May Sartoris - Fredric, Lord Leighton - Framed Picture 16" x 20"
Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton, PRA, known as Sir Frederic Leighton between 1878 and 1896, was an English painter and sculptor. His works depicted historical, biblical, and classical subject matter.
Leighton was bearer of the shortest-lived peerage in history; after only one day his hereditary peerage became extinct upon his death.
Leighton received his artistic training on the European continent, first from Eduard von Steinle and then from Giovanni Costa. At age 17, in the summer of 1847, he met the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer in Frankfurt and painted his portrait, in graphite and gouache on paper—the only known full-length study of Schopenhauer done from life.
When he was 24 he studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti, and painted the procession of the Cimabue Madonna through the Borgo Allegri.
From 1855 to 1859 he lived in Paris, where he met Ingres, Delacroix, Corot and Millet.
He moved to London, where he associated with the Pre-Raphaelites. He designed Elizabeth Barrett Browning's tomb for Robert Browning in the English Cemetery, Florence in 1861. In 1864 he became an associate of the Royal Academy and in 1878 he became its President.
Leighton was knighted at Windsor in 1878, and was later created a baronet. He was the first painter to be given a peerage, in the 1896 New Year Honours. The patent creating him Baron Leighton, of Stretton in the County of Shropshire, was issued on 24 January 1896; Leighton died the next day of angina pectoris.
Leighton remained a bachelor and rumours of his having an illegitimate child with one of his models in addition to the supposition that Leighton may have been homosexual continue to be debated today.
After his death his Barony was extinguished after existing for only a day; this is a record in the Peerage.
Leighton was an enthusiastic volunteer soldier, enrolling with the first group to join the 38th Middlesex (Artists') Rifle Volunteer Corps (later to be known as the Artists Rifles) on 5 October 1860.
His qualities of leadership were immediately identified, and he was promoted to command A Company within a few months. On 6 January 1869 Captain Leighton was elected to command the Artists Rifles by a general meeting of the corps. In the same year he was promoted to major and in 1875 to lieutenant colonel. Leighton resigned as commanding officer in 1883. The painter James Whistler famously described the then, Sir Frederic Leighton, the commanding officer of the Artists Rifles, as the: “Colonel of the Royal Academy and the President of the Artists Rifles – aye, and he paints a little!" At his funeral, on 3 February 1896, his coffin was carried into St Paul's Cathedral, past a guard of honour formed by the Artists Rifles.