The Art of Lord Leighton Paperback – 1 Jan 1994
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'Newall's assessment of the work is full of fresh insights. He writes with refreshing enthusiasm and clarity.' (The Spectator)
About the Author
Christopher Newall is an independent scholar and writer, and the author of Victorian Watercolours, also published by Phaidon.
Top customer reviews
The selection of work chosen leaves out most of his more interesting paintings, such as The Siren, and gives us instead a fairly dull collection of portraits along with a few of the mythological paintings and some religious works plus the aforementioned Flaming June.
Christopher Newell has written a decent enough piece about Leighton but even that is not much more than a compressed biography with a fairly narrow focus.
Buy the book if you want to read a bit about Leighton but if you want a book of well printed paintings, look elsewhere.
Putting its faults aside, the text is brief but informative, and ties in well with the accompanying images. There are some important pictures missing from the book, but at this price I would not expect to see an exhaustive catalogue of every picture. Overall, it's an honest book, which provides a broad introduction to the man and his work.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Find a different copy that is in color. Im disappointed.
Buy the book if you want to learn about his life and get a general idea of his work. But if you really like his work you'll be disappointed by this book.
The pictures themselves are easy to enjoy - skillful, classical, and carefully designed to appeal to Victorian tastes and to create a position for Leighton within the hierarchies of art and society. (He succeeded in both.) Many of this books reproductions honor his work beautifully, in lush color and fine printing, on bright, opaque paper. Those images generally make the most of the book's largish size,. As a result, the reader can enjoy much of Leighton's meticulous detail in rendering romanticized images of contemporary and classical topics.
Something like half of the reproductions, however, are black and white, undersized for the book's large format, and sometimes murky. The book chooses not to address Leighton's life, except tangentially, but under-represents the visual impact of his art, too. The large, lovely color reproductions are very enjoyable, but might not be enough to deliver the value that a reader might expect.
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