Eye Candy for Today: Frederic Leighton’s Flaming June

Flaming June, Frederic Leighton
Flaming June, Frederic Leighton

The link is to a file on Wikimedia Commons. (I think the image is over-saturated, and I’ve taken the liberty of correcting it somewhat in the images above.) The original is in the Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico, though the museum doesn’t appear to have their collection online. There is a Wikipedia page devoted to the work.

At one point in the 1960’s, at the nadir of the relentless degradation of Victorian art by the Moderinst establishment, this magnificent painting by Frederic Leighton failed to sell at its auction reserve of $140.00 US (less than $900.00 by todays measure). It was later bought by Puerto Rican businessman Luis Ferré for under $1,000.00, and it would eventually become a highlight of the museum he founded, the Museo de Arte de Ponce.

Images of this painting are very widely reproduced and popular. Even as recently as a decade ago, when the painting was on display at the Tate Britain, it was derided by some critics as kitsch (because, you know, Victorian realism + popularity among the unwashed masses = unacceptable).

Flaming June is currently on loan to the Frick Collection in New York, where they apparently have the courage to recognize art based on the work itself rather than artistic fashion. It will be on display, as the centerpiece of a small exhibition of Victorian paintings meant to complement it, until September 6, 2015.


3 Replies to “Eye Candy for Today: Frederic Leighton’s Flaming June

  1. I’m so happy you featured this–I never knew either the name or the artist, let alone the location of the original, and I don’t care what the critics say, it’s magnificent.

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