Although inscribed 'Ullswater' on the reverse, this small oil sketch is actually of a ferry crossing the head of Derwentshire Lake in the Lake District. Its spontaneity suggests that it was executed on the spot. There exist two larger finished depictions of this scene: one dated 1867 (16 x 24 in.) and the other dated 1874 (28 x 42 in.). Both of these are illustrated in Ruth Wood's book on the artist.
Leader first visited the Lake District in 1867 and again the following year. Cumbria, like North Wales, was a county popular with both professional and amateur artists. Its notable literary heritage, most especially the poetry of Wordsworth, also served as inspiration and his stanzas were appended to many a Victorian landscape.
We are grateful to Ruth Wood for her help in preparing this catalogue entry.