Edmund Leighton

Edmund Blair Leighton (21 September 1852 – 1 September 1922) was an English painter of historical genre scenes, specializing in Regency and medieval subjects.

Edmund Leighton
Edmund Blair Leighton, 1900
Edmund Blair Leighton

21 September 1852
Died1 September 1922 (aged 69)
London, England
Known forPainting


Leighton was the son of the artist Charles Blair Leighton (1823–1855) and Caroline Leighton (née Boosey). He was educated at University College School, before becoming a student at the Royal Academy Schools. 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.

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.


The following obituary of Leighton is taken from a magazine published early in 1923. It is one of several publications to have given the year of birth as 1853 instead of the correct date of 1852, which error is in the process of being corrected in newer publications.[1]

Obituary - The late Edmund Blair Leighton ROI 1853–1922.

The death of Mr Edmund Blair Leighton, on September 1, removed from our midst a painter who, though he did not attain to the higher flights of art, yet played a distinguished part in aiding the public mind to an appreciation of the romance attaching to antiquity, and to a realisation of the fellowship of mankind throughout the ages.

Mr Blair Leighton was born in London, on September 1, 1853, his father being that Charles Blair Leighton, portrait and subject painter, whose exhibits at the Royal Academy and other London galleries covered the period between 1843 and 1855. The son was educated at University College School, before taking a position in an office in the city but entered the Royal Academy Schools after a course of evening study at South Kensington and Heatherley's.

He commenced exhibiting in 1874, and succeeded, four years later, in securing the verdict of the Hanging Committee of the Royal Academy in favour of two works, entitled respectively ‘Witness My Act and Seal,’ and ‘A Flaw in the Title.’ Since then his highly wrought style was regularly represented at Burlington House until two years prior to his decease. Among the better known of his pictures, many of which were published, may be named ‘The Dying Copernicus (1880), To Arms (1888), Lay thy sweet hand in mine and trust in me ( 1891), Lady Godiva (1892), Two Strings (1893), Launched in Life (1894), The Accolade (1901), Tristan and Isolde (1907), The Dedication (1908), The Shadow (1909), ‘To the Unknown Land (1911),’ and ‘The Boyhood of Alfred The Great,’ 1913. For the past dozen years or so, Mr E Blair Leighton had been a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. He had married in 1885, Miss Katherine Nash, by whom he had, with a daughter, one son, Mr E J Blair Leighton, who has also adopted painting as a profession.

List of works

Leighton-God Speed!
God Speed! (1900)
  • Old Times (1877), private collection.[2]
  • Till Death Do Us Part (1878)
  • The Dying Copernicus (1880)
  • Un Gage d'Amour (1881), Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki.[3]
  • Abelard and his Pupil Heloise (1882), Phillips Auctioneers, UK.[4]
  • Duty (1883)
  • Conquest (1884)[5]
  • The Gladiator's Wife (1884), private collection.[4]
  • The Rehearsal (1888), Croydon Clocktower, UK.[4]
  • Call To Arms (1888), Roy Miles Fine Paintings.[4]
  • A Stolen Interview (1888)
  • Olivia (1888)
  • How Liza Loved the King (1890), Towneley Hall Art Gallery and Museum, Burnley.[4]
  • Lay thy sweet hand in mine and trust in me (1891)
  • Lady Godiva (1892), Leeds City Art Gallery.[4]
  • Two Strings (1893)
  • Goodbye (1893)
  • Launched in Life (1894)
  • My Next-Door Neighbour (1894), private collection.[4]
  • Waiting for the Coach (1895), Manchester Art Gallery.[6]
  • A Favour (1898)
  • In Time of Peril (1897)
  • Off (1899), Manchester Art Gallery.[7]
  • God Speed! (1900)
  • On the Threshold (1900), Manchester Art Gallery.[8]
  • The Accolade (1901), private collection.[4]
  • Adieu (1901), Manchester Art Gallery.[9]
  • Lilac (1901)
  • Tristan and Isolde (AKA The End of the Song) (1902)
  • Alain Chartier (1903)
  • Ribbons and Laces for Very Pretty Faces (1904)
  • The Dedication (1908)
  • The Shadow (1909), City Hall, Cardiff[10]
  • The Key (1909)
  • Pelleas and Melisande (1910) Williamson Art Gallery and Museum
  • To the Unknown Land (1911)
  • Stitching the Standard (1911)
  • The Boyhood of Alfred The Great (1913)
  • My Fair Lady (1914)
  • A Nibble (1914), private collection.[4]
  • An Arrival (1916), City Hall, Cardiff[10]
  • The Wedding March (1919)
  • The Lord of Burleigh, Tennyson (1919), private collection.[4]
  • Sweet Solitude (1919), private collection.[4]
  • After Service (1921), private collection.[11]
  • Signing the Register (undated), Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery.[4]
  • The Fond Farewell (1891), Messum's, London.[4]
  • Lord of the Manor (undated), private collection.[4]
  • Sorrow and Song (undated), Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery.[4]
  • Lady in a Garden
  • The Charity of St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1915)
  • The Rose's Day
  • Waiting
  • Cromwell dissolving the Long Parliament
  • Forest Tryst
  • Sweets to the Sweet
  • Courtship
  • Con Amore
  • The Request
  • The King and the Beggar-maid


