FREDERIC, LORD LEIGHTON, P.R.A., R.W.S
1830 - 1896
The Mountains of Asia Minor, from Rhodes
oil on canvas
9 by 40cm., 3½ by 15½in.
This picture had been lined which is providing a stable structural support. The paint surface is a little dirty and may benefit from a light clean.
UNDER ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT
There are retouchings along the upper edge where the frame has abraded the paint surface.
The picture is contained in its original gilt moulded plaster frame.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Christie's, London, 'The Remaining Works of the Late Right Honourable Lord Leighton of Stretton, P.R.A.', 13 July 1896, lot 231 as Buildings on the Coast, Island of Rhodes, purchased by Douglas William Freshfield;
Fine Art Society, London, where purchased by the present owner in April 1983
London, Royal Academy, Exhibition of Works by the Late Lord Leighton of Stretton, 1897, no.192 (lent by Douglas W. Freshfield)
Leonee and Richard Ormond, Lord Leighton, 1975, p.157 cat.no.138
This delightfully fluid study was made during Leighton's visit to Rhodes in the autumn of 1867 and probably depicts a view looking towards the Turkish mainland. ‘Leighton was a passionate traveller, always spending the three months from August to October abroad.’ (Stephen Jones, Christopher Newall, Leonee Ormond, Richard Ormond and Benedict Read, Lord Leighton – Eminent Victorian Artist, 1996, p.147) The plein-air pictures from Leighton’s trips abroad, usually small in scale and rapidly painted, are among his most beautiful productions. Although he is not thought of as a landscape painter, these pictures are finer than most of his generation. Free from the lofty ambitions of his ‘mythologies’ which can sometimes be rather staged and academic, these landscapes are truthful renditions of light and colour. From his pale studies of white-washed houses on Capri to the sun-baked landscapes of Italy and Egypt, they are saturated with rich, brilliant colour and evocative of summer heat. He favoured elongated compositions with expanses of dark blue water, purple mountains and cloudless skies which emphasise the wide vistas. Many of these landscapes were included in the Leighton exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1996.
The picture was bought from the artist's studio sale by the lawyer, author and mountaineer Douglas William Freshfield (1845-1934), who was an active member of the Alpine Club and the Royal Geographical Society. He also purchased A View near Damascus, A Ruined Mosque at Broussa and A Castle Keep from the same sale, favouring Leighton's informal topographic scenes rather than his imposing mythological works.
'The weather, which was very beautiful at the beginning - indeed during the greater part of my stay in the Island - was not faithful to me to the end; it broke up a few days before my departure, and, to my very great regret, prevented my painting certain studies which I was very anxious to take home: on the other hand, I had the opportunities of studying effects of a different nature, so that I can hardly call myself much the loser as far as my work on Rhodes was concerned.'
Letter from Leighton to his father, quoted in Mrs Russell Barrington, Life, Letters & Work of Frederic Leighton, 2 volumes, 1906, Vol II., pp.129-30