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Born as Benjamin Williams in 1831, this Victorian landscape painter adopted the name Leader in 1857 to distinguish himself from the unrelated Williams family of painters.
Benjamin Williams Leader is best known for his idealised English landscapes and his talent for painting atmospheric views of the Scottish mountains and the tranquil surroundings of Betws-y-Coed, in North Wales.
From an early pre-Raphaelite style, Leader developed a broader, more naturalistic, technique which became enormously successful and provoked admiration for its literalness and truth to nature.
Leader was a pupil at The Royal Academy, where he exhibited between 1857 and 1922 and where he was elected a full Royal Academician in 1898. Besides a number of exhibitions at the Suffolk Street Galleries, the British Institute and the Birmingham Society of Artists, Leader also participated in an exhibition in Paris in 1889, which won him a Gold Medal and the Legion dHonneur.
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