Edmund Blair Leighton - Old Times

Old Times (1877)

Leighton-Till Death Do Us Part-1878

Till Death Do Us Part (1878)

Edmund Blair Leighton - Abelard and his Pupil Heloise

Abelard and his Pupil Heloise (1882)

Edmund Blair Leighton - The Elopement - 1893

The Elopement (1893)


Off (1899)

Edmund Blair Leighton - On the Threshold

On the Threshold (1900)

Edmund Blair Leighton - Ribbons and Lace

Ribbons and Laces for Very Pretty Faces (1904)



Edmund Blair Leighton - My Next-Door Neighbour

My Next-Door Neighbour

Edmund Blair Leighton - My fair Lady

My Fair Lady

Leighton in1816

In 1816

Edmund Blair Leighton - Courtship

Courtship by the piano

Leighton-Stitching the Standard

Stitching the Standard: the lady prepares for a knight to go to war.

Elisabet av Thüringen

The Charity of Elisabeth of Hungary

Leighton-The King and the Beggar-maid

The King and the Beggar-maid


  1. ^ Birth certificate 1852 St James, Clerkenwell, London.
  2. ^ "Old Times by Edmund Leighton". leicestergalleries.com. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007.
  3. ^ "Un Gage d'Amour". Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Listed at Bridgeman Art Library Archived 22 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Conquest". Sotheby's. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015.
  6. ^ "Waiting for the Coach". Manchester City Galleries - Search the collection.
  7. ^ "Off". Manchester City Galleries - Search the collection.
  8. ^ "On the Threshold". Manchester City Galleries - Search the collection.
  9. ^ "Adieu painting". Manchester City Galleries - Search the collection.
  10. ^ a b "Visitor Information Guide" (PDF). Cardiff City Hall. 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 July 2007.
  11. ^ "After Service by Edmund Leighton". leicestergalleries.com.

External links

1852 in art

Events from the year 1852 in art.

1900 in art

The year 1900 in art involved some significant events and new works.

1901 in art

The year 1901 in art involved some significant events and new works.

1904 in art

The year 1904 in art involved some significant events and new works.

1911 in art

The year 1911 in art involved some significant events and new works.

1922 in art

The year 1922 in art involved some significant events and new works.

1978 in art

The year 1978 in art involved some significant events and new works.


The accolade (also known as dubbing or adoubement) (Latin: benedictio militis) was the central act in the rite of passage ceremonies conferring knighthood in the Middle Ages. From about 1852, the term accolade was used much more generally to mean "praise" or "award" or "honor."


A duty (from "due" meaning "that which is owing"; Old French: deu, did, past participle of devoir; Latin: debere, debitum, whence "debt") is a commitment or expectation to perform some action in general or if certain circumstances arise. A duty may arise from a system of ethics or morality, especially in an honor culture. Many duties are created by law, sometimes including a codified punishment or liability for non-performance. Performing one's duty may require some sacrifice of self-interest.

Cicero, an early Roman philosopher who discusses duty in his work “On Duty", suggests that duties can come from four different sources:

as a result of being a human

as a result of one's particular place in life (one's family, one's country, one's job)

as a result of one's character

as a result of one's own moral expectations for oneselfThe specific duties imposed by law or culture vary considerably, depending on jurisdiction, religion, and social norms.

Falling in love

Falling in love is the development of strong feelings of attachment and love, usually towards another person.

The term is metaphorical, emphasising that the process, like the physical act of falling, is sudden, uncontrollable and leaves the lover in a vulnerable state, similar to "fall ill" or "fall into a trap".

It may also reflect the importance of the lower brain centers in the process, which can lead the rational, accounting brain to conclude (in John Cleese's words) that "this falling in love routine is very bizarre....It borders on the occult".

God Speed (painting)

God Speed is a painting by British artist Edmund Leighton, depicting an armored knight departing to war and leaving his beloved. The painting was exhibited in the Royal Academy of Arts in 1900. God Speed was the first of several paintings by Leighton in the 1900s on the subject of chivalry, the others being The Accolade (1901) and The Dedication (1908).

Heatherley School of Fine Art

The Heatherley School of Fine Art is an independent art school in London.

