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The Life, Letters and Work of Frederic Leighton Volume I   By:

The Life, Letters and Work of Frederic Leighton Volume I by Mrs. Russell Barrington

First Page:

Transcriber's Note: Inconsistent hyphenation in the original document has been preserved. The Errata on page xxiii have been incorporated into this e book. The Illustration list has one image out of sequence. Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. For a complete list, please see the end of this document.

[Illustration]

The Life, Letters and Work of Frederic Baron Leighton Of Stretton

VOL. I

" If any man should be constantly penetrated with a gift bestowed on him, it is the artist who has realised as his share a genuine love for nature; for his enjoyment, if he puts his gift to usury, increases with the days of his life. "

" Every man who has received a gift, ought to feel and act as if he was a field in which a seed was planted that others might gather the harvest. "

FREDERIC LEIGHTON.

August 1852.

The Life, Letters and Work of Frederic Leighton

BY

MRS. RUSSELL BARRINGTON

AUTHOR OF "REMINISCENCES OF G.F. WATTS," ETC. ETC.

IN TWO VOLUMES

VOL. I

LONDON GEORGE ALLEN, RUSKIN HOUSE 1906

[All rights reserved]

Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON & CO. At the Ballantyne Press

[Illustration: EARLY PORTRAIT OF LORD LEIGHTON From the Painting by G.F. Watts (Photogravure) By permission of the Hon. Lady Leighton Warren and Sir Bryan Leighton, Bart.]

TO ALL WHO HOLD DEAR THE MEMORY OF FREDERIC LEIGHTON THIS BOOK IS INSCRIBED WITH THE AUTHOR'S APOLOGIES FOR ITS VERY MANY SHORTCOMINGS

PREFACE

Ten years and more have passed since Leighton died, yet it is still difficult to get sufficiently far away, to take in the whole of his life and being in their just proportion to the world in which he lived.

When we are in Rome, hemmed in by narrow streets, St. Peter's is invisible; once across that wonderful Campagna and mounting the slopes of Frascati, there, like a huge pearl gleaming in the light, rises the dome of the Mother Church. As distance gives the true relation between a lofty building and its suburbs, so time alone can decide the height of the pedestal on which to place the great.

The day after Leighton's death Watts wrote to me:

"...The loss to the world is so great that I almost feel ashamed to let my personal grief have so large a place.

"I am glad you knew him so well. I am glad for any one who knew him. No one will ever know such another, alas! alas! alas!

"I am glad you have enjoyed the friendship of one of the greatest men of any time."

This is the estimate of a great artist who knew Leighton for forty years, and for many of those years enjoyed daily intercourse with him.

A few like Watts required no length of time before forming a right estimate of Leighton. They not only knew him to be great, but knew why he was great. Undoubtedly as a draughtsman Leighton was unrivalled; but bearing in mind his English contemporaries Watts, Millais, Holman Hunt, Rossetti, and Burne Jones it is not as a painter that even his truest friends would claim for him his right to the exceptional position he undoubtedly occupied.

What was it that gave Leighton this position? He himself was the very last to claim it as a right... Continue reading book >>


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