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Frederic, Lord Leighton: 'The Villa Malta, Rome'
The Gere Collection, on long-term loan to the National Gallery, © Private collection 2000. Used by permission
This view of the Villa Malta contrasts the tall cypresses and the foliage in the middle ground with the tall tower of the villa at the centre of the canvas and the rich and simple forms of the villa's architecture. In the late 1850s, Leighton had come to deeply appreciate the work of the French painter Corot, and especially the free and spontaneous oil sketches which he had made in Italy a few decades earlier. Corot's influence is particularly evident in this work.

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