JOSEPH CHRISTIAN LEYENDECKER
1874 - 1951
PORTRAIT OF FLEET ADMIRAL WILLIAM D. LEAHY
signed with artist's monogrammed device (lower left)
oil on canvas
34 by 26 inches
(86.4 by 66 cm)
Painted circa 1942.
The canvas is unlined and there is frame abrasion at edges. The surface appears to be slightly dirty and there are stretcher bar marks at left and right edges. Under UV: there is a 3 by 2 inch area of inpainting in the man's face, a small area in the blue background at center right, and a small area in the man's proper right hand. There are a few other scattered dots and pindots of inpainting.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Sold: Dixon's Auction, Crumpton, Maryland, February 17, 1999
Acquired by the present owner at the above sale
After the United States entered World War II in 1941, Leyendecker created a series of war bond posters featuring American military leaders, of which the present work is likely an example. Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1897 and served as the senior-most U.S. military officer on active duty during World War II. He was assigned to the USS Oregon during the Spanish-American War and rose through the ranks of the Navy, achieving the title of Admiral in 1936. He served as the Chief of Naval Operations from 1936-39 and after a brief retirement was appointed as the governor of Puerto Rico in 1939 and the ambassador to Vichy, France in 1941. Admiral Leahy was recalled to active duty and named Chief of Staff to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942; the braid worn on his right shoulder indicates that he is an aide to the President. He was promoted to Fleet Admiral in 1944, the most senior of the Navy's five star admirals.