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Fundraising Campaign

Leighton House is currently fundraising to acquire 'Interior of the Cappella Palatina', a previously untraced painting by Leighton. Probably painted in the 1870s, the subject is the interior of the Cappella Palatina in Palermo, Sicily.  The Cappella Palatina was built in the first half of the 12thcentury by the Norman king, Roger II, and is famous for the luminous gold Byzantine mosaics that line its walls. 

Leighton was very interested in architecture generally, but he seems to have been particularly anxious to accurately record the interior of this chapel. Although the study beautifully captures its atmosphere, with the play of light across the mosaics illuminating the east end of the chapel, Leighton took pains to faithfully represent all the architectural elements of the building and its decoration – even including a single figure standing on the left against a column to give a sense of scale.

Leighton’s Arab Hall was based on another 12th century interior at a palace called La Zisa, also at Palermo.  This painting demonstrates how captivated he was by these interiors and how closely they inspired his own Arab Hall.  This is why we are so keen to add this picture to the permanent collection; to make the connection between Leighton’s travels, his skills as a painter and the influences that were brought to bear on the design and construction of his extraordinary house. This picture makes these connections perfectly and will greatly enhance future visitors’ enjoyment of the house.

The total cost of the painting is £40,000 and we need your help to raise £10,000 towards this total. Please give us your support and contribute whatever you can



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