J.H. Leonard was born in Patrington, Yorkshire in 1834 and was probably the son of John Leonard who is listed as a miller in a trade directory in Patrington in the same year. In his early years he was a pupil of the artist William Moore who was based in Leeds. He worked initially as an architectural draughtsman and lithographer before he settled in London and concentrated on landscape painting. From 1886 he was professor of Landscape Painting at Queen's College, London.
He travelled extensively in Europe although this is a Yorkshire scene which is a typical example of his detailed but rather stiff style. Other examples of his work are in the British Museum.
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