Sunbathers - Oil Pastel on Paper
Irish artist Patrick Leonard was born in County Dublin.
He studied fine art painting and figure drawing under Sean
Keating and Maurice MacGonigal
at the Metropolitan School of Art, Dublin (now the National
College of Art & Design). He started exhibiting at the Royal
Hibernian Academy (RHA) in 1941. Such was Leonard's talent that the
academy offered him associate membership just a year later. In 1952 he
represented Ireland at the Olympic Games exhibition at Helsinki.
From 1953 to 1982, Leonard was a full time
art teacher in Dublin. Sadly, bouts of illness often interrupted his work
as both an artist and teacher. Although he would stop painting during
these periods, he always continued sketching and drawing. Indeed, for much of his early life Leonard
sketched everywhere he went, every minute of the day. He made drawings
on the train, waiting for a bus, while adjudicating exams - everywhere. These sketches were later worked into finished
oil paintings and became an important
part of his painting method.
Patrick Leonard's realist genre-painting
featured the small scenes of everyday life- street traders, people waiting
at a bus stop, bathers on a beach and so on. However, between 1957 and
1980 Leonard ceased to paint almost entirely. When he resumed, he had a one-man exhibition
at the Oriel Gallery
in Dublin, in 1979 and later a substantial retrospective in 1990 at the
Gorry Gallery. A recent perspective on Leonard's art was offered in a
retrospective at James Adam
& Sons in 2006.
Patrick Leonard's artwork appears in several
public and private collections of Irish art. One of his self-portraits
hangs in the National
Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland at the University of Limerick.
These days his paintings sell for healthy prices - his oil painting "On
the beach, Rush" sold at Christie's in 2001 for £17,625.