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Lord Leighton PRA, Squared-up tracing for 'The Arts of Industry as Applied to War'

Squared-up tracing for 'The Arts of Industry as Applied to War', by 1878-80

Lord Leighton PRA (1830 - 1896)

RA Collection: Art

A small squared-up tracing for the left-hand side of The Arts of Industry as Applied to War (1878-80, Victoria and Albert Museum, London). The tracing is very sketchy and though it appears to feature the same three groups of figures (the circle of seated women sewing and the two men being fitted with armour) a number of the individual figures differ considerably.

Though Leighton was commissioned in July 1868 he did not begin painting the lunettes in the V&A until 1878. His first preparatory sketch for the composition was carried out in the summer of 1869.

Leighton first produced a design for The Arts of Industry as Applied to War to be copied onto two canvases, one larger (half the size of the lunettes) and one much smaller. On the smaller he then painted a free-hand oil sketch in colour and on the larger a detailed monochrome cartoon. Both canvases were handed in to the museum in January 1872. This tracing was probably carried out before this date, when Leighton was still working out the composition, probably around 1869-70.

These tracings relate to the composition of Frederic Leighton's two lunettes for the Victoria and Albert Museum, 'The Arts of Industry as Applied to War' and 'The Arts of Industry as Applied to Peace'.

In 1868 Leighton was invited by Henry Cole to design a composition for two lunettes in the museum's South Court and made his first preliminary drawings in the summer of 1869. Eventually, following extensive correspondance between the two regarding the specific area to be painted, Leighton presented the museum with his proposed design for a fresco entitled 'The Arts of Industry as Applied to War' in December 1870. Two outline copies of this design were made, one on a large canvas which Leighton painted up as a monochrome cartoon, and the other on a smaller canvas which the artist used as the basis for a colour study in oils. These finished studies were returned to the museum in January 1872. However, Henry Cole's retirement in 1873 caused delay and work did not begin on the actual painting of the fresco until 1878.

Leighton followed the same method to produce the second fresco, 'The Arts of Industry as Applied to Peace' which was painted between 1884-6.

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Object details

Squared-up tracing for 'The Arts of Industry as Applied to War'
Lord Leighton PRA (1830 - 1896)
by 1878-80
Object type
Pencil on tracing paper (and wash?)

70 mm x 108 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Given by Mrs Matthews 1896 and Mrs Alexandra Orr 1896
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