'A Sunny Corner' by Frederic Lord Leighton

cat and woman basking in the sunshine

Leighton was the most influential Victorian Classical painter. He was President of the Royal Academy from 1878 until his death in 1896. His early work showed the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites and his subjects were inspired by writers including the medieval Italian poet Dante (1265 - 1321) and the playwright William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616). Leighton also studied in Paris which later encouraged him to work in a more classical style.

This charming picture shows a young woman curled up in the corner of the garden. She and the cat beside her have found a little sunny patch to keep warm. No further narrative is given and there is no suggestion of the woman’s identity. 

This painting, from Sudley House's collection, is not currently on display. However if you visit Sudley House then you might spot another cat which has cheekily joined a family portrait hanging in the Library.

  • Oil paint on canvas
  • Bequeathed to the Walker Art Gallery by Emma Holt in 1944
  • Accession number WAG 257