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Leo Jansen

 (1930 - 1980)
Leo Jansen was active/lived in California, New York / Holland.  Leo Jansen is known for celebrity portrait and nude female figure painting, commemorative plates.

Leo Jansen

Biography from Sharp Facets Gallery

Leo Jansen (1930-1980), born in Holland, moved to Indonesia when he was ten.  There in the Tropics he began his craft by sketching bronze-skinned Malaysian girls for leisure.

He returned to the Netherlands to study at the Academy of Art, to refine his growing mastery of the female figure.  Like most Continental artists, he gravitated first to Paris, and quickly established himself as a portraitist of considerable talent.  In 1962, he arrived in New York.

Because of the softness and light with which he infused his portraits, he was chosen by several companies to do commemorative plates.  Jansen is, perhaps, best known throughout the United States and Europe for his Mother's Day plates and puppies plate series.

Many of the rich and famous such as Raquel Welch, William Holden, Donald Sutherland, Stephanie Powers, and the "L.A. Times" Hearst family sought out Jansen for his portraiture skills.  Jansen's sitting fee in the 1960's was $20,000.  In addition, he also gained fame for his portraiture of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. His Beatles portraits are among the more collectible memorabilia by fans.

But despite his national reputation as a portrait artist, he refused commercial demands and resumed his childhood love affair of painting nudes.  He then moved to Southern California.  For eighteen years, he was commissioned by Playboy Magazine to paint the "Playmate of the Month."  In his first six years, he was the artist chosen to paint 58 out of 72 portraits.

His work hangs in Hugh Hefner's Playboy corporate headquarters and in the mansion. Ranked among the nation's best interpretive artist of nudes, Jansen's canvases hang in collections of a wide range of notables from Jean Claude Pascal to the late Judy Garland.

His untimely death from an apparent heart attack (on December 20, 1980) at 50 years of age brought an end to a brilliant talent.

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About  Leo Jansen

Born:  1930 - Holland
Died:   1980
Known for:  celebrity portrait and nude female figure painting, commemorative plates