An American Impressionist of note, painter Leonard Ochtman's later career would be overshadowed by the rising popularity of the modern art movements.
He was born in Holland and came to America at the age of twelve. He displayed artistic skill as an apprentice to an engraver, and taught himself how to paint and draw, using nature and the works hanging in local galleries as inspiration. He briefly attended the Art Students League in 1879 and then opened a studio of his own in Albany, New York.
He began exhibiting at the National Academy of Design and the American Water Color Society in 1883, and by 1886 was on his way to Europe to further his education. He journeyed to his homeland of Holland where he studied The Hague School artists. He then headed to France where he admired the painting of Corot.
Upon his return to the United States he and his wife settled in the thriving Impressionist art community in Cos Cob, Connecticut. It was at this point that he was the most popular, selling paintings and winning many major awards. Later he would become a member of the Woodstock, New York colony and the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony where he was active in the Arts and Crafts movement as well.
Throughout his career Ochtman exhibited frequently, including the National Academy of Design. He was a member of many associations and clubs, including the Society of American Artists and the American Watercolor Society. His paintings are in the collections of many major American museums.