Born in 1910, Eugène Leroy spent long hours as a student at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille, spending much of his time in front of paintings by Rubens. He soon began to reject the academic conventions that had been instilled in him. Weary of his studies, he continued his education by going to Flemish museums, where he was especially moved by Rembrandt’s work. His wanderings expanded to all of Europe and beyond its borders. He was determined to learn from painters who “see what he would like to be able to see.” The art of these impasto painters gave Leroy permission to engage even more deeply with his interest in thick paint strokes. However, the artist never fell into pure imitation. On the contrary, he used this otherness to develop and affirm his own artistic vision.
His early works depicted classical subjects, portraits, landscapes, floral compositions, and religious scenes. Yet they made a strong impression because they already stood out through their energetic brushstrokes and their sense of movement, which went against the tide of the artistic conventions of the period. “Leroy has become a colorist,” his first professor, Fernand Beaucamp, said. This can be seen in La grande bleue (1989), which is representative of his great mastery of the power of color. Beaucamp also pointed out the “instinctive,” “rough,” and “mystical” aspect of his former student’s paintings, which can especially be observed in L’Automne (1995).
 Eugène Leroy in “À voix nue,” a radio interview with Jean Daive, France Culture, April 20-24, 1998.