Frederic, Lord Leighton, PRA (British 1830-1896)  A rocky coast 24 x 37 cm. (9 1/2 x 14 1/2 in.)
Lot 210
Frederic, Lord Leighton, PRA (British 1830-1896) Rocks of the Sirens, Capri 24 x 37 cm. (9 1/2 x 14 1/2 in.)
Sold for £22,800 (US$ 38,322) inc. premium
Lot Details
Frederic, Lord Leighton, PRA (British 1830-1896)
Rocks of the Sirens, Capri
inscribed on a label attached to the backboard 'Stephen T Gooden Dealer in Works of Art/57 Pall Mall/opposite Marlborough House'
oil on canvasboard
24 x 37 cm. (9 1/2 x 14 1/2 in.)


  • Provenance:
    Stephen T Gooden, 57 Pall Mall, London;
    C.S. Goldman, thence by descent.

    The scene shows the distinctive rocks of the Sirens at Faraglioni on the Isle of Capri. Two oil studies by Leighton, both entitled Rocks of the Sirens, Capri were included in his studio sale, held at Christie’s London, 11th, 13th and 14th July 1896; lot 55 was bought by Palmer for £52.10s and lot 243 by Charles Fairfax Murray for the same amount. According to a label verso, the oil was owned by the dealer Stephen T Gooden of Pall Mall. Born in Salford Lancs, 1856, he was probably the same ‘Gooden’ who owned Leighton’s Helios and Rhodes of circa 1869 and Wide Wondering Eyes of circa 1895. In 1894 he negotiated the sale of Murillo’s Two Women at a Window to Peter Widener (now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C) and later Gainsborough’s Portrait of a Young Woman, Miss Sparrow (now in the Metropolitan Museum). As a point of interest, Fairfax Murray, an intimate of the Pre-Raphaelite circle, assistant to Burne-Jones, Rossetti and William Morris was also a picture dealer and owned a number of works acquired by Goldman, including two Rossetti watercolours, Hesterna Rosa of 1865 and Return of Tibullus to Delia of 1868. It is possible that the present oil was the one purchased by Murray and then subsequently owned by Gooden.

    Leighton first visited Capri in 1859, when he spent five weeks on the island. With its use of thick impasto, the present work appears to date from one of his later visits during the 1860s. Stylistically it relates to his studies made in 1866 whilst visiting Spain.
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