Monday, September 9, 2019

William John Leech

William John Leech (Irish, 1881-1968) often asked his first wife, Elizabeth Saurine, to model for him. Several of his paintings feature her elegant profile.

William John Leech "Girl with a Tinsel Scarf."
Leech studied in Paris before traveling to visit regional areas of France, where many artists combined Impressionist sensibilities with accurate drawing.
William John Leech "The Sunshade" c.1913
Oil on canvas, 81 x 65 cm
According to the National Gallery of Ireland: "In the background, the tall stems of lilies are visible. The setting may be the garden in Concarneau, where Leech painted his well-known picture A Convent Garden, Brittany (c.1913; National Gallery of Ireland). The parasol filters the sun and casts green shadows on the woman’s face. Both the bold colouring and the patches of light are characteristic of Leech’s Post-Impressionist style."

William John Leech "A Convent Garden in Brittany"
National Gallery in Dublin
The National Gallery says of this famous work:
"In this picture, Leech’s first wife Elizabeth poses as a novice of the Soeurs du Saint-Esprit, looking up contemplatively from her prayer book, as nuns from the same order, their heads bowed in prayer, process through the shadows in the background. The setting is the walled garden of the nuns’ hospital and convent in Concarneau, in which Leech had convalesced in 1904, having contracted typhoid fever. Elizabeth wears the Breton bridal costume traditionally donned by novices on the day they took their final vows.
The painting reflects an interest in the religious devotion of the Breton community that Leech shared with many visiting artists, but also the artist’s particular love of sunlight and pattern."


Rich said...

These colored, sun-lit sunshades do have an immense effect on skintones beneath:

Once more ample evidence to be observed here.

Fatola Israel said...

Interesting read