Fred Leist

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Fred Leist seated in the back at the right in this group portrait of Australian official war artists, 1916–1918 by George Coates, 1920. Oil on canvas, 124.2 x 104.5 cm. The painting presents, left to right: front — George Bell; standing — John Longstaff, Charles Bryant, George Washington Lambert, A. Henry Fullwood, James Quinn, H. Septimus Power, Arthur Streeton; and seated back — Will Dyson, Fred Leist.

Frederick William Leist (21 August 1873 – 20 March 1945) was an Australian artist. During the First World War, he was an official war artist with Australian forces in Europe.[1]

Early life[edit]

Leist studied at the Sydney Art School studying under Julian Ashton,[2] from whom he learned plein air techniques.[1]

In the 1890s, he began working as a black-and-white artist for The Bulletin and The Sydney Mail newspapers. After 1900, he also the Sydney representative for the Graphic magazine of London.[1]

In 1917, Leist was appointed as an official war artist to serve with the Australian Imperial Force in France.[3]

Leist completed numerous paintings during the war and after his war service contributed two large murals for the Australian Exhibition at the British Empire Exhibition held at Wembley in 1924.[2] As a result of these works Leist popularity increased and he gained several commissions from the United States and toured the south west of America, including Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.[2]

Returning to Australia in 1926, Leist took up a position as the Head of Painting at the East Sydney Technical College.[2]

Leist died at Mosman, Sydney in 1945. He was survived by his wife Ada.

Leist is represented in the Art Gallery of New South Wales with ten works as well a representations in several private collections. Many of his paintings as a war artist are in the collection of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Some of his portraits are in Parliament House, Canberra.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Rutledge, Martha. (1986). "Leist, Frederick William (Fred) (1873–1945)," Australian Dictionary of Biography Online.
  2. ^ a b c d Reid, John B. (1977). Australian Artists at War, Vol. 1, pp. 14–15.
  3. ^ Australian War Memorial (AWM), First World War, official artists

4. Reid, John B. (1977), Australian Artists at War: Compiled from the Australian War Memorial Collection. Volume 1. 1885–1925; Vol. 2 1940–1970., South Melbourne, Victoria: Sun Books. ISBN 978-0-7251-0254-8; OCLC 4035199 

5. Rutledge, Martha. (1986), "Leist, Frederick William (Fred) (1873–1945),"] Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. 10. Carlton, Victoria: Melbourne University Press.