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Lord Frederick Leighton, Type of Beauty

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Biography
LORD FREDERICK LEIGHTON
Lord Leighton of Stretton was born the son of a respected Yorkshire physician in 1830. He was well educated, and received his formal training with an emphasis on the culture of the ancient Greeks and Romans, an influence that later affected the style of his paintings. His paintings were widely recognized in his time; one famous work of his time was purchased by the Queen of England. Lord Leighton was a meticulous painter, always devoting a great deal of his time to the research and planning of his paintings.

He often began by drawing, and occasionally sculpting, nude figures; he would then follow by creating sketches of several clothed figures, in order to compare the curves of the human body to the way in which the clothes draped. It was this careful preparation that led to the very detailed style of painting for which he is known.

"Flaming June," one of Leighton's most famous works, was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1895, only one year before his death.

Leighton's only major piece of sculpture, ""The Athlete,"" was exhibited in 1878 at the Paris International Exposition and won the gold medal. This sculpture, along with Rodin's body of work, marked the emergence of the first modernist artwork to combine a sense of action and great attention to anatomical detail fused with natural beauty.

Lord Leighton led a colorful life, and held the distinguished position of President of the Royal Academy for eighteen years before his death in 1896.