1896.

  "   *THE VESTAL. (27 × 20-1/2 in.) Unfinished.

  "   *A BACCHANTE. (26-1/2 × 21 in.)

  "   *THE FAIR PERSIAN. (25-1/2 × 19-1/2 in.) Unfinished.


[Illustration: "... SERENELY WANDERING IN A TRANCE OF SOBER THOUGHT"
(1885)]


[Illustration: DESIGN FOR THE REVERSE OF THE JUBILEE MEDALLION (1887)]



APPENDIX II


The studies in oil, chiefly landscape, of quite small size, few of which
had been exhibited, were sold, with the remaining works of the artist,
by Messrs. Christie, Manson and Woods on July 11th, 13th, and 14th,
1896, when the prices realized, from 50 to 100 guineas each for the
best, were in excess of those the most sympathetic admirer of Lord
Leighton's singular power as a landscape-painter had dared to expect.
For convenience of future reference, the list of these as they appear in
the sale catalogue may be worth the space it occupies; the numbers
denote the "lot."

   1. {HEAD OF A GIRL.
      {HEAD OF A BOY.
   2. A STUDY OF HOUSES, VENICE.
   3. THE COAST OF ASIA MINOR, FROM RHODES.
   4. A STREET SCENE.
   5. HOUSES AT CAPRI.
   6. THE COAST OF ASIA MINOR, FROM RHODES.
   7. A GARDEN SCENE.
   8. A FORTRESS, EGYPT.
   9. TOMBS OF MUSLIM SAINTS AT ASSOUAN, FIRST CATARACT. R.S.B.A., 1895.
  10. A BAY, ASIA MINOR, FROM RHODES.
  11. THE BAY OF LINDOS.
  12. IN THE CAMPAGNA, ITALY.
  13. A TOWN, CAPRI.
  14. MOUNTAINS NEAR RONDA PUERTA DE LOS VIENTOS. R.S.B.A., 1895.
  15. A VIEW IN THE CAMPAGNA.
  16. A COVERED STREET IN ALGIERS.
  17. A DOORWAY, ALGIERS.
  18. HEAD OF A GIRL.
  19. HEAD OF A MAN.
  20. HEAD OF A GIRL.
  21. HEAD OF A GIRL.
  22. STREET IN ALGIERS.
  23. ST. MARK'S, VENICE. R.S.B.A., 1892.
  24. INTERIOR OF ST. MARK'S, VENICE. R.S.B.A., 1892.
  25. THE DOORWAY, NORTH AISLE, ST. MARK'S, VENICE. R.S.B.A., 1892.
  26. A BAY SCENE, ISLE OF RHODES.
  27. A VIEW ON THE COAST, LINDOS.
  28. DENDERAH.
  29. THE ROMAN CAMPAGNA, MONTE SORACTE IN THE DISTANCE. R.S.B.A., 1894.
  30. A STUDY IN THE CAMPAGNA.
  31. AQUA CERTOSA, ROME.
  32. A VIEW OF THE TOWN OF LINDOS.
  33. THE ACROPOLIS OF LINDOS, where stood the Temple of Athena Pallas.
      R.S.B.A., 1894.
  34. A STUDY IN THE CAMPAGNA, WITH MONTE SORACTE.
  35. STUDY OF A MAN'S HEAD.
  36. AN ARAB'S HEAD.
  37. A SHEIK.
  38. AN ARAB.
  39. HEAD OF AN OLD LADY.
  40. A TURKISH BOATMAN.
  41. FIUME MORTO, GOMBO, PISA. R.S.B.A., 1894.
  42. THE CITADEL, CAIRO.
  43. A VIEW IN DAMASCUS.
  44. A VIEW IN CAPRI.
  45. BOCCA D'ARNO.
  46. THE CITY OF TOMBS, ASSIOUT, EGYPT. R.S.B.A. [1871?].
  47. BUILDINGS, SIOUT, EGYPT.
  48. A MOUNTAINOUS LANDSCAPE, SPAIN.
  49. A STREET SCENE, CAPRI.
  50. A COAST SCENE, ISLE OF WIGHT.
  51. BARREN LAND.
  52. A TOWN IN SPAIN.
  53. BOSCO SACRO, CAMPAGNA.
  54. VILLA MALTA, ROME.
  55. THE ROCKS OF THE SIRENS, CAPRI.
  56. A VIEW IN SPAIN.
  57. A VALLEY, SPAIN.
  58. ON THE COAST, ISLE OF WIGHT.
  59. GARDEN AT GENERALIFE, GRANADA.
  60. THE BATHS AT CARACALLA.
  61. A HOUSE, CAPRI.
  62. IN ST. MARK'S, VENICE.
  63. THE STAIRCASE OF A HOUSE, CAPRI.
  64. THE GARDEN OF A HOUSE, CAPRI.
  65. STUDY OF A MALE FIGURE CARRYING A PITCHER.
  66. HEAD OF A GIRL.
  67. THE COAST OF ASIA MINOR, FROM RHODES.
  68. CHAIN OF HILLS SEEN FROM RONDA. R.S.B.A., 1893.
  69. THE COAST OF ASIA MINOR. (Study for the background of _Perseus_.)
  70. A POOL, FINDHORN RIVER, N.B. (Study for the background of
      _Solitude_.)
  71. A LANE. (Study of rocks for _Solitude_.)
  72. A WOMAN SEATED, IN A LANDSCAPE. (Study for _Simætha the Sorceress_.)
  73. TAORMINA, SICILY. (Sketch for background of _Wedded_.)
  74. A POOL ON THE FINDHORN RIVER, FORRES, N.B. (Study for the background
      of _Solitude_.)
  75. TAORMINA, SICILY. (Study for the background of _Wedded_.)
  76. INTERIOR OF A HOUSE AT LINDOS. (Study for the picture of
      _Cleoboulos_.)
  77. STUDY OF A WOMAN'S HEAD. Capri, moonlight. (Study for the effect in
      _Clytemnestra_.)
  78. BUILDINGS, CAPRI, MOONLIGHT. (A study for the same.)
  79. AN ALLEGORICAL DESIGN FOR A MURAL DECORATION.
  80. HEAD OF A LADY AND GENTLEMAN OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY.
      (16 × 14-1/4 in.) (Painted in 1853.)
  81. HEAD OF A LADY. White on brown ground.
  82. A STUDY FROM VELASQUEZ.

