Noel harry leaver 1889-1951

 
 

Noel Harry Leaver was born in Austwick, Yorkshire in 1889 but is better known as a Burnley artist, the town in which he lived and worked for most of his life. He is most famous as the painter of distinctive North African views or ‘Easterns’, although his work includes a much wider range of landscapes, town views, interiors and even still life.

 

Early Years & Training

His earlier paintings are softer and looser than his later more accomplished works, but still show his fine understanding of detail and construction. His was particularly known for his treatment of skies.

A huge talent he was one of the youngest ever pupils of the Royal College of Art when he started his studies there at age sixteen. At the RCA he followed the classic training route doing modules in Architecture, Painting Modelling and Design passing first class in all.

At the age of 21 he was awarded the College’s full Associateship (ARCA) and as top student won the first of several Travelling Scholarships. Leaver won several scholarships and travel bursaries and used them to travel to visit Europe and North Africa. His love of architectural form developed with his travels and was continued throughout his career. In was in this period that he started painting his famous North African scenes that made him so famous.

Leaver returned from Italy in 1912 to take up the first of his teaching posts at Halifax School of Art where he worked until 1915. After this he taught at the Burnley School of art up until the mid 1930’s

 

A Successful Painter

Leaver soon gained an excellent reputation and his work became collected. His repertoire of subjects had grown and he was known not just for his Eastern scenes but also for his excellent English & Continental townscapes.  His commissions now included views all over the world including many in the US.  Last update September 2012

 

ONE OF THE BEST WATERCOLOUR PAINTERS OF THE 20TH CENTURY

Welcome to the only site dedicated to the work of this british artist - the largest online record of his life & work and the place for collectors and sellers to find out more about this highly acclaimed artist

Early Years & Training

His earlier paintings are softer and looser than his later more accomplished works, but still show his fine understanding of detail and construction. His was particularly known for his treatment of skies.

A huge talent he was one of the youngest ever pupils of the Royal College of Art when he started his studies there at age sixteen. At the RCA he followed the classic training route doing modules in Architecture, Painting Modelling and Design passing first class in all.

At the age of 21 he was awarded the College’s full Associateship (ARCA) and as top student won the first of several Travelling Scholarships. Leaver won several scholarships and travel bursaries and used them to travel to visit Europe and North Africa. His love of architectural form developed with his travels and was continued throughout his career. In was in this period that he started painting his famous North African scenes that made him so famous.

Leaver returned from Italy in 1912 to take up the first of his teaching posts at Halifax School of Art where he worked until 1915. After this he taught at the Burnley School of art up until the mid 1930’s

 

A Successful Painter

Leaver soon gained an excellent reputation and his work became collected. His repertoire of subjects had grown and he was known not just for his Eastern scenes but also for his excellent English & Continental townscapes.  His commissions now included views all over the world including many in the US.

 

Dating pictures

His earlier works in which he is still developing his style are usually signed in mixed lower & upper case Noel H LEAVER ARCA, these works are from the period 1920-1929. Few works earlier than this are found, and those that are often dated. In later life when his reputation was established he usually signed in capitals NOEL H LEAVER, dropping the ARCA. Works signed like this are most likely post 1929.

We know that at least 41 of his works were exported to the USA via the agents Brown & Bigelow in Minnesota during this later period (including the commission of the Boulder Dam shown on this site)

 

Collecting his work

Leaver is probably most famous for his 'Eastern' views. These are his North African based works with their distinctive vivid blue skies, arches and mosques. These however constituted only a about a fifth of his output. He did many paintings of English cathedral cities and castles, including some internal church studies. Other areas were his landscapes, although these are less common in his later work and rarer still his flower studies.

His later work is generally more highly regarded expect to pay up to £3000/5000US$ for a good example in excellent condition. Good early works can be bought for around half that amount. Always insist on a condition report if buying, faded or damaged paintings should be avoided.

 

Copies, Prints and Fakes

When Leaver changed from his agent Louis Lever of Southport in about 1929 he was ‘replaced’ by an artist who produced similar eastern type subject called Cyril Hardy. His works can be good but usually lack the understanding and control of perspective, colour balance and distance. They  certainly do not have the consistent high quality of Leavers work.

Some prints of Leavers work have been made with his blessing but these were all on silk and were not at his standard sizes, ensuring that they could not be confused with the originals

 
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