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Leonard Pearman was born in Birmingham, England in 1912. An RAF pilot in the war, Leonard Pearman was taken a prisoner of war after his Mosquito plane was shot down over Cologne in 1942. A POW for three years, most of his time was spent in Stalag Luft III, of Great Escape fame, where he played his part in forging documents for would-be escapers. It was also during these three years that he studied painting as seriously as conditions would allow, concentrating mainly on portraiture.
After the war, he continued painting as a 'Sunday Painter' whilst working as an executive in a multi-national company but he continued to take his painting even more seriously when he moved to the south of England. Enrolling at the Marlborough School of Art in Chelsea, he studied advanced portrait painting and decided, in 1970, to devote his time entirely to art.
Portraiture has continued to be an important part of his work, with commissions including Sir William Arnold; Bailiff of Guernsey; Lord Barber during his term as Chancellor of the Exchequer (with whom Pearman had been imprisoned in Stalag Luft III); and many boardroom portraits.
A keen painter of wildlife subjects, Leonard Peraman has also travelled extensively overseas, including an unique safari tour of the Santawani and Savuti areas of Botswana. As well as exhibiting regularly with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and the Society of Wildlife Artists, his work has been shown in Johannesburg, Los Angeles, and Phoenix, Arizona, where he was invited to become a member of Wildlife Artists International in 1978. His subject Siberian Tiger was noted Number 1 in a poll of top prints by the Fine Art Trade Guild in 1981. Leonard Pearman died in August 2003.