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Lord Leighton PRA, Unfinished tracing for 'The Daphnephoria'

Unfinished tracing for 'The Daphnephoria', by 1874-6

Lord Leighton PRA (1830 - 1896)

RA Collection: Art

These tracings are all for Leighton's painting 'The Daphnephoria' (1874-1876, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight), which was commissioned for the dining room of the artist's friend and patron, the banker James Stewart Hodgson. When exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1875 (no. 241), the catalogue entry for the painting included the following quotation from Proclus’s Chrestomathy:

‘The Daphnephoria; a triumphal procession held every ninth year at Thebes, in honour of Apollo, and to commemorate a victory of the Thebans over the Aeolians of Arne. Its name was derived from the laurel branches carried by those who took part in the festival – the laurel, or more properly the bay, being sacred to Apollo. The procession is led by a youthful priest called the Daphnephoros (the laurel bearer), before him a boy, his kinsman, bears a symbolic standard called the Kopo, and indicating the sun, moon and stars. Behind the Daphnephoros three lads carry a trophy of golden armour; they are followed by the choir of Theban maidens who, crowned with laurel and each bearing a laurel branch, sing the hymn to Apollo under the direction of the chorus leader. The procession is closed by boys carrying votive tripods. In the valley below is seen the town of Thebes.’

This set includes three tracings of the general composition, one of which is concerned with perspective, and four drawings of individual figures.

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Object details

Unfinished tracing for 'The Daphnephoria'
Lord Leighton PRA (1830 - 1896)
by 1874-6
Object type
Pencil on tracing paper

207 mm x 458 mm

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