Benjamin Williams Leader was an English landscape painter active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was born Benjamin Leader Williams, but later changed his name to Benjamin Williams Leader to stand out from a number of other painters active at the same time with the last name of Williams.
Benjamin Leader’s father, Edward Leader Williams, was an amateur artist and a friend of John Constable, and Benjamin got to go out sketching with Constable, though I don’t know that there was any formal guidance on Constable’s part.
As a young man, Leader studied part time at the Worcester School of Design, and later enrolled in the Royal Academy. His early work proved so popular with influential buyers that he didn’t bother to finish his studies at the Academy.
Leader often painted on location, and his work was initially inspired in part by the fidelity to nature espoused by the Pre-Raphaelite painters. As his style matured, however, he moved toward a looser, more painterly approach that proved to be even more popular with his patrons.
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8 Replies to “Benjamin Williams Leader”
I wonder if the notorious Thomas Kinkade had ever seen any of this artist’s work. There seems to be an affinity and an inspiration from British to American.
In whatever landscape or else, he always paints people, animals or birds in them.
Leader’s paintings have miles and miles of space in them. You could let go a pigeon into one of his paintings and it could fly for hours.
Hi, I have been following your blog for years and it’s about time for me to give you a huge THANK YOU! I feel like been through a college education in art history by reading your posts.
Thanks for the thought, Pyracantha. Interesting to speculate on who has been influenced by particular artists in history.
Thanks, ælle. I didn’t notice that.
Thanks, James. Yes, he does have a remarkable sense of atmosphere and distance in many of his compositions, which may account for some of the immediate popularity of his work — the appeal for his patrons of scenes into which they could project themselves.
Thanks, Jane. I appreciate knowing that you’ve gotten so much benefit from reading Lines and Colors!
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