Lord Frederic Leighton, the undisputed figurehead of the Victorian classical school of painting, was an English painter and sculptor. Leighton painted mythological, Biblical and historical subjects in the style that established his reputation in England an in art history. Leighton loved the rich colors of the Spanish and Egyptian landscapes and he painted much in those countries.
Leighton began his art studies at the age of ten in Rome and traveled all over Europe studying the masters and gaining firsthand knowledge of the cultural and artistic treasures. Unlike most major 19th-century artists, Leighton did not attend the Royal Academy. In 1855, Leighton s painting Cimbue s Madonna Carried in Procession through the Streets of Florence was exhibited at the Royal Academy and later purchased by Queen Victoria. This was the commencement of a glittering career and lasting fame.
In the late 19th-century, an interest in Hellenism led Leighton away from historical paintings and to mythological paintings during a time when Greek fashion allowed women a freedom of movement and lifestyle. Leighton s paintings, such as Flaming June, soon became the talk of London.