Frederic Leighton

Frederic Leighton, known as Sir Frederic Leighton, was an English painter and sculptor. His works depicted historical, biblical and classical subject matter.

Leighton was born in Scarborough and was educated at University College School in London. He received his artistic training on the European continent. When he was 24 he was in Florence; he studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti. From 1855 to 1859 he lived in Paris, where he met Ingres, Delacroix, Corot and Millet.

In 1860, he moved to London, where he associated with the Pre-Raphaelites. In 1864 he became an associate of the Royal Academy and in 1878 he became its President (1878–96). His 1877 sculpture, Athlete Wrestling with a Python, was considered at its time to inaugurate a renaissance in contemporary British sculpture, referred to as the New Sculpture. His paintings represented Britain at the great 1900 Paris Exhibition.

He was the first painter to be given a peerage, in the New Year Honours List of 1896. 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. His house in Holland Park, London has been turned into a museum.