Eugène Leroy was born in Tourcoing, France, in 1910. At fifteen he happened to find a book about Rembrandt, which awakened his interest in art. In 1927 he began to paint and received instruction in drawing. Beginning in 1931 he attended courses at the École des Beaux-Arts in Lille and Paris. Four years later he moved to Croix and taught Latin and Greek, as he was unable to live from painting alone. In 1937 his works were first shown in the Galerie Monsallut in Lille. Other exhibitions followed, but he had virtually no success until the 1980s. His works hover on the border between figuration and abstraction. Thick, crusted layers of pigment at first seem wholly non-representational, but finally coalesce into faces or landscapes. His first major museum exhibition came only in 1988 at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Three years later his works could be seen at the 21st São Paulo Biennale, and in 1992 he participated in documenta 9 in Kassel. Leroy died in Wasquehal, France, in 2000.