The Coningsby Gallery

Debut Art

Outstanding contemporary illustration
and graphic and fine art.

Michael Leonard

Opening Hours Monday-Friday: 11am - 6.30pm Saturday: 11am - 6pm

Henry Miller Fine Art is back at the Coningsby Gallery from the 26th of February till the 2nd of March with an exhibition featuring works by the artist Michael Leonard, who died in July 2023. The central core of the works on display, are pictures which the artist kept for himself and treasured. This is likely to be the last time, that such a large collection of his work will be shown together in one place.

Michael Leonard (British 1933-2023)

Born in India in 1933 to British parents, at the end of the war in Europe Michael returned to England to complete his education. In 1954, after two years of National Service in the army, he went to St Martin’s School of Art in London and studied Commercial Design and Illustration. By the time he left Art School in 1957 he was already working as a freelance illustrator and for many years was busy producing artwork for books, magazines, advertising and the press. As an illustrator he worked in a small studio attached to the offices of his agents ‘Artist Partners’ in Soho. Meanwhile at home he experimented, trying to discover his voice as a painter.

His work eventually came to the attention of Fischer Fine Art, a distinguished London gallery of the day and in 1972 several of his paintings were included in one of their group shows. In 1974 they gave him his first one man show and after that he gradually left illustration behind. He was nearly forty when his life as an exhibiting painter began. At first his pictures tended to be formal, sober and low key - an attempt perhaps to distance himself from the sensational values of the commercial world. People sat in rooms, posed with their dogs in London’s parks or went sailing on the river. By degrees his work became more animated and colourful.

The people in his pictures were usually friends who were kind enough to model for him but he also painted portraits to commission and among his subjects were Lincoln Kirstein, Edward Lucie-Smith, Adrian Ward Jackson, Sir Peter Moores and the Marquess and Marchioness of Hartington (now the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire). In 1985 Reader’s Digest commissioned him to paint a portrait of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II in honour of her sixtieth birthday. (It is now in the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection).

The nude, particularly the male nude, has been a recurring theme. His figures are usually on the move or in a state of transition but even when they are at rest dynamism is provided by the design of the picture. Almost all his paintings of the nude are based on drawings which, besides being preparatory studies, are ends in themselves.

More examples of Michael’s work can be found at

A full catalogue of works for the show, can be found at


Henry Miller is the founder of Henry Miller Fine Art, a gallery which ‘focuses on the male form’ and which is situated in a beautifully restored East London period home. Please see his website for further details. If you have any questions about the works in the collection, please contact Henry Miller.


Our standard opening hours are below but some exhibitions may have different opening hours. If they do, the opening hours will be detailed on the main page of each exhibition.

9am - 6pm Monday - Friday

Weekends by appointment only UNLESS any particular exhibition details on our site otherwise.

The specific weekend opening hours will be detailed on the main page of each exhibition.

Closed Sundays and Public Holidays, unless otherwise stated on the main page of each exhibition.

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Exhibition Calendar

February 2024

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