The former home of Victorian-era artist Lord Frederic Leighton is no ordinary house. During the 30 years Leighton inhabited this building he did his upmost to fill it with beautiful things; the Arab Hall contains over a thousand Islamic tiles he brought back from his travels through Syria, ceilings are gilded and a stuffed peacock perches by a staircase. A golden statue of Narcissus poses amid further lavish details, making one wonder whether it would actually be possible for someone to live in such dream-like surroundings. Since the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea took over, great care has been paid to maintaining the house as it was during Leighton’s lifetime; the museum was recently refurbished costing a cool £1.6 million (which seems to be paying off, as it has been nominated for the Art Fund Prize 2011) and walking around the figures of Greek athletes fighting pythons you can see why. The house also hosts exhibitions, talks and drama courses from time to time, and you can see Leighton’s own paintings in his grand first floor artists’ studio.
Leighton House Museum
12 Holland Park Road, London, Holland Park, W14 8LZ
020 7602 3316
Kensington (Olympia) (0.30 miles)
From January to 31 December 2020, Leighton House Museum will be open to the public on SATURDAYS and SUNDAYS only, from 10am to 5:30pm, due to restoration works for our Hidden Gem To National Treasure project. The garden will remain closed.