An Old Southern Port, 1901

by Benjamin Williams Leader


MEDIUM: Oil on canvas
DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 44 x 72 inches (111.8 x 182.9 cm)
SIGNATURE: Signed and dated (lower left); inscribed (verso)

‘An Old Southern Port’ depicts Littlehampton harbour, populated with vessels from small rowboats to full-rigged sailing ships which float along the River Arun.


    Your Message


    ‘An Old Southern Port’ depicts Littlehampton harbour, populated with vessels from small rowboats to full-rigged sailing ships which float along the River Arun.

    This is an excellent example of the atmospheric scenes that Benjamin Williams Leader painted with increasing popularity from around the late 1880s. After 1889, he and his family moved from his native Worcestershire to Surrey and the West Sussex resort town of Littlehampton became a favourite summer destination. Leader paid great attention to detail in his work, and had an incredible ability to portray light against water.

    Private collection, United Kingdom

    Buy with confidence: our assurance to you

    Professional Associations

    We have built up a strong reputation for the quality of the paintings, drawings and sculpture that we curate, exhibit and sell. Our professional associations with bodies such as The British Antique Dealers’ Association (BADA) and the Association of Art & Antique Dealers (LAPADA) are as a result of our reputation for integrity, our wide knowledge of fine arts and the high quality of our stock. Our business standards and expertise are reviewed regularly to adhere vigorously with enforced Codes. Our memberships and commitment to its Code of Conducts, gives our buyers confidence when purchasing a work from us.


    Condition reports and certificates of authenticity vary in their nature by artwork, for more information on your pieces of interest, please enquire with the gallery.

    Artwork images

    We take pride in the attention we give to our images of the artworks for purchase and invest in these to ensure outputs are aligned as closely as possible to the item in reality. We do not apply filters or modify images, we provide high quality images to reflect the high quality of our artworks.

    Your purchase process

    Payment processing – You can be assured that payments are securely processed through Worldpay’s trusted payment gateway.

    The Trinity House promise to you

    Shipping and packaging

    Shipping and packaging requirements are assessed per piece to ensure the most suitable protection for the artwork. Trinity House will therefore call following purchase to agree the recommendations and costs.

    Our After Sales services

    We offer the following services which we will be happy to discuss with you following your purchase, alternatively you can enquire for more information.


    We offer insurance appraisals to protect your prised artwork and help you find the right cover and policy for you.


    We are able to advise on framing and have access to every type and style to suit any artistic period or room setting.


    The nature of the materials involved in a painting mean that on occasion some pieces are susceptible to movement and the effects of natural ageing. We are able to provide advice on practical measures to conserve the original condition of a piece and have relationships with restorers and framers to offer you a range of services to meet your needs.

    Born as Benjamin Williams, he added the surname Leader, his father’s middle name, to distinguish himself from the Williams family. Upon abandoning a profession in engineering for art, he became a pupil at the Royal Academy in 1853. The following year he showed his first picture there, and continued to exhibit prolifically up until his death in 1923. His paintings were bought by King George V and William Gladstone amongst others and he became one of the most popular and expensive artists of his day.


    Leader was extremely popular in Victorian times and his work sold for high prices. Today he is recognized as one of the most accomplished Victorian landscape artists of his day. He usually chose scenes from the Midlands and the Thames valley, although he was also partial to Welsh landscapes, especially around Bettws-y-Coed.



    His earlier work reflects his admiration of the Pre-Raphaelites, however, he later developed a broader, more naturalistic style. A realistic feeling of space and a lightness of atmosphere are characteristic of his work. James Dafforne, the contemporary art critic of the Art Journal, praised his work in glowing terms in 1871: ‘his style is a happy medium between excess of detail and over elaboration on the one hand, and a dash of execution on the other…we regard Mr. Leader as one of our best landscape painters.’

    You may also like…

    Go to Top