[83 to 117 _were larger works, mainly studies for completed pictures or
the pictures themselves_.]

       {A LANDSCAPE.
  118. {STUDY OF SKY AT MALINMORE.
       {STUDY.
  119. A ROCKY COAST, MALINMORE, DONEGAL.
  120. A MOUNTAINOUS LANDSCAPE.
  121. A VIEW IN SCOTLAND.
  122. A LANDSCAPE, ITALY.
  123. FISHING BOATS ON THE COAST, CAPRI.
  124. A VILLAGE ON A HILL, CAPRI.
  125. A SCENE IN THE DESERT.
  126. THE COAST OF GREECE.
  127. HEAD OF A MAN.
  128. A SCOTCH LAKE.
  129. NEAR KYNANCE COVE.
  130. CARRARA MOUNTAINS.
  131. A VIEW IN ALGIERS.
  132. TLEMÇEN, ALGERIA. R.S.B.A., 1895.
  133. THE DAMASCUS GATE, JERUSALEM.
  134. THE ERICTHEUM (_sic_).
  135. A STREET IN LERICI, near where Shelley was drowned.
  136. {STUDY OF TREES.
       {A LANDSCAPE.
  137. {HEAD OF A GONDOLIER.
       {IRISH PEASANT GIRL.
  138. HEAD OF AN ITALIAN PEASANT.
  139. {A COMMON.
       {LANDSCAPE, WITH COTTAGES.
  140. A ROCKY COAST, KYNANCE.
  141. GRANITE BOULDERS, FORRES, N.B.
  142. A SUNNY CORNFIELD.
  143. A COURTYARD, TANGIERS.
  144. A COURTYARD, TANGIERS.
  145. A SKETCH OF ALBANO.
  146. A COAST SCENE, IRELAND.
  147. A SCOTCH SCENE.
  148. A STUDY OF ROCKS.
  149. THE STEEPLE ROCK, KYNANCE COVE.
  150. A SANDY BAY, IRELAND.
  151. KYNANCE COVE.
  152. HOLY ISLAND. Bamborough in the distance.
  153. A COAST SCENE, ISCHIA.
  154. GLEN COLUMBKILL, IRELAND.
  155. A MOORISH ARCHWAY, TANGIERS.
  156. PERUGIA.
  157. A ROCKY COAST, MALINMORE.
  158. MALIN HEAD, DONEGAL. R.S.B.A., 1894.
  159. GIBRALTAR, FROM SAN ROCQUE. R.S.B.A., 1895.
  160. A BAY SCENE, SPAIN.
  161. A SKETCH IN BEDFORDSHIRE.
  162. A LANDSCAPE, RONDA.
  163. A SPANISH TOWN.
  164. THE BATHS OF CARACALLA.
  165. THE STREET OF THE KNIGHTS, RHODES.
  166. THE COAST OF ASIA MINOR, SEEN FROM RHODES.
  167. LONGSOR.
  168. A MOUNTAIN SCENE, WITH TEMPLE AND FIGURE, EGYPT.
  169. A STUDY ON THE COAST OF IRELAND.
  170. A RIVER SCENE, SCOTLAND.
  171. MICKLEOUR, SCOTLAND.
  172. A SEA PIECE.
  173. THE COAST OF ASIA MINOR.
  174. {ON THE NILE.
       {A VIEW IN SPAIN.
  175. {A TEMPLE ON THE NILE.
       {SPANISH VIEW.
  176. MALINMORE, DONEGAL.
  177. THE BAY OF CADIZ, MOONLIGHT, AND PALAZZO REZZONICO.
  178. A VIEW OF ATHENS.
  179. {SCOTCH MOUNTAINS: SUNSET.
       {A COAST SCENE, RHODES.
  180. VITTORIA. R.S.B.A., 1873.
