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Showing posts from October, 2019

Master of Innuendo: Edmund Leighton

In Time of Peril, 1897


Born on the 21st of September, 1852 Edmund Blair Leighton was an English medieval painter from London. He was known for a highly accurate and detailed realism with a vivid palette and figures with decorative costumes. Leighton's work has a strong narrative, and when he wasn't painting Medieval themes he often explored romantic concepts and, like his Pre-Raphaelite contemporaries, may have been influenced by Lord Tennyson.

If we look at In Time of Peril above, Leighton creates a drama right out of a scene from a novel or drama. I love how the figures looking back at the old man direct our eye to him, while the child looks in the opposite direction toward where they are headed. By making the composition in two-point perspective, Leighton heightens the drama that they are in danger and eager to escape wherever they came from to arrive at a monastery. He creates vivid contrasts in texture between the water, the costumes of the figures, and the heavy stone w…