The school was named after Thomas Heatherley who took over as the school's principal from James Mathews Leigh (when it was named "Leigh's"). Founded in 1845, the school is affectionately known as Heatherley's. It is one of the oldest independent art schools in London and is among the few art colleges in Britain that focus on portraiture, figurative painting and sculpture.

It opened a new school, on George Street (off Baker Street), London, in November 1927 after previously being located on Newman Street.William Russell Flint, Solomon Joseph Solomon, Gregoire Boonzaier, Michael Ayrton and Kate Greenaway are numbered amongst its former students as was the first Principal of the Slade School of Art, Sir Edward Poynter.

In Time of Peril

In Time of Peril is a painting by the English painter Edmund Leighton. The subject does not appear to represent any specific historical subject, but an invented incident from the Middle Ages where a young boy and a baby are in flight with their mother, a soldier or father, and chests and bundles of treasures, and arrive at a monastery.In Time of Peril was exhibited in the Royal Academy Exhibition of 1897. It was later bought by the Mackelvie Trust, and placed in the Auckland Art Gallery, where it quickly became one of the most popular pictures in the Gallery, copied by generations of Auckland's art students. As with many other art galleries in Australia and New Zealand founded in the later nineteenth century, Auckland's collection is particularly rich in late Victorian and Edwardian academic paintings.

List of Pre-Raphaelite paintings

This is a list of paintings produced by members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and other artists associated with the Pre-Raphaelite style. The term "Pre-Raphaelite" is used here in a loose and inclusive fashion.

Regency romance

Regency romances are a subgenre of romance novels set during the period of the British Regency (1811–1820) or early 19th century. Rather than simply being versions of contemporary romance stories transported to a historical setting, Regency romances are a distinct genre with their own plot and stylistic conventions. These derive not so much from the 19th-century contemporary works of Jane Austen, but rather from Georgette Heyer, who wrote over two dozen novels set in the Regency starting in 1935 until her death in 1974, and from the fiction genre known as the novel of manners. In particular, the more traditional Regencies feature a great deal of intelligent, fast-paced dialogue between the protagonists and very little explicit sex or discussion of sex.

Stitching the Standard

Stitching the Standard is a painting by British artist Edmund Leighton. It depicts a nameless damsel on the battlements of a medieval castle making the finishing touches to a standard or pennant with a black eagle on a gold background. In a time of peace the woman has taken her needlework into the daylight away from the bustle of the castle.

The painting represents late Pre-Raphaelitism, when life was untarnished by World War I. Stitching the Standard is probably listed as The Device by Leighton's biographer Alfred Yockney among the pictures from 1911.

The Accolade

The Accolade may refer to

The Accolade, a 1901 Pre-Raphaelite painting by Edmund Leighton

The AccoLade (band), an all-girl rock band from Jeddah

The Accolade, a song by progressive metal band Symphony X, from their 1997 album The Divine Wings of Tragedy

Accolade II, a song by progressive metal band Symphony X, from their 2002 album The Odyssey

the official student newspaper of Centennial High School located in Roswell, Georgia

The Accolade (Leighton)

The Accolade is a painting by British artist Edmund Leighton. It is one of many paintings produced by Leighton in the 1900s on the subject of chivalry, with others including God Speed (1901) and The Dedication (1908). It has been described as among Leighton's best known works and one of the most recognizable paintings of the period.

William Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme

William Hesketh Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme (; 19 September 1851 – 7 May 1925) was an English industrialist, philanthropist, and politician. Having been educated at a small private school until the age of nine, then at church schools until he was fifteen; a somewhat privileged education for that time, he started work at his father's wholesale grocery business in Bolton. Following an apprenticeship and a series of appointments in the family business, which he successfully expanded, he began manufacturing Sunlight Soap, building a substantial business empire with many well-known brands such as Lux and Lifebuoy. In 1886, together with his brother, James, he established Lever Brothers, which was one of the first companies to manufacture soap from vegetable oils, and which is now part of the Anglo-Dutch transnational business Unilever. In politics, Lever briefly sat as a Liberal MP for Wirral and later, as Lord Leverhulme, in the House of Lords as a Peer. He was an advocate for expansion of the British Empire, particularly in Africa and Asia, which supplied palm oil, a key ingredient in Lever's product line.An aspiring patron of the arts, Lever began collecting artworks in 1893 when he bought a painting by Edmund Leighton. Lever's rival in the soap industry, A & F Pears, had taken the lead in using art for marketing by buying paintings such as "Bubbles" by John Everett Millais to promote its products. Lever's response was to acquire similarly illustrative works, and he later bought 'The New Frock' by William Powell Frith to promote the Sunlight soap brand. In 1922 he founded the Lady Lever Art Gallery at Port Sunlight in Cheshire which he dedicated to his late wife Elizabeth.


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