Charles Leickert was briefly a student of W.J.J. Nuijen and from 1839 by Andreas Schelfhout. This latter master in particular had a great deal of influence on his work. Leickert painted beautiful Dutch ice scenes, summer landscapes and river views in which he incorporated all kinds of motifs from his sketchbooks. After 1845 he also painted beach scenes and cityscapes. The appeal of his paintings is partly determined by the lighting and strongly narrative details. Leickert was a true craftsman, who was able to represent the right mood in a clever way and thus sensed the taste of the audience. His winter faces are really cold, his summers sunny and green.
Leickert's father was a chamberlain at the Court of King William I in Brussels, where Leickert was born in 1816. No one in the family had artistic ambitions. If The Hague becomes the permanent seat of the government, the family will move there. Leickert starts his education at the Haagsche Teekenacademie, where he gets to know Johannes Bosboom, Antonie Waldorp, Pieter Vertin and Sam Verveer. At the same time, he works in the studio of Bart van Hove, a painter of cityscapes and stage sets. After completing the Drawing Academy in 1838, Leickert continued his studies in Wijnand Nuijen's studio. His influence is visible in Leickert's early work, where a building can often be seen in the foreground. When Nuijen died in 1839, Leickert continued his studio studies in the studio of Andreas Schelfhout, Nuijen's father-in-law. Under the influence of Schelfhout, he increasingly focuses on painting landscapes, in particular winters. The latter becomes Leickert's specialization. In 1840 he established himself as an independent painter in The Hague, with his own studio. He does not go unnoticed. At the time, one reviewer judged: '... a young man who promises a lot, if his manner becomes a little broader.' Over the years, Leickert's style becomes looser, his brushstroke broader and he develops his own surprising color palette.
Leickert maintains many social contacts in the artistic environment and in 1847 was involved in the establishment of Pulchri Studio, the Hague artists' association. He has known many of the members since the Drawing Academy. He makes various study trips abroad with Sam Verveer and Charles Rochussen, and the friends influence each other in their work. From Verveer, Leickert inherits a love for old and dilapidated districts and Rochussen sometimes upholstered paintings by Leickert, whose primary focus is on nature. In 1850 Leickert leaves for Amsterdam and moves into a building on the Rokin with his friend Sam Verveer. There he becomes a member of Arti et Amicitae. During that time, Leickert's subjects also become much more varied. While the towers of Dordrecht, Woudrichem and Schiebroek were a frequent motif in his earlier work, he now often paints on the waterfront, along the beach and rivers – in places with a lot of activity.
In 1858 Leickert travels to the German Rhine area, where he meets Apollonia Schneider in Mainz, whom he marries in 1859. After three years in Germany, the couple returns to Amsterdam, where Leickert's work is now very popular with the public. His 'homesick' paintings offer guidance to people who have difficulty with the rapidly changing society. Contemporary motifs such as trains and steamships, as used by Schelfhout, do not appear in Leickert's paintings. Nowhere a plume of smoke, a shipyard or construction activity. He prefers to capture a timeless landscape that is a representation of the beauty of nature. Leickert composes all the paintings in his studio, making use of the sketches and studies he previously made outdoors. It often happens that a summer scene also has a winter variant. He regularly makes several versions of his work that differ slightly from each other. Despite repeating motifs, his work is certainly inspired and moody. It was not until the 1970s that fast landscapes were painted with less attention. After leaving for Mainz in 1887, Leickert continued to paint and some of his last paintings were as good as his work from the 1950s and 1960s. Leickert died in Mainz in 1907, where his studio legacy first passed into the hands of a teacher whom he had met in Mainz, and in 1928 goes to the Mittelrheinisches Landesmuseum in Mainz.