Lines and Colors art blog

Eye Candy for Today: Frederic Leighton’s Invocation

Invocation, oil painting by Frederic Leighton
Invocation, Frederic Leighton

Link is to Wikimedia Commons, original is in a private collection.

Like the remarkable figure of Perseus in his interpretation of the mythological story of Perseus and Andromeda, Leighton here manages to render the figure as both solid and etherial.

This is partly accomplished with solid draftsmanship, and partly with his superb command of value and edges. I’m struck in particular by the way he has handled the subtle shift in value on the arms, in which the tonal transitions are so delicate as to be almost imperceptible.

The diaphanous gown defines the underlying figure with precision and grace, again by subtle control of value and the draftsmanship in the sweeping folds of fabric.

The small bit of still life adds weight at the bottom of the composition and ties it to the hints of architectural elements that form the background.


6 responses to “Eye Candy for Today: Frederic Leighton’s Invocation

  1. So much from such a limited palette – gorgeous painting. I think you ran this one before. Charley. If not then the image has stuck with me from somewhere else … not that it matters, of course, can’t get too much of a good thing

    1. Thanks, John. Good point about the limited palette. I’ve posted about some other Leightons, but I don’t think I’ve highlighted this one before, at least not as a stand-alone post.

  2. Dennis Avatar

    Frederic Leighton’s Invocation is an absolute dream to look at, especially because of the limited color palette. I love how he was able to make the image so soft and delicate, and I would love to be able to replicate that in my own graphic design work. I wonder if there is a special filter I should be using to replicate this smooth dream-like look? The grapes are an especially wonderful touch to the bottom, really anchoring and framing the image.

    1. Hi Dennis. You’ve apparently taken the trouble to make a relevant comment and inserted your own link with the hope that Google will count it as part of your ranking. As long as your comment is relevant, and not produced by a bot, I’m OK with it. But to save you some future effort, you should know that Google automatically ignores links in comments on WordPress blogs, like this one. WordPress automatically inserts a special tag in comment links that tells Google to ignore them.

  3. Ælle Avatar

    OMG, for next month, Flaming June.
    By 1st Baron Leighton of Stretton, his Masterpiece.

    1. Nice thought, Ælle, thanks. But I already featured Leighton’s Flaming June in June of 2015.