Monday, 30 January 2012

Leighton House

.. on a miserable early January afternoon


.. on a lovely late January morning


Leighton House (close to Holland Park) is a lovely example of 19th century (well-off) artist's home. Victorian artist Frederic Lord Leighton (the only British artist to have become ennobled) sold his first major painting to Queen Victoria and became President of the Royal Academy of Arts. Leighton is associated with the Aesthetic Movement. Wanting to reintroduce beauty to Victorian Britain the aesthetes often blended art from different cultures. You find this e.g. in the main hall or of course the amazing Arab Hall with its beautiful tiles and fountain in the middle. I also love his studio, immense and lit by a huge north facing window, once filled with paint, books and canvases. For me, it is one of these places where you feel you can breath and get inspired, away from High Street Ken and modern day London, by a personality, a style or just one room.

And if you are in need of a strong coffee or a bite to eat after your tour, try Cafe Phillies, which is just 5 min down the road. It has good coffee, a nice atmosphere and does not look like a chain (since I would not recommend going from 19th century Aestheticism to 21 century coffee chain - not healthy)


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