Photographer's Note

Sleeping Beauty

Victorian paintings

Exposition - The Hague – Gemeente Museum

4 July 2009 - 20 September 2009

Flaming June, the glorious canvas painted by Frederic Leighton (1830-1896) in around 1895, and five fabulous pictures by Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898) are the highlights of an extraordinary exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag from 4 July to 20 September 2009. These masterpieces of Victorian art come from the collection of the Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico and have never previously been exhibited in the Netherlands.

The work of the Pre-Raphaelites was England’s most important contribution to nineteenth-century painting. Artists like Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), John Everett Millais (1829-1896) and William Hunt (1827-1910) had a heavy influence on later developments, such as Symbolism and the Aesthetic Movement surrounding Oscar Wilde. During the Victorian period, their courtly notions of mythical female beauty attracted a wide following and great attention was paid to the depiction of textiles, marble and flowers.

Frederic, Lord Leighton painted his masterly Flaming June in around 1895. It shows an innocent-looking young woman curled up asleep in a diaphanous orange gown which cautiously reveals the curvaceous female body beneath. The bench on which she reclines is covered with cushions and red draperies, while in the background the sun glitters on the sea. The voluptuous lines and glowing colours make this painting a demonstration of Leighton’s love of Classical beauty and harmony.

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Additional Photos by Rob Zwemmer (alvaraalto) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5397 W: 324 N: 10007] (39346)
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