victorian silk screen hand painted pleated silk,  


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  lord leighton celebration,


arab hall zanana, luxury silk room, intimate silk room,
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Lord Leigton celebration silk screen.

The picture of this unusual luxury silk covered screen was taken by Charles Lester during the celebration of the centenary of Lord Leighton's death at Leighton House in London. Leighton House once the home of the famous Victorian artist Lord Leighton, the house is now an interesting museum well worth visiting. The screen was photographed in front of what is called 'the Silk Room' - this intimate room was dedicated to works of art by Leighton's contemporaries. Today examples of these artists' work can still be seen giving a continuity to Leighton's interest in collecting the work of artists that he liked and respected.

Arab Hall and Zanana

Just out of the picture is the zanana where Charles and Patricia's cushions, luxurious throws and pillows recreated the atmosphere of a traditional zanana - a private place for women to see and not be seen. Islamic screens hide the area from the Arab Hall below and yet the watchers from above can look down on the mosaic floor, the fountain and the extraordinary collection of ceramic tiles collected by Leighton through the 1860's and 70's. The design of this room was based on a banqueting room at the Moorish palace of La Zisa in Palermo, Sicily. Leighton added tiles from contemporary ceramic artists such as William de Morgan to his collection of antique Damascus tiles.

Flaminmg June in Leighton House.

The rich decoration of the Arab Hall in Leighton House contrasts with the more simple design of the artist's studio where the Lesters recreated the set for the famous painting 'Flaming June' as part of the interior scheme for this exceptionally original exhibition.

The Victorian screen was re-covered in hand painted and hand pleated silk. The pleats intricately moulded and swirled to create an impressionist illusion of trees and water. This original art form is unique to the Lesters and forms a major part of their collection.

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