Born to a retired Russian officer, Leon Gaspard traveled with his father to the steppes of Siberia to buy furs from the nomadic tribesman. Reluctantly, his father, hoping that he would pursue the art of the violin, allowed him to enroll in art classes taught by Julius Penn in Vitebsk. Seeking continued education Gaspard studied art in Odessa and Moscow before he was able to enroll at the Julien Academy at the age of 17. Living hand to mouth in Paris he held various odd jobs while sketching everything Parisian. With no income from his parents who had died with nothing to give, he was very fortunate to have a successful sale to a Paris art dealer. So excited about the quality of his work, the dealer, George Petite, arranged a show of his sketches. At the end of the show Gaspard was 4,000 francs the richer.
With his new finances Gaspard was working at his sketches when he was approached by the American George D. Pratt, a director of Standard Oil. Pratt bought over thirty five pieces from Gaspard. More good fortune came to Gaspard from America in the form of Evelyn Adell, with whom he eventually married and traveled to New York with. In 1918, they were settled in Taos, New Mexico. A late comer to the art scene in Taos, he was received coolly at first until "Buck" Dunton made him his friend. Painting and traveling, Gaspard was able to establish himself as an important painter of Europe and the West. Source: AskArt.com