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On first impressions, there may be less obvious correlation between contemporary fashion and Victorian Pre-Raphaelite art than with current artistic practice, but in the desire for aesthetic perfection, diaphanous draped silhouettes and the celebration of an occasionally androgynous, idealised version of both male and female beauty there is much that seems familiar (Dries Van Noten’s lush, green, forest floor Spring runway is just one association). An exhibition at Leighton House in London’s Kensington, showcases a unique, personal collection of such art (owned by Mexican collector Juan Antonio Pérez Simón), including some works that were created in this very house, and will have much to offer lovers of art and beauty, especially when you see the incredible space the museum occupies.

 

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Leighton House is, like the Sir John Soanes Museum, one of the few tourist sites that serves as a best-kept secret for Londoners. One imagines it rarely appears on the must-see list for the casual visitor, stomping a trail from Exhibition Road to the London Eye, but once seen, its exotic, heady beauty stays long in the mind. Used as an occasional setting for the period drama Mr Selfridge, the intensely colourful tiled interior evokes the seductive decadence of fin de siècle London and this exhibition is the perfect excuse to explore it.

 

A Victorian Obsession runs until the end of March. More information is available HERE