Art History

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Edmund Leighton: Pre-Raphaelite Romanticism and Popularity

Edmund Leighton was a London based painter during the late 1800s. His father, Charles Blair Leighton, was also a notable artist. He was educated at the Royal Academy, where he often showed his artwork during his career. His mastery of skill and technique were undeniable; the figures and use of light in each portrait feel realistic despite the romanticized scenes. His work gained high popularity during his lifetime, but there was very little documented about him personally.

During his career he produced mainly paintings that depicted the Medieval period or the Regency period. He was considered one of the more popular Pre-Raphealite painters during his career and was able to support himself with his art, unlike many other painters. His works were highly detailed and beautifully decorated and focused on scenes from times past, especially those of kings and queens and other medieval subjects. Each one has a quiet stillness while still showing a snapshot of an important, meaningful moment. All of his pieces seem to show a nostalgia for the way the world was in previous times.

Admire the regal beauty and prestige represented in pieces like The Accolade and God Speed. His piece The Shadow is a fine example of what a keen eye he had for even the tiniest detail. In An Arrival, you can see how he is able to capture a small, quiet moment and make it into something wonderful. All of these pieces show the skill he had as a painter and why he was is still as popular as he was in his own lifetime.

We offer all of these pieces in the Edmund Leighton gallery, as well as a number of other artists who paint in a similar fashion in our Pre-Raphaelite gallery. There is something to appeal to all tastes and styles.

Amanda Hadley

About the Author

Amanda graduated from the University of Kansas, where she studied English literature and got a masters degree in library sciences. She enjoys reading, cooking and playing with her nephews. Her best friend is her little dog Brady.