Leighton House: London’s ‘Palace of Art’

Leighton House, the home of Royal Academy President Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830-1896), is the most sophisticated and idiosyncratic studio house to survive from Victorian London. Lord Leighton enlisted architect George Aitchison to design a house for him at 2 Holland Park Road in Kensington. Aitchison had never before designed a domestic building, which suited the artist very well: final design was based on Leighton’s ideas, while the execution was by Aitchison.

The design partnership resulted in an elegant building in the Aesthetic style, whose seductive and eccentric, but sophisticated interiors challenge our modern stereotypes about Victorian design. The house features a two-story foyer, built to house Leighton’s collection of 16th century Middle Eastern tiles; an Arab style Hall with more tiles, Moorish wooden latticework and a burbling fountain; an artist’s studio, with a graceful, double-height window; and Leighton’s own bedroom, with a modest, single brass bed. Built over the course of three decades, the house served as the showplace for the art and society of its day, as well as the birthplace of Lord Leighton’s greatest paintings.

The house opened to the public as a gallery in 1929. The museum has on permanent display works of art by John Everett Millais, Edward Burne-Jones and George Frederic Watts, as well as 81 oil paintings by Leighton himself. The house’s remarkable legacy-first, as a home, then, as a museum-reached its latest milestone in 2019, when Leighton House embarked on a major renovation (scheduled for completion in early 2022).

Join Country Life and Vanity Fair contributor Patrick Monahan for an illustrated talk about Leighton’s stunning home, one of London’s lesser-known treasures. Patrick will also talk about the future of the house and show an exclusive preview of the renovations in advance of the house’s Spring 2022 reopening.

Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton, Desdemona, Othello), c. 1888

Patrick Monahan, Writer and Independent Art Advisor

Patrick Monahan is a writer and independent art advisor, specializing in British paintings, drawings, and sculpture from the eighteenth century to the present. A native New Yorker, he is consulted by collectors and museums on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico. His written work appears in Country Life and Vanity Fair, as well as in the exhibition catalogue “Flaming June: the making of an icon,” Leighton House, London, 2016. He holds an Mphil from the University of Cambridge as well as a BA from the University of Chicago, both in art history. He lives and works in New York City, with regular visits to London.

Instagram: @thepatrickmonahan

LIVE

Tuesday, October 26 | 6:00 p.m. (EDT)

Online via Zoom Webinar

$15 members; $20 non-members

Register for Live

*If you are a Royal Oak member, you must be signed into the website to register as a member. Click the sign in button at the top right of the shopping cart. Add the standard ticket to the cart and the discount will apply at check out. 

RENT

Between Wednesday, October 27 to Monday, November 1

Rent the recorded lecture to watch at your leisure

$15 members; $20 non-members

Register to Rent

The Zoom video link will be sent to you on Wednesday, October 27 at 12:00 p.m. noon (eastern).
Please check your spam or junk folder if you do not receive the link in your inbox. If it is not there by 1:30 p.m. (eastern), contact us right away at zoom@royal-oak.org
 
The rental video will be hosted on the Zoom website and only available for streaming until Monday, November 1 at 11:59 p.m. (eastern).  The video will not be available after that date and time. It cannot be downloaded.
 
*If you are a Royal Oak member, you must be signed into the website to register as a member. Click the sign in button at the top right of the shopping cart. Add the standard ticket to the cart and the discount will apply at check out.