© The Artist's Estate
William John Leech, Irish, 1881-1968
Title: A Snow-Covered Field
Date: c.1910
Medium: Charcoal and watercolour on paper
51.7 x 35.8 cm
Signed: lower right: Leech - (Irish Watercolours and Drawings in The National Gallery of Ireland, Adrian Le Harivel, ed., 1991)
Credit Line: Purchased, 1968
Object Number: NGI.6878
DescriptionLeech trained in Dublin at the Metropolitan School of Art and the Royal Hibernian Academy, where he was taught by Walter Osborne. In 1901 he travelled to Paris to study with Bouguereau and Laurens at the Atelier Julian. He settled in Concareau, Brittany in 1903 and was based there until 1910. While in Brittany he began to experiment in oils, focusing on the effects of light on colour. A Snow Covered Field was probably painted in Switzerland in 1910 or 1911. Sensitively executed with delicate colouring, it is reminiscent of Whistler's style in its linear division, flatness and asymmetry. The dark trees silhouetted against the snowy field create a striking contrast, while the unusual perspective has echoes of Japanese graphic art.

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