James Le Jeune was born in Saskatoon, Canada. He studied art in Paris then at Heatherley’s Academy in London, followed by the Byam Shaw School and the Student’s League in New York. He trained as an architect, and started working as an architect in London, painting alongside this profession. In 1950 he moved to Ireland where he initially continued practicing architecture. He soon began painting full time and frequently exhibited both portraiture and landscape paintings with the Royal Hibernian Academy becoming a full member in 1973.