Frederic Leighton

The Spirit of the Summit

The Spirit of the Summit by Frederic Leighton

Artwork Detail

Leighton's model for Spirit of the Summit was the well-known actress Dorothy Dene, while the mountain setting was based on studies that Leighton made at Zermatt in Switzerland in autumn 1893. A similar work, Solitude (1890) shows a draped figure in a pose of wistful contemplation, whereas Spirit of the Summit has been described as symbolising the purity of the human spirit, refined of everything gross and material, reaching out beyond itself for eternity. The over-riding sensation, however, is one of Wagnerian isolation.

The Spirit of the Summit
Frederic Leighton
Production date
oil on canvas
2291 x 1319 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Moss Davis, 1926
Accession no
No known copyright restrictions
International Art
Display status
Not on display

To find out which artworks are available for print requests and reproduction please enquire here. This service only applies to select artworks in the Gallery's collection.