One of the four Scottish Colourists who were influenced by French painting of the early twentieth century, George Leslie Hunter was born at Rothesay, Isle of Bute. As a child and young adult he lived in California, USA. Entirely self-taught, Hunter initially worked as an illustrator and began to paint following a trip to Paris in 1904.
After his first exhibition was destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 he moved to Glasgow, where the dealer Alexander Reid became his patron. During the 1920s Hunter worked in France and Scotland, and exhibited with Fergusson, Peploe and Cadell in London and Paris.