Leighton met Perugini in Rome in 1854 and they struck up a friendship.

Perugini family legend suggests that the portrait was inspired by a fancy-dress ball that the two men attended together. Perugini is depicted in the costume of an Elizabethan gentleman with ruff but none of the jewellery that was popular during that period. Leighton wanted to express greater naturalism in his work and considered this portrait to be a wonderful example of this period of his artistic development.


Family of Charles Edward Perugini by descent since 1855; Bonhams.

Leighton House Museum

12 Holland Park Road, London, Greater London, W14 8LZ
020 7602 3316

Opening times

Saturdays and Sundays only 10am to 5:30pm Garden is closed. Please note that Leighton House Museum is currently closed during the week for restoration however a programme of public events for adults and families is still available. Please check their website on www.leightonhouse.co.uk for details and opening times

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