'Fatidica' 1894

Lord Leighton (1830 – 1896)

Oil on canvas
153 x 111cm

Lord Leighton 'Fatidica'

Fatidica (or Fauna or Fatua) was a Roman goddess renowned for her prophetic powers that she used on behalf of women. She is shown sitting in a silver chair, her pale face and its abstracted expression suggesting that she is brooding over the future.

This type of figure is plainly influenced, in its pose, heavy drapery and full figure, by the Prophets and Sybyls of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling. When it was exhibited, however, Leighton's ‘Fatidica’ received largely cool and unenthusiastic reviews. Perhaps classical exercises like this no longer interested the public so much in the 1890s.

An extended study of 'Fatidica' is also available online as part of our Artwork of the Month series.