Illustration of Frederic Leighton

'He Never Married': Leighton's Private Life

Speaker: Prof. Caroline Dakers

Recorded: Tuesday October 16, 2012

With few exceptions, of which Clytie is arguably the most significant, Leighton’s inner emotions were seldom conveyed in his art. This talk will discuss the difficulty of getting a grip on Leighton’s elusive personality. Leighton's surviving letters are frustratingly matter-of-fact; the archives of some of his closest friends, such as George Aitchison, have disappeared. Only his Coutts’ bank account has revealed clues to a more complex private life.


Caroline is Professor of cultural history at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design. Her most recent publication is A Genius for Money: Art, Business and the Morrisons published by Yale University Press 2011. She co-curated with Daniel Robbins the exhibition at Leighton House on George Aitchison: Leighton's Architect (2011). Her book The Holland Park Circle, Artists and Victorian Society was published by Yale in 1999.

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