Léon Frédéric was born in 1856 in Brussels (Belgium) as the son of a wealthy jewellery salesman.
In 1874 he followed art courses at the Academy des Beaux Arts. As a pupil of Jean-François Portaels, Frédéric’s work was largely formed by the Italian and Flemish art of the 15th and 16th centuries and the poetics of the Pre-Raphaelites. He spent two years in Italy working with the Belgian sculptor Julien Dillens and was exposed to the work of the Renaissance. This gave him a sense of the profound beauty of Nature and its artistic potential of harmony. Yet this was balanced by a personal sense of truthfulness to Nature, reinforced by the old Flemish painters who had directly studied their surroundings. Both Schools had depicted the world through clear, detailed compositions and their influence on the artist gives his work and unquestionable honesty, added to a personal, symbolist aura.
Léon Frédéric died in 1940 in Schaarbeek (Brussels, Belgium).