© Will Pryce
Leighton House was designed and built in 1865-6 by George Aitchison RA for his friend, the great Victorian artist and later President of the Royal Academy, Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830-1896). Progressively adapted to suit Leighton's specifications over the thirty years he lived here, the building includes a north-facing working studio with a picture slot for transferring Leighton's larger works - in its day, one of the sights of London. However, the house was also intended to be a showcase for Leighton's artistic taste, and for his extensive art collection, which included works by Corot, Millais, George Frederic Watts and Lawrence Alma-Tadema. The highlight remains the extraordinary Arab Hall (1877), which reflects Leighton's fascination with the Middle East along with his major collection of fifteenth-century Damascus tiles.
Leighton House has been open to the public since 1929, and is situated alongside a number of other studio-houses that were built during the second half of the nineteenth century. Together, these demonstrate the wealth, status and taste of some of the most successful late-Victorian period artists. Though none are still available to visit, Leighton House runs regular tours of the area through the Holland Park Circle.
12 Holland Park Road
020 7602 3316
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Open daily 10am - 5:30pm
© Will Pryce
© National Portrait Gallery