The genius of artist Michal Leszczynski (1906 - 1972) was expended on two of the great experiences of his life, firstly as a sailor and sea captain and later when he was obsessed by the beauty of tropical Jamaica.

After graduating from the then new nautical college at Tczew, in his native Polland in the early days of the last century, he followed a career as a master mariner in the last days of the sailing ship era and later experienced what he called his "private renaissance" at his home on a hilltop overlooking Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Much of his finest work was done during and after World War II in England where he was recognized as the leading maritime artist of his day and where he anglicised his name to Michael Lester. No feature, however humble, of the ships he loved, was ignored as he sketched and painted everything around him — from a schooner in full sail to a coil of rope.

In contrast, the astonishingly bold technique of black line and vivid color marked his later work in Jamaica which is now coveted by collectors.

An illustrated biography with separate English and Polish editions now commemorates and celebrates his place among the great artists of the 20th century.

The purpose of this website is to create a forum for the appreciation of his work.

(Click to enlarge)

Oil - Maritime Museum, Gdansk. Poland