  181. {A CLASSICAL HEAD. (Monochrome.)
       {HEAD OF A MAN.
  182. A STUDY OF PINE TREES.
  183. A VILLAGE ON A HILL.
  184. A RUINED MOSQUE AT BROUSSA.
  185. A WOODY BANK.
  186. RUINS OF A MOORISH ARCH, SPAIN.
  187. A VIEW IN ITALY, WITH A CORNFIELD.
  188. (This number is omitted in the sale catalogue.)
  189. MIMBAR OF THE GREAT MOSQUE AT DAMASCUS.
  190. {ROCKS, CAPRI.
       {A FORTRESS, SPAIN.
  191. {LANDSCAPE, SCOTLAND.
       {LANDSCAPE, SCOTLAND.
  192. THE RED MOUNTAINS, DESERT, EGYPT.
  193. SKETCH NEAR CAIRO.
  194. A FOUNTAIN IN THE COURT-YARD OF A JEW'S HOUSE, SPAIN.
  195. A HOUSE IN TANGIERS. Mansion House, 1882.
  196. A STREET SCENE, CAIRO.
  197. A MOORISH STREET.
  198. A STUDY OF ROCKS, SCOTLAND.
  199. THE GARDEN OF THE HOUSE OF THE MAN WHO BUILT THE ALHAMBRA.
  200. A SPANISH DONKEY.
  201. A DONKEY AND ARAB DRIVER.
  202. MENA DONKEY.
  203. A STUDY OF HILLS.
  204. THE TEMPLE OF PHYLÆ.
  205. DAMASCUS: NIGHT.
  206. A MOUNTAINOUS LANDSCAPE, WITH A CAVERN.
  207. A WOOD SCENE.
  208. HEAD OF AN ITALIAN GIRL.
  209. THE DUNGEONS OF A CASTLE.
  210. A CASTLE KEEP.
  211. ENTRANCE TO A HOUSE, CAPRI.
  212. A COAST SCENE, IRELAND: STORM EFFORT (_sic_).
  213. LONGSOR.
  214. THE NILE AT THEBES.
  215. A VIEW ON THE CAMPAGNA.
  216. A MOUNTAINOUS LANDSCAPE, SCOTLAND.
  217. CAPRI BY NIGHT.
  218. A FORTRESS ON THE CAMPAGNA.
  219. A LANDSCAPE, WITH SAND HILLS.
  220. A WOOD SCENE.
  221. NEAR DENDERAH.
  222. A LANDSCAPE.
  223. ATHENS, WITH THE GENOESE TOWER, PNYX IN THE FOREGROUND.
  224. A LANDSCAPE, CAIRO.
  225. ON THE NILE.
  226. PASTURE, EGYPT.
  227. RED MOUNTAINS DESERT, EGYPT.
  228. AN EGYPTIAN VILLAGE.
  229. THE ISLAND OF ÆGINA.
  230. THEBES.
  231. THE COAST OF ÆGINA, PNYX IN THE FOREGROUND.
  232. BUILDINGS ON THE COAST, ISLAND OF RHODES.
  233. ASSOUAN, EGYPT.
  234. A VINEYARD, CAPRI.
  235. THE TEMPLE OF PHYLÆ, LOOKING UP THE NILE.
  236. THE NILE AT ESUEH.
  237. THE CATHEDRAL, CAPRI.
  238. A SQUARE IN CADIZ.
  239. ON THE NILE.
  240. IN THE NILE VALLEY.
  241. A VIEW ACROSS THE NILE.
  242. A WOODY HILL SIDE.
  243. ROCKS OF THE SIRENS CAPRI.
  244. A FARM.


There were also copies made by Leighton himself of _Peace and War_ after
Rubens, the _Massacre of the Innocents_, after Bonifazio, _A Martyrdom_,
and the _Last Supper_, after Veronese.

