GF Watts and Frederic Leighton were among the most significant and influential British painters of the mid to late Victorian period.

Their work was richly varied - including portraits as well as historical and classical subjects. They met first in 1855, and Leighton was soon using Watts's studio, describing him as a 'most marvellous fellow'. The easy intimacy and informality of the relationship is evident in this, the most compelling likeness of Leighton painted when he was still quite young, and it suggests the energy and style that would propel him to the presidency of the Royal Academy and the introspective, intellectual side of his nature that informed so much of his art.


The Hon Lady Leighton-Warren and Sir Bryan Leighton Bt; by descent to Sir Michael Leighton; Sotheby's London, 1999.

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