Artist Finds: Edmund Blair Leighton

Artist Finds

Disclaimer: i did no deep research about the subjects, as far as i am concerned, if that includes a lot of reference and terminologies. Highly possible that i’m talking out of my ass in here, all i have to be confident is my artistic knowledge and Google hunting skills. so beware taking in facts! these are my personal opinions.

Hey guys! back again with a new blog post, in this series, i’d like to share some of the catching modern and classical artist/paintings i can, and will find!

I’m just gonna go straight into it with this one, i came to see one of Edmund Blair Leighton‘s paintings first when i started downloading some mods for the game “Crusader Kings II” (which is a very fun game to play, if you’re a Medieval enthusiast!)

Quick profile:

Edmund Blair Leighton (21 September 1852 – 1 September 1922) was an English painter of historical genre scenes, specializing inRegency and medieval subjects.

Appeal of The Work of Edmund Blair Leighton.

The work of E Blair Leighton seems to hold a special place in many people’s hearts. Even when unfamiliar with the artist, people are drawn to his depictions of bygone eras which draw the viewer into another time and place. Though Leighton may be best known for his medieval compositions, he also painted a large number of nineteenth century costume pieces which share similar subject of male female interaction and romantic gesture. When one looks at Leighton’s body of work as a whole, it is clear that he captures a certain quality that reaches the core of human emotion. Despite differences in time, the subject of love and romance are the same and universal.
(Directly fetched from


Here’s a couple of what i saw in-game, and i want you to read and look as i mention some points that i saw as i was looking at them:

Both are very beautiful pictures that tries to depict scenes and feelings,

Fig 1.
Fig 1. Full image

Fig 1. shows a knight riding his horse, silhouetted and overpowered by the bright jousting field behind him, if you look closer at the back, the painting suggests a possible victorious opponent at the back, seemingly being commended by a crowned figure; Our knight’s head is completely shadowed, body and head curved inward shows a very familiar gesture of defeat and dissatisfaction. I like the straightforward approach and storytelling involved within the piece, much more the method in which Edmund chose to use, the light and shadow contrast.

Fig 2.
Fig 2 – Full image

Fig 2. on the other hand seems to evoke the other spectrum of emotions as the colors seem to project, but if you look closer, it doesn’t seem much different from Vanquished, in regards to the dominant feeling it wishes for us to be felt. in the midground, we have a young couple who seems to have just finished a ceremonial wedding, the background shows more curious figures -almost everyone but the man has a disrupted expression towards the immediate looking soldier below, as if calling the man to action. what i find really fascinating about this piece is the fact that it dares to show rich and bright colors, a brightly dominated composition and the cheerful vibe it tries to fade in, and out after the realization of the real subject behind. 


As i was writing this, and looking into more of his works, i found out he was the creator of the famous painting “The Accolade”, you might have seen it somewhere around being used on a number of contemporary works as a major reference/inspiration.

The Accolade – Full image


A great website i’ve found along the way is this.

Most of his Edmund’s work is listed there together with some basic information!

to sum it all up, as stated on the Quick Profile section, i love his portrayal of Historical regency and medieval life/events, it feels so rich of life. and i believe it’s due to his masterful use of storytelling through various mediums such as Colors, light and shadow contrast and his figurative use of human expressions.

That’s it for now, i hope you guys learned quite a bit out of reading this mess!

tell me your thoughts on this, what do you think of his works? Do you know similar artists that tackle similar or different subjects in the same way? write something below.


Thank you!



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