Sir Frederic Leighton’s Flaming June
Lord Leighton painted what is probably his most recognized painting in 1895. By 1960, Victorian painting was considered very old-fashioned and when this painting was put up for auction, it didn’t even meet its reserve price of $140!!! I am sure that within 6 years, it would’ve been appreciated by all of the poster artists of San Francisco, but in 1963, Luis A. Ferré, a Puerto Rican industrialist and politician, was on a buying trip for a museum he had founded in Puerto Rico when he discovered the painting in a gallery in Amsterdam. He purchased it for $1000 because of the low interest in art from that period. But I keep thinking, if I had just washed a few more cars, and mowed a few more lawns, I could have bought it at that auction for $140…I guess it is better off in Puerto Rico.