Extract

Leighton’s Orient

Orientalism was an obsession with many rich Victorians. But the painter Frederick Leighton went to extraordinary lengths to create his pink, black, blue and gold domed Arab Hall in London. By Caroline Juler. Photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg

Leighton House, home of the eminent Victorian painter Frederick leighton, is a monument to the Victorians’ love of Islamic art. From the street, the house is perhaps a little disappointing – no grand entrance, no crenelled archway stiff with carved gryphons and ivy – for Leighton House was designed primarily as an artist’s studio and its architect kept the outside deliberately plain, saving the exciting touches for the interior.

Leighton had commissioned George Aitchison to build him a house-cum-studio after the two became friends in Italy. They worked closely together on the plans and Aitchison designed much of the furniture, including cabinets, bookcases, fireplaces, balusters and mouldings.

He completed the first phase in 1866, making the house one of the first live-in studios of its kind in London.

Leighton House is at 12 Holland Park Road, London W14 8LZ.
It is open to the public daily 10am – 5.30pm. Closed Tuesdays.
Monday to Friday: +44 (0) 20 7602 3316
Saturday and Sunday: +44 (0) 20 7471 9160

To read the full article, purchase Issue 10

Issue 10, 1996 Ingres and Lady Mary
£15.00 / $19.26 / 102.89 TL
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