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Leo McDowell was educated in the north of England. His early works were of moorland scenes around Ilkley in Yorkshire. After studying modern languages at the universities of Manchester and Cambridge, and history of art at Innsbruck University, he spent eight years teaching in the Middle-East and participating in the archaeological studies and excavations in North Africa, Turkey, Cyprus and Jordan. He painted extensively during this period and his work shows a clear influence of Islamic and Byzantine art.
The result is a unique style encompassing a broad range of motifs.His paintings, worked up at great length and with much care, show us the excellence of his creative talent. His unique way of creating a composition shows us a dream-like universe where the imprint of emotion is mixed with references to different cultures, which have heavily influenced the artist.