Letter: The real thing

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The Independent Online
From Mr Alan Denson

Sir: The "controversy" over the authenticity of The Goose Girl sounds like a publicist's wheeze ("Critics cast doubt on goose girl's Irish origins", 22 April). The Irish Independent long ago published the first full-scale appraisal of William Leech's art (I wrote it) - Mr Leech read and approved what I had written. In his last decade, he and his second wife were my close friends. Mr Leech saw and approved the printed proof copy of my first book surveying his career, in 1968, a few days before his death.

I can attest with absolute certainty that the Dublin "Goose Girl" was painted by W. J. Leech, RHA. The artist had discussed the work with me. As to the reported lack of his signature on the canvas, this is not surprising. He usually only signed his pictures just before they were sold, or if they were to be exhibited.

Yours sincerely,