richard green

Benjamin Williams Leader (Worcester 1831 - Shere, Surrey 1923)

  • Benjamin Williams Leader - The Thames at Streatley
    Benjamin Williams Leader The Thames at Streatley Full details

     

    SP 4141

     

    BENJAMIN WILLIAMS LEADER, RA

    Worcester 1831 - 1923 Shere, Surrey

     

    The Thames at Streatley

     

    Signed and dated 1903; inscribed with the title on the stretcher

    Canvas: 16 ¼ x 24 ¼ in / 41.3 x 61.6 cm

     

    Provenance:

    Purchased from the artist by Arthur Tooth, May 1903 (72 gns)

    Sir George White

    Sale, Christie’s, London, 23rd February 1917, lot 150 (95 gns)

    Blairman

    Sale, Bonhams, London, 5th August 1971, lot 25

    Richard Green, London

     

    Literature:

    The artist’s own sale records, 1903

    R.Wood, Benjamin Williams Leader, R.A. 1831-1923: His Life and Works, Woodbridge, 1998, pp.47, 127

     

    Engraved:

    Windsor Magazine, 1912, p. 694

     

     

    The Worcestershire born artist Benjamin Williams Leader first visited locations on the Thames in 1872, when he stayed with the fellow landscape artist, Samuel Phillips Jackson (1830-1904), who lived at Streatley-on-Thames, directly across the river from Goring.  Leader’s first paintings of the Thames at Streatley date from this year, though they were to become part of his oeuvre throughout his career, alongside views of other Thameside areas such as Panbourne, Whitchurch at Mapledurham in the south, and Dorchester, Shillingford and Wallingford in the north.

     

    Leader painted a larger version, measuring 30 x 60 in., of this scene in 1903 which was also purchased from the artist by London dealer Arthur Tooth (location unknown).  The composition, deriving from either the larger or the present work, was engraved and illustrated in the Windsor Magazine, 1912, p. 694.

     

    We are grateful to Ruth Wood MA for her assistance with the cataloguing of this work.

     

     

    BENJAMIN WILLIAMS LEADER RA

    Worcester 1831 - 1923 Shere, Surrey

                        

    Born as Benjamin Williams, he added the surname Leader, his father's middle name, to distinguish himself from the Williams family.  Upon abandoning a profession in engineering for art, he became a pupil at the Royal Academy in 1853.  The following year he showed his first picture there, and continued to exhibit prolifically up until his death in 1923.

     

    He achieved notable success with his painting, February Fill Dyke exhibited in 1881.  It

    remains one of the most famous Victorian paintings, and is a tribute to Leader's artistic talents.  The Royal Academy elected him an associate in 1883, and academician in 1898.  He also exhibited abroad, winning the gold medal and the legion of honour in Paris in 1889.

     

    Leader was extremely popular in Victorian times and his work sold for high prices.  Today he is recognized as one of the most accomplished Victorian landscape artists of his day.  He usually chose scenes from the Midlands and the Thames valley, although he was also partial to Welsh landscapes, especially around Bettws-y-Coed.

     

    His earlier work reflects his admiration of the Pre-Raphaelites, however, he later developed a broader, more naturalistic style.  A realistic feeling of space and a lightness of atmosphere are characteristic of his work.  James Dafforne, the contemporary art critic of the Art Journal, praised his work in glowing terms in 1871: ‘his style is a happy medium between excess of detail and over elaboration on the one hand, and a dash of execution on the other...we regard Mr. Leader as one of our best landscape painters.’

     

    The work of Benjamin Williams Leader is represented in the Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum, the Birmingham City Art Gallery, the Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, the Towneley Hall Art Gallery, Burnley, the Bristol City Art Gallery, the Ferens Art Gallery, Kingston-upon-Hull, the Guildhall Art Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts, Tate Britain and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Manchester City Art Gallery, the Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield, the Atkinson Art Gallery, Southport, the Royal Holloway and Bedford New College collection, Surrey and the Worcester City Art Gallery.

