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John Leech
Dates: British, 1817 - 1864
Biographical Account:

Leech was an artist and illustrator who grew up in London. He was the son of a coffee-shop landlord who encouraged his son’s drawing skills from a young age. Leech initially trained as a doctor before his anatomical drawings were ‘discovered’ and he trained more professionally as an illustrator.


His first magazine illustrations were published when he was 18 and he produced numerous etchings and drawings to illustrate magazines and books including Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Leech is most famous however for his drawings and wood engravings which he made for Punch periodicals. He made his first works for Punch in 1841 and continued with to produce works for them until his death in 1867. By this time he had made over 3000 cartoons and drawings for the journal.

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