Leader mentioned this painting, which was sold to Morland Agnew of Thomas Agnew & Sons, in his diary entry for February 1891: '...sold him the study for the large summer picture he had three years ago [for] £150'. The large painting referred to, also titled A Summer's Day and measuring 52 x 84 in., was exhibited at the Royal Academy, London, in 1888 (no. 638). It was in an important private collection until recently when sold at Sotheby's in November 2003.
It wasn't unusual for Leader to keep finished studies like this in his studio, only signing and dating them when a purchaser was found. Thence the later date of 1891.
This landscape depicts the environs of Whittington, Worcestershire. Born in Worcester, Leader lived in Whittington from 1860 until 1888: the year he moved to Burrows Cross in Surrey.
We are grateful to Ruth Wood for her help in preparing this catalogue entry. Mrs Wood is working on a catalogue raisonné of the paintings of Benjamin Williams Leader, which will include the present lot.