The photographs commissioned by artists and patrons of the arts reveal some of the most exotic and vibrant house interiors of the time, including many associated with the Aesthetic Movement. Some commissions, like the series made of Leighton House, were specifically undertaken to record artistic decorative schemes. Others incidentally captured clients' collections in their domestic setting.
The Arab Hall is one of the earliest instances of the Moorish taste. It was built as an extension to the home and studio of the artist Sir Frederick Leighton, President of the Royal Academy. Designed by his friend, the architect George Aitchison, the Arab Hall was an ideal platform for the display of Leighton's collection of Arab tiles.