Detail from The Canal, Amsterdam, 1889, James McNeill Whistler, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow


Frederick Leighton

Title: Sir (1878); Baron Leighton of Stretton (1896.01)
Nationality: English
Date of birth: 1830.12.03
Place of birth: 13 Brunswick Terrace, Scarborough, Yorkshire
Date of death: 1896.01.25
Place of death: London
Category: painter


Sir Frederic Leighton, painter and sculptor, was the second child of Frederic Septimus Leighton and Augusta Susan Nash.

His home at 12 Holland Park Road, London, was designed by George Aitchison in 1864 and housed a large studio and his own art collection. Leighton lived there from 1866 until his death, continually extending the building and studio. In 1877 he started work on the famous Arab Hall at Leighton House. The house is now a museum open to the public.

He was made Baron Leighton of Stretton in the New Year's Honours list of 1896.


Leighton mainly painted neoclassical subjects. He was a friend of Whistler and used some of the same models, for example, Connie Gilchrist (painted by Whistler in Harmony in Yellow and Gold: The Gold Girl - Connie Gilchrist y190). The Pettigrew sisters also posed regularly for Leighton, as for Whistler (see Rose Pettigrew holding a baby m1281 and The Arabian m1273).

Leighton first exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1877. He was a member of the Royal Academy (of which Whistler was not a member) from 1855 and was made President in 1878. He was a member of The Arts Club (of which Whistler was also a member) between 1863-1896.


Records of the Arts Club, London; Encyclopedia Brittanica online. Chisholm, Hugh, ed.,'Leighton, Frederick Leighton, Baron', Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911, vol. 17 (11th ed.). Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61. Ormond, Richard and Leonée, Lord Leighton, London, 1975. Maas, Jeremy, The Victorian Art World in Photographs, London, 1984. 'Frederick Leighton', Wikipedia. Jones, Stephen et al., Frederic, Lord Leighton. Eminent Victorian Artist, London, Royal Academy, 1996. Newall, Christopher, The Art of Lord Leighton, Oxford, 1990. Barringer, T. and Prettejohn, E. (eds), Frederic Leighton. Antiquity, Renaissance, Modernity, Studies in British Art, 5, New Haven and London, 1999. Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity, exhibition, Leighton House, 2017.