The huge collection of studies, mainly in chalk upon brown paper, made
by Lord Leighton, were nearly all preserved; two hundred and forty of
these were exhibited by the Fine Art Society, who bought the whole
collection, and afterwards published a volume containing forty
reproduced in facsimile.


[Illustration: FOUNTAIN IN COURT AT DAMASCUS]


[Illustration: THE ISLAND OF ÆGINA: PNYX IN FOREGROUND]


[Illustration: RED MOUNTAINS DESERT, CAIRO]


[Illustration: RUINED MOSQUE, BROUSSA]


[Illustration: CITY OF TOMBS, ASSIOUT, EGYPT]


[Illustration: ATHENS WITH THE GENOESE TOWER: PNYX IN FOREGROUND]


[Illustration: COAST OF ASIA MINOR SEEN FROM RHODES]



INDEX.

_Titles of Pictures are printed in italics._


  _Abram and the Angel_, 69.

  _Acme and Septimius_, 25.

  _Actæa_, 26, 111.

  _Ægina, The Island of_, illus., 132.

  _After Vespers_, 31.

  Aitchison, George, R.A., 88.

  Allingham, William, 106.

  Alma-Tadema, Sir L., 37, 48, 91.

  _Amarilla_, 39.

  _And the Sea gave up its Dead_, 49, 66;
    illus., 50.

  _Andromeda_ (study in clay), 68;
    illus., 68.

  _Antigone_, 43.

  _Antique Juggling Girl_, 33;
    illus., 32.

  Arab Hall, The, 29, 49, 88, 94, 96-100;
    illus., 96.

  _Ariadne abandoned by Theseus_, 25.

  Arnold, Sir Edwin, translation of Musæus, 47.

  Art and Morals, Leighton on, 74.

  "Art Journal," criticisms of the, 108, _et seq._

  Artistic Production in relation to Time and Place, Leighton on, 75.

  _Arts of Peace, The_, 32, 42, 63, 64;
    illus., 64.

  _Arts of War, The_, 32, 63;
    illus., 64.

  _Asia Minor, The Coast of_, illus., 136.

  Assyria, the Art of, Leighton on, 76.

  _At the Fountain_, 50.

  _At the Window_, 51.

  _Atalanta_, 50, 59.

  "Athenæum," criticisms of the, 32, 105, _et seq._

  _Athens, with the Genoese Tower_, illus., 136.

  _Athlete struggling with a Python_, 36, 67, 68, 126;
    illus., 36, 49;
    (marble version), 68.


  _Bacchante_ (1892), 50, (1896) 51;
    illus., 54.

  _Bath of Psyche, The_, 48, 59, 129;
    illus., 48.

  Bezzuoli, 5.

  _Bianca_, 43.

  "Bible Gallery," Dalziel's, 23, 69, 70.

  _Biondina_, 39.

  Black and white, Leighton's work in, 69, 70.

  Boccaccio, Leighton inspired by, 8, 45.

  Book illustration, 69, 70.

  Bookplate, Leighton's, illus., 120.

  Bouguereau, Leighton and, 10.

  _Bracelet, The_, 51;
    illus., 52.

  Bronzes, 36, 46, 67, 68.

  _Broussa, Ruined Mosque at_, illus., 134.

  _Brownlow, Countess of_, 39.

  Browning, E. B., 47;
    medallion of a monument to, 67;
    illustration by Leighton to her "Great God Pan," 69.

  Browning, Robert, 10;
    subjects from, 22, 47;
    on _Hercules wrestling with Death_, 30.

  Brussels, Leighton at, 6, 7.

  Burne-Jones, Sir E., 17, 91.

  _Burton, Capt. Richard_, 35, 90;
    illus., 36.

  _Byzantine Well-head, A_, 18, 62;
    illus., 18.


  _Cain and Abel_, illus., 70.

  _Cairo, Red Mountains Desert_, illus., 136.

  _Capri--Paganos_, 19.

  _Capri at Sunrise_, 18, 108.

  Capri, Leighton at, 18, 61.

  _Captive Andromache_, 47, 58;
    _Studies_ for, illus., 56.

  Carr, Mr. Comyns, on Leighton, 114.

  _Catarina_, 39.

  Ceiling, design for a, 46, 67, 128;
    illus., 62.

  Chesneau, Ernest, on English Art, 14.

  Cimabue, influence of, 9.

  _Cimabue_ (mosaic figure), 67.

  _Cimabue finding Giotto_, 7.

  _Cimabue's Madonna_, 3, 8, 9, 11, 23, 34, 47;
    criticisms of, 103-107, 108;
    illus., 10.

  _City of Tombs, Assiout_, illus., 134.

  _Cleoboulos instructing his daughter Cleobouline_, 30.

  _Clytemnestra_, 32.

  _Clytie_ (1892), 50, 59.

