john tiong chunghoo

Freshman - 1,166 Points (Jan 21,1960 / Sibu, Sarawak, Borneo East Malaysia)

World Famous Painting Haiku - Frederic Leighton's Flaming June

flaming june
she sleeps like
a summer bloom

flaming june
sleeping like
a summer bloom

indian summer
the calm in the heat
and her nap

indian summer
fiery bloom
drowsy noon

flaming june
a summer bloom
in the heat


title | Flaming June

artist | Frederic Leighton

period | Victorian

date | circa 1895

collection | Museo de Arte de Ponce

Of all of Frederic Leighton's paintings, Flaming June is perhaps the artist's most recognizable and best loved work. It is an image of splendid beauty that compels the viewer to gaze in wonder at the rapturous symphony of color and composition. In this painting, Leighton reveals his genius as both a colorist and a Classicist.

Although Flaming June does not tell a specific story, it is clear that the artist is inviting the spectator to contemplate the figure of the sleeping girl. Some scholars have suggested that this painting is Leighton's homage to a grand tradition in art history that goes back to Giorgione and Titian, in which images of slumbering women were represented. These sleeping women, who were usually at least partially nude and often referred to by the mythological name Venus, were meant to inspire sensuous thoughts (and reactions) in their primarily male audiences.

However, the Victorian era is notorious for its outwardly prudish attitudes toward overt sensuality. And while the model in Flaming June is certainly not nude, her fiery garments are meant to excite and arouse the senses. Indeed, the girl's dress is the most astonishing shade of orange, and this voluptuous color draws the eye. The vibrant orange is complemented by a soft band of blue in the background, and this effective combination of elements is but one of the characteristics that mark this painting as one of Leighton's most accomplished masterpieces.

Submitted: Sunday, December 18, 2005
Edited: Sunday, June 14, 2009

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  • Rookie Simon Whild (12/18/2005 5:51:00 AM)

    Lovely poem, John. It has a terza rima feel to it that creates a wonderul lilting feeling - roll on June! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Joseph Daly (12/18/2005 4:43:00 AM)

    A woneder ful piece John, I concur with sally. It comes across not just as a celebration of a period in the year, but also as an affirmation of the glories of another human being. (Report) Reply

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