The following information was submitted in April of 2006 by Ms. Lynne Adubato:
Leonebel Jacos spent her early years growing up in the Foreign Colony in Peking, China. Her portraits are a record of the people who crossed her path during that time. She was known as the paint lady. She painted many members of the old court and visiting foreigners one of the latter being Rabindranath Tagore. The portrait caught the attention of Sir Reginald Johnston, English tutor to the Emperor Pu-Yi, and consequently opened the doors of the Forbidden City to Leonebel. When the Chinese Christian General Feng-Yu-Hsing came to power, the Emperor and Empress fled to Tientsin under the protection of the Japanese. There, Leonebel was able to do several portraits of them.
Leonebel also did a series of portraits in Hawaii. She was a good friend of my grandfather's, William R. Watson, and traded a painting with him. We have a portrait of King Kamehameha's granddaughter as an old woman and of the daughter of the then chief of the Honolulu Police Department as a young girl. A study of old and young.
Her portraits have been exhibited at the Bernherm Jenne Gallery in Paris, France, and in New York City and Boston.
Leonebel retired to Vermont. She does have a namesake but I have no further knowledge of her family. I would imagine a good many of her works are still in the families.
Her portraits of the Old China Hands are as follows:
Hon. Stanley Hornbeck; Major General William Connor; Major General William Crozier; Admiral Charles Oman;
Major General Frank McCoy; Hon. Nicholas Roosevelt; Hon. Jefferson Patterson; Mr. John McCutcheon; Mr. Roy Chapman Andrews; Mr. Raymond Thornburg; Mr. Russell Jackson; Mr. Barry Eastman; Sir Victor Sassoon; Col. Sherwood Cheney; Mr. Phillip Parker; Mr. Eric Clarke.
Lady China Hands:
Mrs. Herbert Hoover; Mrs. Barry Eastman; Mrs. Russell Jackson; Mrs. Charles Oman; Mrs. Bertha Lum; Mrs. John McGruder; Mrs. Lucy Calhoun; Madame Elisabetta Cerruti; Mrs. Owen D. Young; Mrs. Raymond Thornburg; Mrs. William Murphy; Mrs. Louise Little; Mrs. Harry Hussy.
Little China Hands:
The Bell Children; The Houghton Twins; Peggy Jackson; The Eastman Children; The Evans Children; George Andrews