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Leighton House

On the road

Travel with Frederic, Lord Leighton and enjoy some extraordinary musical performances.

Frederic Leighton, View in Spain, 1866.

Leighton had a great love of travel and music. He grew up on the continent and travelled throughout his life. Leighton’s love of music is also well-known and he often hosted wonderful concerts in his own studio, featuring contemporary musicians such as Hungarian violinist Joseph Joachim, pianists Charles Hallé and Clara Schumman and cellist Alfredo Piatti. There are 3 performances to enjoy in this series on our Youtube channel.


On the road

  • Harkan Duo, celebrating the music and culture of Turkey. Leighton made a long trip across Greece, Austria and Turkey in 1867 and made many pencil and oil sketches as he travelled. There are a number of fine examples of Iznik tiles in the house, some of which are shown in the video. Leighton also collected Iznik plates to decorate the walls of the dining room in particular. He appreciated the rich, exuberant colours and patterns.


  • Harkan Duo, celebrating Leighton's love of Spain. He was regarded as a pioneer in the study of Spanish art, and gave a lecture on this subject at the Royal Academy. Leighton made many pencil and oil sketches during a prolonged stay exploring the country in 1866. He painted from nature, capturing the countryside bathed in Mediterranean sunlight, the nuances of colour, the shimmering blue sky and the heat of the day.


  • Santy Masciarò, performing two pieces by Italian composers - Sonata K.380 by Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti (1685 – 1757) and Adagio in G Minor by Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni (1671 – 1751). Leighton studied in Florence as a young man, and his first submission to the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition in 1855 was Cimabue’s Celebrated Madonna. This painting was inspired by the writings of the Renaissance painter and art historian Giorgio Vasari. Leighton went on to visit and explore Italy annually until the year before he died. It was also in Italy during the early 1850s that he met the artist Giovanni Costa (1826 - 1903) and the singer Adelaide Sartoris (1815 – 1879). He forged deep and highly significant friendships with them both.

Listen to the wonderful musical performances and learn from the musicians themselves about the story of artworks and objects in Leighton House inspired by the artist's travels.


Click in the link below and enjoy the entire series on our YouTube channel:

On the road...Travels with Frederic, Lord Leighton