Noel Harry Leaver (1889 - 1951)
St. Michaelís, Charleston, c. 1910
Watercolor on paper
16 x 11 1/4 inches
Signed at lower left: Noel H. Leaver
Inscribed lower left: St. Michaelís, Charleston
British painter Noel Harry Leaver was born in Austwick, Yorkshire in 1889 and was admitted to the Royal College of Art at the tender age of sixteen. Leaver won several scholarships and travel allowances which allowed him to visit Europe and North Africa on painting trips. Leaver was particularly skilled at rendering perspective and architectural details, and did numerous cathedral views.
Leaver travelled Continental Europe and Africa through 1912, at which point he began teaching painting at Halifax School of Art where he worked until 1915. After this he taught at the Burnley School of art in England up until the mid 1930ís.
Leaverís landscapes and architectural were in high demand, and his work became so popular in the United States that he retained an agent there to handle commissions. This lucid watercolor of St. Michaelís church in Charleston, South Carolina was likely just such a commission. Leaver depicts the landmark church spire rising above leafy treetops, the wide streets below lined with elegant carriages and diminutive figures. The whole is rendered with precise brushwork and a fresh palette.