  _Clytie_ (his last picture), 51, 52.

  Cockerell, S. Pepys, on Leighton's drawings, 62.

  _Cockerell, Mrs. Frederick P._, 25.

  _Coleridge, Lady_, 48.

  Cologne Cathedral, Leighton on, 86.

  Colour: Leighton's mode of procedure, 55-58.

  _Condottiere, A_, 31;
    illus., 32.

  _Contrast, A_, 70;
    illus., 72.

  _Corinna of Tanagra_, 50.

  Cornelius, 9, 10.

  "Cornhill Gallery, The," 69.

  Correggio, Leighton and, 10, 18.

  _Costa, Signor_, 39;
    illus., 40.

  _Count Paris_, 16, 107, 122.

  Cousin, Jean, 84.

  _Crenaia_, 42.

  _Cross-bow Man, A_, 20.

  _Cupid with Doves_, 66;
    illus., 66.

  _Cymon_ (clay model), 68;
    illus., 68.

  _Cymon and Iphigenia_, 42, 44, 45, 68;
    photogravure, 44.


  _Dædalus and Icarus_, 26;
    illus., 26.

  Dalou and _The Athlete_, 68.

  Dalziel's "Bible Gallery," 23, 69, 70;
    illus., 70.

  _Damascus, Grand Mosque at_, 29, 33, 111;
    illus., 28.

  Damascus, sketches of, 28, 29, 33, 111;
    illus., 28, 132.

  _Dance, The_, 44, 67;
    illus., 44.

  Dante, Leighton on, 81.

  _Dante at Verona_, 21, 109.

  _Daphnephoria_, 24, 34, 35, 47, 111;
    clay models for, 68;
    illus., 34;
    _Study for_ (illus.), 34.

  Darmstadt, Leighton at, 8.

  _David_, 23, 110;
    illus., 24.

  _Day Dreams_, 43;
    illus., 42.

  _Death of the First Born_, 69.

  Decorative work, Leighton's, 63-67.

  _Departure for the War, The_, 67.

  Discourses on Art, Leighton's, 71-87.

  Drapery, Leighton's treatment of, 48, 55-58.

  _Dream, A_, 19, 109.

  _Duett_, 20.

  Dürer, Albert, Leighton on, 86.


  Eastlake, Sir Charles, 10-12.

  Egypt, Leighton's visit to, 28;
    on the Art of, 75.

  _Egyptian Slinger_, 29, 33, 112;
    illus., 112.

  _Electra at the Tomb of Agamemnon_, 26;
    illus., 26.

  _Elegy_, 48.

  _Eliezer and Rebekah_, 69.

  _Elijah in the Wilderness_, 39;
    _Study for_, illus., 38.

  _Elisha and the Shunamite's Son_, illus., 114.

  English Art, Leighton on, 73.

  Etruscan Art, Leighton on, 76, 77.

  _Eucharis_, 20.


  _Fair Persian, The_, 51.

  _Farewell_, 50;
    illus., 50.

  _Fatidica_, 51;
    illus., 52.

  _Fisherman and Syren, The_, 16, 107.

  _Flaming June_, 51.

  Fleury, Robert, 10, 15.

  _Florence, The Plague at_, 8, 90;
    illus., 8.

  Florence, Leighton at, 5, 6.

  _Fountain, At the_, 50.

  _Fountain in Court at Damascus_, illus., 132.

  France, Evolution of Art in, Leighton on, 83.

  Frankfort, Leighton at, 6-8.

  Frescoes, 32, 63-66;
    illus., 64-66.

  Friezes, 44, 46, 67;
    illus., 44.

  _Frigidarium, The_, 50;
    illus., 50.


  Gamba, Signor, 8.

  _Garden of the Hesperides, The_, 49.

  Generalife, Study of a Garden at, 33;
    illus., 28.

  German Architecture, Leighton on, 85-86.

  Gerome, 10.

  Gibson, the sculptor, 11.

  Gilbert, Alfred, 88.

  Giotto, 9.

  Girl, A little (1887), 47.

  ---- in Eastern garb (1877), 37.

  _Girl Feeding Peacocks, A_, 20, 109.

  _Girl with a Basket of Fruit_, 109.

  _Girls' Heads, Studies of_, 38, 51;
    illus., 74, 76, 78, 80.

  Goethe: subject from, 16;
    on Gothic architecture, 84.

  _Golden Hours_, 21, 22;
    illus., 21.

  _Gordon, H. E._, 37.

  Gothic architecture, Leighton on, 84.

  Greek Art, Leighton on, 76.

  _Greek Girls picking up Pebbles by the Sea_, 30.

  _Greek Girls playing at Ball_, 48, 59;
    illus., 48.

