Unveiling an extraordinary collection of paintings and drawings by Victorian masters, including Edward Burne-Jones, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, John William Waterhouse and Frederic Leighton himself. This will be the first time in five years that the artworks will be on public display, making it a rare opportunity to see these Victorian treasures.
Victorian Treasures from the Cecil French Bequest showcases a curated selection of 21 paintings and drawings by Victorian masters from the extraordinary collection of artist and collector Cecil French (1879–1953), which was bequeathed to the public after his death. This exhibition places the artworks in context, exploring French as a collector during an unsettling time where Victorian art completely fell out of fashion.
At the centre of the exhibition are seven paintings by Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898), who lived in a remarkable studio-home, The Grange, on North End Road (West London). It’s this local connection which resulted in 52 artworks of French’s collection being donated to the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, some rarely seen before.
Highlights include The Wheel of Fortune (1875), one of Burne-Jones’s best-known compositions. At least seven versions of the same subject exist, the last of which was a large-scale oil painting currently at the Musée D’Orsay, Paris. The version in the exhibition was produced around the same time Burne-Jones began working on the 1883 oil painting.
Apricots (1866) by Albert Moore (1841-1893) is one of the artist’s earliest paintings in the Aesthetic style, an artistic movement in the late nineteenth century promoting ‘art for art's sake’. Moore exhibited Apricots alongside another aesthetic painting, Pomegranates, at the Royal Academy in 1866. Cecil French later acquired both paintings, reuniting them in his collection. (Pomegranates is now in the Guildhall Art Gallery, London).
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10% off in café throughout the first year after reopening
Expires: 1 Jan 2024
How to get there
12 Holland Park Road, London, Greater London, W14 8LZ
020 7361 3783
Wednesdays to Mondays, 10am – 5:30pm
Last entry 4:30pm
In October 2022 Leighton House completed a major redevelopment that has provided the museum with improved visitor facilities, additional exhibition space, a dedicated learning centre and a brand new cafe overlooking the garden, all located in a new wing which also houses a welcoming reception area and shop.
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