     

     

  • Benjamin Williams Leader - Near Goring on Thames
    Benjamin Williams Leader Near Goring on Thames Full details

    SP 4929

     

    BENJAMIN WILLIAMS LEADER, RA

    Worcester 1831 - 1923 Shere, Surrey

     

    Near Goring on Thames

     

    Signed and dated 1874; signed and inscribed with the title on the reverse

    Board: 16 x 24 in / 40.6 x 61 cm

     

    Provenance:

    Richard Green, London, 1971

    City Gallery, London, 1971

    Private collection, UK

     

     

    This beautiful landscape depicts a quiet stretch of the Thames near Goring, Oxfordshire.  The artist visited the area in the early 1870s staying and painting with a fellow landscape artist, Samuel Phillips Jackson (1830-1904). 

     

    Born as Benjamin Williams, he added the surname Leader, his father's middle name, to distinguish himself from the Williams family.  Upon abandoning a profession in engineering for art, he became a pupil at the Royal Academy in 1853.  The following year he showed his first picture there, and continued to exhibit prolifically up until his death in 1923.

     

    He achieved notable success with his painting, February Fill Dyke exhibited in 1881.  It

    remains one of the most famous Victorian paintings, and is a tribute to Leader's artistic talents.  The Royal Academy elected him an associate in 1883, and academician in 1898.  He also exhibited abroad, winning the gold medal and the legion of honour in Paris in 1889.

     

    Leader was extremely popular in Victorian times and his work sold for high prices.  Today he is recognized as one of the most accomplished Victorian landscape artists of his day.  He usually chose scenes from the Midlands and the Thames valley, although he was also partial to Welsh landscapes, especially around Bettws-y-Coed.

     

    His earlier work reflects his admiration of the Pre-Raphaelites, however, he later developed a broader, more naturalistic style.  A realistic feeling of space and a lightness of atmosphere are characteristic of his work.  James Dafforne, the contemporary art critic of the Art Journal, praised his work in glowing terms in 1871: ‘his style is a happy medium between excess of detail and over elaboration on the one hand, and a dash of execution on the other...we regard Mr. Leader as one of our best landscape painters.’

     

    The work of Benjamin Williams Leader is represented in the Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum, the Birmingham City Art Gallery, the Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, the Towneley Hall Art Gallery, Burnley, the Bristol City Art Gallery, the Ferens Art Gallery, Kingston-upon-Hull, the Guildhall Art Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts, Tate Britain and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Manchester City Art Gallery, the Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield, the Atkinson Art Gallery, Southport, the Royal Holloway and Bedford New College collection, Surrey and the Worcester City Art Gallery.

     

     

     

Born as Benjamin Williams, he added the surname Leader, his father's middle name, to distinguish himself from the Williams family. Upon abandoning a profession in engineering for art, he became a pupil at the Royal Academy in 1853. The following year Leader showed his first picture there, and continued to exhibit prolifically up until his death in 1923.


Leader achieved notable success with his painting, February Fill Dyke exhibited in 1881. It remains one of the most famous Victorian paintings, and is a tribute to Leader's artistic talents. The Royal Academy elected him an associate in 1883, and academician in 1898. He also exhibited abroad, winning the gold medal and the legion of honour in Paris in 1889.


Leader was extremely popular in Victorian times and his work sold for high prices. Today he is recognized as one of the most accomplished Victorian landscape artists of his day. He usually chose scenes from the Midlands and the Thames valley, although he was also partial to Welsh landscapes, especially around Bettws-y-Coed.


Leader ’s earlier work reflects his admiration of the Pre-Raphaelites, however, he later developed a broader, more naturalistic style. A realistic feeling of space and a lightness of atmosphere are characteristic of his work. James Dafforne, the contemporary art critic of the Art Journal, praised his work in glowing terms in 1871: ‘his style is a happy medium between excess of detail and over elaboration on the one hand, and a dash of execution on the other...we regard Mr. Leader as one of our best landscape painters.’


The work of Benjamin Williams Leader is represented in the Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum, the Birmingham City Art Gallery, the Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, the Towneley Hall Art Gallery, Burnley, the Bristol City Art Gallery, the Ferens Art Gallery, Kingston-upon-Hull, the Guildhall Art Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts, the Tate Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Manchester City Art Gallery, the Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield, the Atkinson Art Gallery, Southport, the Royal Holloway and Bedford New College collection, Surrey and the Worcester City Art Gallery.


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