  Grenfell, the Hon. Mrs. (_Miss Mabel Mills_), 37.

  Greville, Lady Charlotte, monument to, 67.

  _Gulnihal_, 46.

  _Guthrie, Portrait of Mrs. James_, 24.


  Hart, Professor, 12.

  _Helen of Troy_, 23;
    illus., 22.

  _Helios and Rhodos_, 27, 28.

  _Hercules wrestling with Death_, 30;
    illus., 30.

  _Hesperides, Garden of the_, 49.

  _Hichens, Mrs. A._, 46.

  _Hit_, 50;
    illus., 54.

  _Hodgson, Miss Ruth_, 38.

  _Hodgson, Misses Stewart_, 48.

  Hogarth Club, the, 17.

  Hunt, Holman, 13, 17.


  _I'Anson, the late Mrs. Lavinia_, 23.

  _Idyll_, 42.

  _In St. Mark's_, 23.

  _Invocation_, 48.

  _Iostephane_, 42.

  _Italian Girl, An_, 37.

  Italy, Evolution of Painting in, Leighton on the, 72.


  _J. A.--a Study_, 19.

  _Jezebel and Ahab_, 20, 123.

  _Joachim, Miss Nina_, 44.

  _Jonathan's Token to David_, 25, 124.

  Jubilee medal, 46, 69, 129;
    illus., 130.

  _Juggling Girl_, 33;
    illus., 32.


  Keats's "Endymion," subject from, 15, 122.

  Kemble, Mrs., 11.

  _Kittens_, 44.


  _Lachrymæ_, 51.

  _Lady with Pomegranates, A_, 53.

  _Laing, Miss, Portrait of_, 9.

  Landscape studies, Leighton's, 16, 28, 29, 33, 39, 62, 132;
    illus., 28, 132, 134, 136.

  Landseer, Sir Edwin, 10, 13.

  Lang's, Mrs. Andrew, monograph on Leighton, 7, 8, 63.

  _Last Watch of Hero_, 47;
    illus., 46.

  Leighton, Frederic, Lord;
    list of dignities and titles, 2;
    ancestors and birth, 4;
    first picture, 7;
    portrait (1848), 7;
    first picture for the Academy, 11;
    A.R.A., 21;
    R.A., 24;
    first appearance as a sculptor, 36;
    P.R.A., 39;
    _Portrait_, by himself, 42;
    illus., 3;
    portraits by Watts, 42, 90;
    his method of painting, 54-60;
    drawings, 60, 61;
    decorative works, 63-67;
    sculpture, 67, 68;
    book illustration, 69, 70;
    Discourses on Art, 71-87;
    house, 88-102;
    criticisms on his work, 103, 114;
    death, 115.

  _Lemon Tree, Study of a_, 17, 18, 61;
    illus., 18.

  Lesseps, F. de, 28.

  _Letty_, 44, 45.

  _Lieder ohne Worte_, 19.

  _Light of the Harem, The_, 42.

  Lionardo da Vinci, Leighton on, 80, 81, 82.

  _Listener_, 51.

  _Little Fatima_, 29, 33, 111.

  _Lucas, Mrs. F._, 48.

  Lyndhurst, altarpiece at, 24, 64, 65.

  Lyons, Lord, 11.


  _Maid with her Yellow Hair, The_, 51.

  Martin's, Sir Theodore, "Catullus," 25.

  Mason, George, 11, 89.

  Meli, Signor F., 5.

  _Melittion_, 44.

  _Memories_, 44.

  _Mermaid, The_, 16.

  Michael Angelo, Leighton on, 82.

  _Michael Angelo nursing his dying Servant_, 19.

  Millais, Sir J. E., 9, 13, 46, 68, 73.

  _Mills, Miss Mabel_, 37;
    illus., 36.

  _Mitford, A. B._, 49.

  _Mocatta, Mrs._, 44.

  Modelling and models (clay), 67, 68.

  _Moorish Garden_, 29, 33.

  Morals, Art and, Leighton on, 74.

  _Moretta_, 31.

  Morris, William, and Rossetti, 17.

  Mosaics, 67.

  _Moses views the Promised Land_, illus., 70.

  _Mosque, Ruined, at Broussa_, illus., 134.

  _Mother and Child_, 23.

  Murger, Henri, 7.

  _Music_ (a frieze), 46;
    illus., 44.

  _Music, The Triumph of_, 15, 107.

  _Music Lesson_, 36, 37.

  _Music Room, Decoration for a_, 46, 67, 128;
    illus., 62.


  _Nanna_, 17.

  _Nap, A_, 44.

  Nature in Leighton's compositions, 58.

  _Nausicaa_, 37;
    illus., 38.

  _Needless Alarms_, 46, 67.

