Leighton's iconic Victorian painting, Flaming June, to be shown at the Royal Academy of Arts

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Leighton's iconic Victorian painting, Flaming June, to be shown at the Royal Academy of Arts
Frederic Leighton, Flaming June, c. 1895. Oil on canvas, 119.1 x 119.1 cm. Museo de Arte de Ponce. Luis A. Ferré Foundation, Inc.

LONDON.- The Royal Academy of Arts announced today that from Saturday 17 February 2024 until Sunday 12 January 2025, Frederic, Lord Leighton PRA’s iconic painting, Flaming June, c.1895, will be on free display in the RA’s Collection Gallery. It will be a rare opportunity to see one of the most recognisable and celebrated works from the Victorian period.

The painting is on loan from the Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico, which currently remains partially closed whilst a major repair project takes place due to damage caused by earthquakes in January 2020.

Frederic Leighton (1830-1896) was a leading artist of the Victorian period; known for his historical, religious and mythological artworks, he served as the President of the Royal Academy from 1878- 1896. Flaming June was displayed at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition in 1895 before Leighton’s death in January 1896. The work is regarded as Leighton’s masterpiece.

Flaming June will be shown alongside works from the RA Collection, which will examine the relationship between painting and sculpture. This will include Michelangelo’s ‘Taddei Tondo’ c.1504, the only carving by Michelangelo in the UK, which was part of the RA Collection during Leighton’s presidency. Michelangelo was a hero to Leighton and his work influenced the composition of Flaming June.

Rebecca Lyons, Director of Collections and Learning, Royal Academy of Arts said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Flaming June back to the Royal Academy of Arts. In dialogue with our own permanent collections, this beautiful and compelling work enables us to explore ideas of artistic and creative inspiration while also creating global connections across collections. We are very grateful to all who have enabled this exceptional loan.”

Rubi Rodríguez, Deputy Director, Museo de Arte de Ponce said: “The devastating earthquakes of January 2020 on the south coast of Puerto Rico, gave the Museo de Arte de Ponce the opportunity to travel its collection while its main galleries are closed for repair. We are thrilled to be lending Frederic Leighton’s Flaming June, one of the most iconic paintings of British art, to the Royal Academy of Arts where it was first exhibited in 1895. It is a delight to share the cultural patrimony of Puerto Rico with international audiences and this extraordinary work continues to fascinate and foster dialogue. We extend our gratitude to the Royal Academy of Arts for their generosity and collaboration.”

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