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“In Time of Peril” by Edmund Blair Leighton

Edmund Blair Leighton - In Time of Peril - Google Art Project

“In Time of Peril” by Edmund Blair Leighton

“In Time of Peril” by Edmund Blair Leighton depicts two young princes, one still a baby wrapped in his mother’s elaborate royal clothing, being spirited away from danger to a protective monastery. This painting was created and exhibited during Queen Victoria’s sixtieth anniversary of reign and represented the anxieties stirred by an ageing monarch. As the adults in the boat await anxiously for permission to enter the sanctuary, the young prince looks over his shoulder and the potential lurking danger.

In a letter, the artists describe the scene as:

“laid at the water gate of a monastery in the fourteenth century; the outcome of reading of the shelter afforded by such places to the women, children and treasure of those who were hard driven, and in danger.”

“In Time of Peril” remains a favourite printing due to its technical qualities and the imaginative story it tells evoking western historical royalist fantasy. The artist, Edmund Blair Leighton was a painter of historical genre scenes, specialising in Regency and medieval subjects.

In Time of Peril

  • Title:            In Time of Peril
  • Artist:          Edmund Blair Leighton
  • Medium:     Oil on canvas
  • Date:           1897
  • Dimensions: Height: 1,245 mm (49.02 in). Width: 1,689 mm (66.5 in).
  • Museum:     Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Edmund Blair Leighton

  • Name:        Edmund Blair Leighton
  • Born:          1852 – London
  • Died:          1922 – London
  • Nationality: English
  • Key Works:
    • ‘The Dying Copernicus (1880)
    • Lady Godiva (1892)
    • Two Strings (1893)


    “As man disappears from sight, the land remains.” Maori Proverb


    Photo Credit: Edmund Leighton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons