Edmund Blair Leighton was a British painter, highly respected for his historical genre paintings. The artist was born in London, England, in 1852, son of Caroline and Charles Blair Leighton - also an artist. His father worked mostly with figure-pieces and portraits and studied at the Royal Academy.
The English painter became famous for his idealized depictions of medieval times. He also painted subjects of the Regency, a period that took place at the end of the Georgian era. These paintings portray a culture of elegant chivalry, beautiful dames, and courageous knights in romanticized scenes. Leighton began his education at the UCS Hampstead, in northwest London, and was soon able to attend the Royal Academy of Arts, as his father did.
In 1885, Leighton married Katherine Nash, and they had two children together - one of which became a painter as well, Edmund Blair Leighton, who also works with the Victorian theme. Not much is known about Leighton’s personal life, as he left no written statements or diaries.
Although the artist neven became an Associate of the Academy or an Academician, the artist exhibited his masterpieces at the Royal Academy for more than forty years, beginning in 1878 with the paintings A Flaw in the Title, and Witness My Act and Seal. His production was highly praised by the critics, and he became a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters for more than ten years.
One of Leighton’s more celebrated paintings is The Accolade, concluded in 1901, depicting a beautiful example of medieval chivalry in which he is most known for producing. The illuminated scene shows a beautiful regal woman with long hair knighting a man with a sword as he bends on his knees before her. This piece is often related to God Speed, exhibited at the Royal Academy a year earlier.
Leighton’s use of romantic subjects is also prevalent in his production, like seen in the colorful Alain Chartier. In fact, the artist’s remarkable use of color can be seen in multiple paintings. A beautiful example of how Leighton was able to achieve a perfect balance between natural and vibrant colors is Flaming June, with a depiction of a bright orange gown.