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Leon Kroll was an American painter and lithographer born 1884. Known as a figurative artist, Life Magazine described him as "the dean of U.S. nude painters," yet he was an exceptional landscape painter and also produced an exceptional body of still life compositions.
Kroll's father was a violinist. He studied at the Art Students League of New York under John Henry Twachtman, and at the Académie Julian in Paris with Jean Paul Laurens in the late 1800s.
In addition to his own work, Kroll taught at the Art Students League of New York and the school of the National Academy of Design, where he had his first solo exhibition in 1910, was named as Associate in 1920 and as full Academician in 1927. In 1930, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was also named Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1950. Kroll died in Gloucester, Massachusetts aged 89.
Artist-Writer Jerome Myers in his autobiography Artist In Manhattan said:
"Leon Kroll has the eye of a hawk and the heart of a dove, which is to say that he has both intelligence and feeling. What he has given to our art is a matter of public record over more years than either he or I would care to say.
An academician and at the same time a humanitarian, Leon Kroll is a consummate craftsman, always sympathetic towards youthful talent, boldly standing up for the rights of others as well as for his own. His art activities have been prodigious, overlapping several generations. As a teacher and lecturer, he has been foremost in the van of the Woodstock tradition."