  _Neruccia_, 39.

  Nias, Lady (_Miss Laing_), 9.

  Nile, voyage up the, 28.

  _Nile Woman, A_, 29.

  _Noble Lady of Venice, A_, 52.

  _Nymph and Cupid, A_, 15, 84.

  Nymph of the Dargle, The, 42.


  _Odalisque_, 19.

  _Old Damascus_ (the Jews' quarter), 29, 33.

  Orchardson, Mr., on _Clytie_, 52.

  Orkney, Lady, 37.

  _Orpheus and Eurydice_, 21, 22;
    illus., 22.

  Orr, Major Sutherland, monument to, 67.

  _Orr, Mrs. Sutherland_, 19.


  Pacheco, Francisco, on drawing, 60.

  _Painter's Honeymoon, The_, 24.

  _Pan_, 15, 122.

  _Paolo_, 35.

  _Paolo e Francesca_, 19, 122.

  _Paris, Count_, 16, 107, 122.

  Paris, Leighton at, 7, 15;
    exhibition at, 13.

  Parry, Gambier, and Ely Cathedral, 65.

  _Pastoral_, 24.

  _Pavonia_, 17.

  _Pencil Drawings, Two Early_, illus., 6.

  _Pencil Study, A_, illus., 16.

  _Persephone, Return of_, 49, 59;
    _Studies for_, illus., 60.

  _Perseus_ (clay model), 68;
    illus., 68.

  _Perseus and Andromeda_, 49, 59, 68;
    _Study for_, illus., 58.

  _Persian Pedlar_, A, 9.

  Petrarch, Leighton on, 81.

  _Phoebe_, 46.

  _Phoenicians bartering with Britons_, 51, 66;
    illus., 66.

  _Phryne at Eleusis_, 44;
    illus., 42.

  _Pisano, Niccolò_ (mosaic), 67.

  _Plague at Florence, The_, 8, 90;
    illus., 8.

  Powers, Hiram, 5.

  Poynter, Sir E. J., and Leighton, 66, 116.

  Pre-Raphaelites, the, 16, 17.

  _Primrose, The Lady Sybil_, 46;
    illus., 46.

  _Psamathe_, 41.


  _Ralli, Mrs. Augustus_, 43.

  Raphael, Leighton on, 81.

  _Red Mountains Desert, Cairo_, illus., 136.

  _Return of Persephone, The_, 49, 59;
    _Studies for_, illus., 60.

  _Rizpah_, 50, 59;
    illus., 52.

  Roman Art, Leighton on, 78.

  _Roman Lady, A_, 17.

  Romano Giulio, Leighton on, 79.

  Rome, Leighton at, 3, 9-11.

  _Romeo, The Dead_, illus., 14.

  _Romeo and Juliet_, 90.

  "Romola" illustrations, 69.

  Rossetti, D. G., 10, 13;
    works by, 16, 17;
    on Leighton, 11, 19, 106.

  Rossetti, W. M., on Leighton, 109, 110, 111.

  Royal Exchange, decoration at, 51, 66;
    illus., 66.

  _Rubinella_, 42.

  Ruskin on Leighton, 11, 12, 17, 33, 103, 111, 112.

  _Rustic Music_, 20.

  _Ryan, Edward_, 31.


  _St. Jerome_, 26;
    illus., 26.

  _St. Marks, In_, 23.

  St. Paul's, Design for proposed decoration of, 44, 49, 66.

  _Salome_, 15.

  _Samson and Delilah_, 18.

  _Samson and the Lion_, illus., 70.

  _Samson at the Mill_, 69.

  _Samson carrying the Gates_, illus., 70.

  Sand, George, 11.

  Sartoris, Mrs. Algernon, _Portrait of_, 43;
    illustration by Leighton to her "Week in a French Country House," 69.

  Sculpture, 36, 46, 67, 68;
    illus., 68, 130.

  _Sea Echoes_, 20.

  _Sea gave up the Dead, And the_, 49, 66;
    illus., 50.

  _Serafina_, 38.

  "_Serenely Wandering_," illus., 128.

  Servolini, 5.

  _Sibyl_, 48, 54, 58.

  _Simætha the Sorceress_, 47.

  _Sisters_, 20.

  _Sister's Kiss_, 41, 111;
    illus., 40.

  Sizeranne, M. de la, on Leighton, 113.

  _Sluggard, The_, 46, 67, 68;
    _Study for_, illus., 68.

  _Solitude_, 49;
    _Study for_, illus., 58.

  South Kensington, drawings on wood at, 69;
    frescoes, 32, 63-66;
    mosaic, 67.

  Spain, Leighton on the Art of, 82, 83.

  Spielmann, Mr. M. H., on Leighton, 46, 48, 54-58.

