Leighton House – a personal artistic delight
Explore Leighton House, the recently renovated extraordinary home of the Victorian home of painter, sculptor and pubic figure, Frederic Leighton. Situated on the edge of Holland Park, the museum is famed for its opulent interiors, including the Arab Hall featuring mosaic floors and tiles acquired through Leighton’s travels to Turkey, Egypt and Syria. Frederic Leighton with the architect and his friend George Aitchison began constructing the Arab Hall in 1877, with completion four years later. At that time, his house came to embody the idea of how a great artist should live.
As part of the transformation of ‘Hidden Gem to National Treasure’ of Leighton House, our friends Turquoise Mountain were specially-commissioned to make a collection of furniture for the new wing, hand-crafted by master artisans. Maher Darwish and Abdelrahman Shaaban (Abu Abdo), from Syria and now based in Amman (Jordan), have created pieces including marquetry derived from inlaid motifs on a Syrian chest that Lord Leighton acquired on his travels.
Earlier this year, our co-founder, Matthew Bourne, was honoured to be invited to Leighton House on the occasion of the visit of King Charles III to present the results of the collaboration between Christopher Farr and Turquoise Mountain. The incredible work of their master craftspeople resulted in ‘Infinity’, made by the weaving communities of Bamiyan, and inspired by the traditional Tibetan Mandala rugs, here translated into a more contemporary rug design.
Turquoise Mountain was founded by His Majesty King Charles III to revive historic areas and traditional crafts, and provide jobs and skills where cultural heritage is under threat.
Photography credit: Narcissus Hall, Leighton House. Image courtesy of Will Pryce.