William John Leech (Irish, 1881–1968) studied drawing and painting at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art before transferring to the Royal Hibernian Academy, where he studied under the Irish painter Walter Osborne. In 1901 Leech moved to Paris to study at the Académie Julian, and from 1903 to 1917 he was a frequent visitor to Concarneau, a picturesque Breton fishing port that had become a popular destination for artists. As he mastered plein-air painting, he became fascinated with the effects of sunlight and shadow and developed a bright, rich palette.
In Concarneau, Leech met and married an American-born painter, Elizabeth Saurine; she became the model for many of Leech’s best-known paintings, including the two reproduced in this folio. Both paintings are in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland.
Contains five each of the following notecards, with a blank interior:
A Convent Garden, Brittany, c. 1913
The Sunshade, c. 1913