Flaming June: The Making of an Icon

4 November 2016 - 2 April 2017

Frederic Leighton, Flaming June 1895. Museo de Arte de Ponce

Flaming June Frederic Leighton, 1895 ©Museo de Arte de Ponce. The Luis A. Ferré Foundation, Inc.





Flaming June: The Making of an Icon (4 November 2016 - 2 April 2017) is a landmark exhibition for Leighton House Museum, returning Leighton’s most famous and celebrated work to the artist's house from the Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico.  Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830-1896), was one of the pre-eminent artists of his day. President of the Royal Academy from 1878 to 1896, he achieved great fame and influence as a figurehead for art in late Victorian society; a period when art enjoyed unprecedented public interest and appreciation.


Depicting a sensual, sun-drenched, sleeping female figure wrapped in orange draperies against a Mediterranean backdrop, the exhibition explores the extraordinary story of this picture, from its creation in Leighton’s studio, its first critical reception at the Royal Academy, through its ‘disappearance’ in the middle of the twentieth century, its acquisition by Luis A. Ferré, Governor of Puerto Rico for the Museo de Arte de Ponce in 1963 and subsequent rise to international fame as one of the most memorable and reproduced images in the whole of British art.


Leighton PaintingAt Leighton House Museum, Flaming June is shown beside the other works submitted by Leighton to the Academy that year, all of which were memorably captured and photographed on easels in Leighton’s studio immediately prior to being sent to the Academy in 1895. They make a fascinating and revealing group, representative of themes and subjects that had informed Leighton’s work over the preceding decades. The Maid with Golden Hair, Twixt Hope and Fear and Candida are on loan from private collections with Lachrymae coming from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The re-gathering of these pictures places Flaming June back into the context of its original exhibition, providing a compelling starting-point for exploring its history.  Leighton was already unwell with the heart condition that would kill him at the time he made this last Academy submission. The assembled pictures represent his last statement as an artist and allow a reappraisal of his achievements, relating these five works back to the career that led up to their production and understanding the legacy of a creative life that was close to its end.


EXHIBITION CATALOGUE: The catalogue for Flaming June: The Making of an Icon contains essays by Pablo Perez d’Or, Associate Curator of European Art at the Ponce Art Museum, Susan Grace Galassi, Senior Curator, The Frick Collection, Daniel Robbins, Senior Curator at Leighton House Museum, Patrick Monahan, MPhil in History of Art and contributor to Vanity Fair and Country Houser and Professor Elizabeth Prettejohn of the University of York

For online purchases please email Sam Butler on sam.butler@rbkc.gov.uk 

Price: £20. Postage & Package: UK £3.46 | EU £7.60 | ROW £11.15


Frederic, Lord Leighton Twixt Hope and Fear, 1895


Flaming June: The Making of an Icon is sponsored by Investec Wealth & Investment and supported by Cockayne - Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation

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