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Victorian Treasures from the Cecil French Bequest

Event schedule details

21st Oct 2023 - 25th Feb 2024

Event location details

Leighton House and Sambourne House Museum

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At the centre of the exhibition are seven paintings by Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898), who lived in a remarkable studio-home, The Grange, on North End Road (West London). It’s this local connection which resulted in 52 artworks of French’s collection being donated to the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, some rarely seen before.

Highlights include The Wheel of Fortune (1875), one of Burne-Jones’s best-known compositions. At least seven versions of the same subject exist, the last of which was a large-scale oil painting currently at the Musée D’Orsay, Paris. The version in the exhibition was produced around the same time Burne-Jones began working on the 1883 oil painting.

Apricots (1866) by Albert Moore (1841-1893) is one of the artist’s earliest paintings in the Aesthetic style, an artistic movement in the late nineteenth century promoting ‘art for art's sake’. Moore exhibited Apricots alongside another aesthetic painting, Pomegranates, at the Royal Academy in 1866. Cecil French later acquired both paintings, reuniting them in his collection. (Pomegranates is now in the Guildhall Art Gallery, London).

Image credit: Albert Moore, Apricots, 1866. From the Collection of The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.