Representational painter Abraham Leon Kroll was born in New York City in 1884. Kroll’s father was strongly opposed to his desire to become an artist, and at seventeen, Leon left home and enrolled himself in the Art Students League, where he studied under John H. Twachtman. To support himself he worked as an office assistant during the day and a reading-room assistant in a public library on the lower West Side at night. His first original portrait, inspired by Rembrandt, was of his mother. In 1903 Kroll entered the National Academy of Design. By the time he was eighteen Kroll was working as a professional artist and exhibiting at the National Academy. On a summer painting trip to Prout’s Neck, Maine in 1907 Kroll met Winslow Homer, who encouraged the young artist to do figure paintings. Many years later Kroll described this meeting as “one of the significant incidents” of his life. During the years he was at the Academy, Kroll continued to make summer painting trips to Maine, and also to Woodstock, New York. In 1908 he left for Paris, where he studied at the Académie Julian as a student of Jean-Paul Laurens. In Paris, Kroll encountered the works of Cézanne, whom he credits with having been a major influence on his work. When Kroll returned from Europe in 1910, he began painting large canvasses of New York City scenes out-of-doors, for which he became well known. Kroll continued to paint landscapes, cityscapes, still lifes, portraits, and nudes throughout his career. In New York he met George Bellows, through whom Kroll joined what he termed, the “aftermath of the Eight” painters group, who exhibited at the MacDowell Club. Kroll taught at the National Academy of Design, the Art Students League, the Chicago Art Institute, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1914, Kroll made a painting trip to Fontainbleau and Barbizon in France, and Fuenterrabia and Madrid in Spain. He also traveled to paint in Rockport and Gloucester, Massachusetts; Ogunquit, Camden, Deer Isle and Monhegan Island in Maine; Eddyville, New York; Colorado; and Santa Fé, New Mexico. Kroll made other painting trips to Europe, including one in 1923 during which he met his wife, Sonia Delaunay. He was commissioned to create murals for the Department of Justice; the Municipal Memorial Auditorium at Worcester, Massachusetts; the State Capitol of Indiana; and John Hopkins University. Kroll also designed and executed a mosaic ceiling for the Omaha Beach War Memorial Chapel in France. He exhibited widely over the course of his career throughout the United States and in France and won many medals and prizes.