The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Frederic Leighton, 1830-1896

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1830.12.03
Place of Birth: 13 Brunswick Terrace, Scarborough, Yorkshire
Date of Death: 1896.01.25
Place of Death: London


Sir Frederic Leighton, painter and sculptor, was the second child of Frederic Septimus Leighton and Augusta Susan Nash.


Leighton mainly painted neoclassical subjects. He was a friend of Whistler and used some of the same models, for example, Connie Gilchrist (painted by Whistler in Harmony in Yellow and Gold: The Gold Girl - Connie Gilchrist (YMSM 190)). The Pettigrew sisters also posed regularly for Leighton.

Leighton first exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1877. He was a member of the Royal Academy (of which Whistler was not a member) from 1855 and was made President in 1878. He was a member of The Arts Club (of which Whistler was also a member) between 1863-1896.

His home at 12 Holland Park Road, London, was designed by George Aitchison in 1864 and housed a large studio and his own art collection. Leighton lived there from 1866 until his death, continually extending the building and studio. In 1877 he started work on the famous Arab Hall at Leighton House. The house is now a museum open to the public.

He was made Baron Leighton of Stretton in the New Year's Honours list of 1896.


Records of the Arts Club, London; Encyclopedia Brittanica online, (accessed 2004); Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Maas, Jeremy, The Victorian Art World in Photographs, London, 1984.