Places to visit

Below are places of interest connected to Leighton and public collections that contain his work.

St Paul's Cathedral

In the early 1880s, Leighton was very involved in a scheme to decorate the interior of the dome of St Paul's with a series of roundels in mosaic.  A full-size cartoon of his proposed design was completed, but the scheme came to nothing and was abandoned.

Leighton was buried at St Paul's Cathedral amidst great ceremony on 3 February 1896.  Accounts of the day are of the streets lined with people as his coffin was taken from the Royal Academy in Piccadilly to St Paul's.  His body was interred in the crypt next to that of Sir Christopher Wren, the architect of the cathedral.  Within a few months, the artist Sir John Everett Millais, who had been one of Leighton's pall-bearers, had himself been buried close by.  A number of other artists including William Holman Hunt and Lawrence Alma-Tadema are either buried or commemorated in the crypt.

An impressive memorial to Leighton was commissioned from the sculptor Thomas Brock and stands in the north aisle of the cathedral.  Brock had assisted Leighton in the production of his own sculpture and received support from him in the development of his career.  The memorial features a female figure at either end, one representing painting and the other, sculpture.

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The Victoria and Albert Museum

On display in room 107 (level 3) are Leighton's full-size cartoons for the two large frescoes he completed for the South Court of the museum in 1868. The paintings depict the Arts of Industry as applied to 'War' and ...to 'Peace', also on display are first sketches and full-size cartoons.

The main facade of the V&A facing onto Cromwell Road features sculptures of leading artists of the late Victorian era including Leighton, Millais and Watts.

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Tate Britain

The Tate contains three major paintings and 27 works in all by Leighton. And the Sea Gave Up the Dead Which Were in It was originally conceived to form part of the proposed decoration of the dome at St Paul's Cathedral.  Although Leighton got as far as producing a full-scale cartoon for the scheme, it was ultimately abandoned and Leighton later urged Sir Henry Tate to commission a smaller version in oils for the Tate.

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National Museums, Liverpool

The most significant collection of Leighton's work in the UK is held by the National Museums, Liverpool. Paintings by Leighton are split between three institutions; The Walker Art Gallery, Sudley House and the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight. The Lady Lever contains a group of very significant works including The Daphnephoria (1875), a vast and highly decorative processional painting commissioned by James Stewart Hodgson, one of Leighton's most important patrons.  Also at the Lady Lever are The Garden of the Hesperides (c. 1892) and Fatidica (c. 1893-4).  The Walker contains Perseus and Andromeda (c. 1891)

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The Church of St. Michael and All Angels, Lyndhurst, Hampshire

In 1862 Leighton undertook the commission to paint a fresco for the newly-built church of St Michael and All Angels.  Taking the subject of the Wise and Foolish Virgins, the work was painted in spirit fresco on the east wall of the church and completed in 1864.  Above it is a large window by the painter Edward Burne-Jones.  As Leighton recognised, the strong colours of the windows tended to dominate the more subtle colouring of his painting below. 

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