At the end of his career, the British artist Frederic Leighton painted the now-iconic image of a sleeping woman in a vivid orange gown. This nineteenth-century masterpiece embodies the modern philosophy of “art for art’s sake,” the belief that the value of art lies in its aesthetic qualities rather than in its subject matter. The sensuously draped figure — freed from any narrative context — is integrated into a harmonious ensemble of rhythmic lines and radiant color.
Henry Clay Frick had a deep appreciation for Spanish painting, particularly the work of El Greco, the extraordinary Greek artist who, after a brief period in Italy, spent most of his life in Toledo, Spain. Frick traveled to Spain twice and acquired three works by the artist between 1905 and 1913.