Patrick Leonard

Patrick Leonard was born in Rush, Co. Dublin in 1918.His father, a master mariner,died when he was twelve.This had a profound effect on Patrick,his brother and their mother.He had accompanied his father on many voyages during his school holidays to the main ports of Europe and they shared a deep bond.Although plunged into relative poverty,his mother sent him to O’Connell Schools and later supported him in his decision to attend NCAD where he was taught by Sean Keating and Maurice Mac Gonigal.He won a scholarship to the Slade College of Art in London,but due to the outbreak of WW2 and the fact that he,like many others,contracted TB,he could not avail of this wonderful opportunity. In 1941,he first exhibited at the RHA and was elected associate member the following year,proposed by Maurice Mac Gonigal and Sean Keating and supported by the President of the Academy, Dermod O’Brien. While Paddy found inspiration in his trips abroad to the Algarave and latterly to Greece, it was the area around North County Dublin and its people who remained his first love. He included details which would have been discarded by many other painters in his honest depiction of the semi rural villages along Dublin’s north shore. His first one man show took place at the Victor Waddington Gallery, South Anne Street in 1944 and was opened by his former teacher, Sean Keating. In the same year he married Doreen Browne, who was to model for many of his works. Success came in the 50s, paintings were sold, he was chosen to represent Ireland in the “Sports in Art” exhibition in Helsinki in conjuction with the 1952 Olympic Games and he also undertook some commercal work. Throughout the 60s and 70s he continued to show regularly at the RHA and the Annual Oireachtas Exhibitions. In 1983, he was elected an honorary member of the RHA. Examples of Patrick Leonard’s work are to be found in the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, the Crawford Gallery Cork, the Waterford Municipal Gallery and Wexford County Council. His work is also held in many private collections including that of George McClelland, where it sits alongside the work of Daniel O’Neill, Colin Middleton and Tony O’Malley.

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