  _Spies' Escape, The_, 69.

  _Spirit of the Summit, The_, 51, 60, 113.

  _Star of Bethlehem, The_, 20, 109, 123.

  Steinle, Johann Eduard, 6, 8, 9.

  Stephens, F. G., on the Hogarth Club, 17.

  Studies, collection of Leighton's, 62.

  Studies in oil, list of, 132-136.

  _Studies of Heads_, 38, 51;
    illus., 14, 74, 76, 78, 80, 82.

  _Study_ (little girl in Eastern Garb), 37.

  _Study A_ (Grosvenor Gallery, 1877), 37;
    (Academy, 1878), 38;
    (Grosvenor Gallery, 1885), 46.

  _Summer Moon_, 31;
    illus., 30.

  _Summer Slumber_, 51.

  _Sun Gleams_, 44.

  _Sunny Hours_, 17.

  _Syracusan Bride_, 23, 24, 34, 47.


  Tate Gallery, The, 36, 48, 49.

  _Teresina_, 35.

  Thackeray on Leighton, 9.

  _Tragic Poetess_, 49.

  _Triumph of Music, The_, 15, 107.

  _'Twixt Hope and Fear_, 51.


  Velasquez, Diego, Leighton on, 83.

  _Venus Disrobing_, 25, 160;
    illus., 24.

  _Vestal_, 44, 51.

  _Viola_, 43.

  Volumnus Violens, tomb of, Leighton on, 77.


  _Walker, John Hanson_, 19.

  Watteau, Leighton on, 84.

  Watts, G. F., 14;
    pictures by, 91;
    portraits of Leighton, 42, 90;
    method compared with Leighton's, 55;
    on Leighton, 116.

  _Weaving the Wreath_, 32.

  _Wedded_, 43.

  _Whispers_, 43.

  _Widow's Prayer, The_, 23.

  _Winding the Skein_, 37, 111;
    photogravure, _Front_.

  _Wise and Foolish Virgins, The_, 24, 64.


  _Zeyra_, 43.



CHISWICK PRESS: PRINTED BY CHARLES WHITTINGHAM AND CO.

TOOKS COURT, CHANCERY LANE, LONDON.



Footnotes:

[1] See pages 103-114.

[2] Letter to William Allingham, May 10th, 1861.

[3] "Athenæum," April, 1864.

[4] The original title of this picture was _Eastern Slinger scaring
Birds in Harvest-time: Moonrise_. See Illustration at p. 112.

[5] This picture was re-sold at Christie's in 1892 for 3,750 guineas.

[6] Sometimes entitled _An Athlete strangling a Python_.

[7] At page 62.

[8] Engraved in the "Magazine of Art," March, 1896.

[9] "Current Art" ("Magazine of Art," May, 1889).

[10] "The Studio," vol. iii.

[11] Reproductions of both of these drawings are given at p. 18.

[12] "Letters of Dante Gabriel Rossetti to William Allingham," by George
Birkbeck Hill, D.C.L., LL.D. London, T. Fisher Unwin, 1897.

[13] "La Peinture Anglaise Contemporaine" (Paris, Hachette, 1895).

[14] "Magazine of Art," March, 1896, p. 197.

[15] The asterisk denotes works exhibited at the Winter Exhibition of
the Royal Academy of Arts, 1897.

[16] R.A., Royal Academy; G.G., Grosvenor Gallery; R.W.S., Royal Society
of Painters in Water-Colours; S.S., Royal Society of British Artists,
Suffolk Street; D.G., Dudley Gallery; S.P.P., Society of Portrait
Painters.

[17] Exhibited in the Roman Section, by some blunder of the Committee;
the picture having been painted in Rome.

[18] Purchased for £2,000 by the President and Council of the Royal
Academy, under the terms of the Chantrey Bequest.

[19] Painted by invitation for the Collection of Portraits of Artists
painted by themselves in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

[20] Painted for the house of Mr. Murquand, New York.

[21] Purchased for 1,000 guineas by the President and Council of the
Royal Academy, under the terms of the Chantrey Bequest.



       *       *       *       *       *



Transcriber's note:

Passages in italics are indicated by _underscore_.

Images have been moved from the middle of a paragraph to the closest
paragraph break or to the end of a long quote.

The following misprints have been corrected:
  "Dyson-Perrin" corrected to "Dyson-Perrins" (page v)
  "Frederic" corrected to "Frederick" (page 25 and index)
  Missing word added on page 101 (assumed "the").

Additional spacing after some of the quotes is intentional to indicate
both the end of a quotation and the beginning of a new paragraph as
presented in the original text.

The original text includes Greek characters. For this text version
these letters have been replaced with transliterations.





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