OIL PAINTING: The Fisherman and the Syren, c.1856-1858
Combining a flawless painting technique with a keen sense for color and composition, Leighton created some of the most beautiful - and memorable - images made during the Nineteenth century - The Fisherman and the Syren.
The Syren is a northern type, with streaming blond hair plaited and entwined with pearls and coral. Her pearly flesh tones are dramatically illuminated by contrast with the bronze complexion of the Italian-looking
fisherman. This empassioned encounter, where north confronts south, is made palatable by the artist's fluid, sophisticated draughtsmanship, a quality that set Leighton apart from most
English painters of the nude at this time.