Born in Rush, Co. Dublin, Patrick Leonard studied under Seán Keating and Maurice MacGonigal (q.v.) at the Metropolitan School of Art, Dublin. He has exhibited at the RHA since 1941, and was elected an Honorary Member in 1983. Bouts of illness have often interrupted his work as both artist and teacher.
James Gorry in Patrick Leonard HRHA - Fifty Years of Painting (1990 Retrospective Exhibition at The Gorry Gallery, Dublin) writes "The integrity of Leonard's approach is such that a peaceful landscape will accommodate a car or 'plane if it passes at the time he is sketching, and colours considered too vibrant by others, but very real in his perception, are never constrained - this freedom of spirit is a hallmark of his work".