Artist: Barry Leighton-Jones
Subject: Princess Diana
Production Technique : Lithograph on wove paper
Original/Licensed Reprint: Limited Edition
Year of Production : 1990s
Features : Framed, Signed, COA (Certificate of Authenticity)
Time Period Produced : 1990- 2000
Region of Origin: United Kingdom
Image dimensions : 21 x 16 in.
Framed Dimensions: 29 x 24 in. approx.
Country/Region of Manufacture: United Kingdom
COA Issued By: Gallery
Edition: Edition of 1450
Signed: Signed in ink, lower right
Barry Leighton-Jones was born in London, England in 1932 and is a direct descendant of the Victorian artist and President of the Royal Academy, Lord Frederic Leighton. He began his artistic career at the age of five by winning a major art competition, and later completed seven years of academic training at Sidcup and Brighton and was tutored by the acclaimed English artist and illustrator from the Royal College of Art – John Minton.
After launching himself straight into the British art world, his paintings were very quickly in demand – many of them were published and his international reputation grew. But the real breakthrough came in 1985, when he was selected by the Kelly Estate to create a series of images based on the life and work of the famous American clown – Emmett Kelly.
Taking a page out of Norman Rockwell’s book, Leighton-Jones devoted a great amount of time to the preparation stage more than ever before. The Kelly Estate supplied Leighton-Jones with black and white photographs of Kelly throughout his career, and he took it upon himself to carefully study Kelly’s work on film and read everything about the great man. He even completed visits to the Ringling Museum in Sarasota. All this preparation paid off, as the result is the comprehensive series of paintings, which join the different periods of Kelly’s life. Many of the paintings and sketches were produced as limited edition prints and figurines, all becoming best sellers and eagerly sought after by collectors all over the world.
The years between 1986 and 1992 define one of the most important and prolific periods in the career of Barry Leighton-Jones. Those years mark his selection by various licensors to produce paintings with the purpose of reproduction in several forms: prints, collectors plates, figurines, etc. Although the foremost of these commissions were “The Emmett Kelly Collection”, he also completed “The Gone With the Wind Collection” and “The Wizard of Oz Collection”, as well as a number of portraits and collages of some of the 19th centuries’ most famous faces, including Albert Einstein, John Lennon and Princess Diana.
Leighton-Jones, although best known for his clowns and urchins, has completed many different series of works, in many different styles. His work, whether of clowns, children, social situations, pub scenes, or “the weighty ladies”, is recognizable from all others as a mixture of the classical and the modern. His realistic rendition of the human form, combined with an impressionistic background, creates a timeless and compelling image that speaks to children of all ages.
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