Edmund Blair Leighton England

9-21-1852 London, ENG – 9-1-1922 London, ENG

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Leighton, Edmund Blair

The reasons for Edmund Blair Leighton continuing popularity of the artist's work are not difficult to understand, as they are similar to those in his lifetime, namely nostalgia for an elegant chivalrous past.

Edmund Blair Leighton was the son of the artist Charles Blair Leighton, portrait and subject painter, whose exhibits at the Royal Academy and other London galleries covered the period between 1843 and 1855. He was educated at University College School, before becoming a student at the the Royal Academy Schools after a course of evening study at South Kensington and Heatherley's. He married Katherine Nash in 1885 and they went on to have a son and daughter. He exhibited annually at the Royal Academy from 1878 to 1920

Edmund Blair Leighton was a fastidious craftsman, producing highly-finished, decorative pictures, displaying romanticized scenes with a popular appeal. It would appear that he left no diaries, and though he exhibited at the Royal Academy for over forty years, he was never an Academician or an Associate. Leighton was, as might be expected from his historic genre paintings a collector of old musical instruments, art, and furniture.

He commenced exhibiting in 1874, and succeeded, four years later, in securing the verdict of the Hanging Committee of the Royal Academy in favor of two works, entitled respectively ‘Witness My Act and Seal,’ and ‘A Flaw in the Title.’

Art Movement: Romanticism
Influences: Charles Blair Leighton
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