Add some colour to your autumn with a new season of arts-inspired events at Leighton House.
Victorian Treasures from the Cecil French Bequest showcases a rarely seen collection of later Pre-Raphaelite paintings and drawings. 21 masterpieces were received on loan from the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.
The largest bequest came to the Council, as this was where French’s favourite artist, Edward Burne-Jones had lived for many years at The Grange on the North End Road. Accordingly, Burne-Jones is one of the central figures in this new exhibit, which will provide a rare opportunity to see works on paper that show the great range of the artist as a draughtsman.
Highlights include The Wheel of Fortune (1875). 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. It was revealed that he painted it for the radical politician Sir Charles Dilke who found his career ruined after a sex scandal.
Another top artwork is Apricots (1866) by Albert Moore. This artist is known for his depictions of languorous female figures set against the luxury and decadence of the classical world.
The second exhibition is Maha Ahmed: Where Worlds Meet.
Being the first contemporary show in the newly designed gallery of the museum’s modern wing, the space has been decorated with mini murals featuring Maha’s signature motifs and imaginary characters, hand-painted by the artist.
Also for the first time at Leighton House, visitors are invited to take part in an immersive AR experience, with artworks coming to life through animation.
The art show includes An Unfolding (2023) a special commissioned piece inspired by the rich interiors of Leighton House and the multicultural aesthetics of its collections, which resonate with Maha’s interest in different cultural traditions and art forms.
Both exhibitions at Leighton House are accompanied by a diverse programme of public events catered to adults, teens and families, including an artist-led miniature workshop, clay modelling sessions and a curator talk, amongst others.
Plan your visit to Leighton House here.
Image credits: © RBKC / Jaron James