Study of a Woman by William Leech Expand Icon

William Leech (1881-1968)

Study of a Woman

View Icon Crossed Out Currently not on view
Unframed 51.5 x 41.5cm; Framed 71.4 x 61.6cm
Oil on canvas
Bequest: Antoine Meyer, deceased.

Leech studied at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art before transferring to the Royal Hibernian Academy where he was apprentice to the Irish Impressionist landscape painter Walter Osborne. In 1901, Leech left Dublin to paint at the Academie Julian in Paris. In 1903 he first travelled to Brittany, where he painted the people in their traditional costumes and the rugged landscapes around the region of Concarneau.

Brittany was a popular destination for artists fresh out of the Paris art schools keen to apply the Impressionist approach to painting. Leech enjoyed painting the harbours and boats around Concarneau at different times of day under changing light conditions. He moved to England in 1910 but continued to visit and paint in France. Leech’s works featured a wide range of outdoor and indoor subjects, including coastal and harbour scenes, landscapes, interiors, still life and portraits. Leech was a great colourist, his paintings are notable for their spontaneity, their keen observation of light effects and, often, unusual perspectives. He is regarded as one of the finest Irish Impressionists.

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