Frederic, Lord LeightonAnd the Sea Gave Up the Dead Which Were in It exhibited 1892

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Artwork details

Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830‑1896)
And the Sea Gave Up the Dead Which Were in It
Date exhibited 1892
MediumOil paint on canvas
Dimensionssupport: 2286 x 2286 mm
Acquisition Presented by Sir Henry Tate 1894
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1890


This is one of the most dramatic and powerful works, painted in the dark and solemn style of Leighton's late career. It was originally designed as one of eight roundels on the theme of the Apocalypse, intended to decorate the spandrels of the dome of St Paul's Cathedral in London. The scheme was initiated by Alfred Stevens (1817-75), but was abandoned when the original design was rejected as 'unsuitable for a Christian church' (quoted in Wilton & Upstone, p.260). The present, reduced, version was commissioned by Henry Tate, for his new gallery of British art.

Leighton's tondo shows the resurrection of the dead, as described in the Book of Revelation: 'And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works… (read more)

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