9 May – 26 August 2011
Drawings by Lord Leighton from Leighton House, London
John Ruskin is best known for his championship of J.M.W. Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites, but he was also an admirer and friend of several other contemporary artists. One of them was Frederic Leighton (1830-1896), from 1878 President of the Royal Academy, and the first painter to be awarded a peerage. Introduced through Robert and Elizabeth Browning, Ruskin liked the younger man and his work, which he commended in his Academy Notes in the 1850s and in Oxford lectures thirty years later. Leighton reciprocated by lending two drawings for use in the art school established by Ruskin at Oxford.
Like the Ruskin Library, Leighton House has recently benefited from Heritage Lottery Fund assistance in the conservation of a large number of drawings. This display of 40 studies and finished drawings continues and expands a tour to museums and galleries in the U.K., and includes complementary drawings by Ruskin.
Leighton House website: http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/subsites/museums/leightonhousemuseum.aspx