Lemuel D. Eldred had formal training in Paris but retained in his best pictures a planar, Yankee austerity that seems at times primitive, at times modern. Born in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, he exhibited considerable artistic talent as a child. With the support of his parents, he made his way to the Academie Julien and later embarked on a Mediterranean tour that included Gibraltar, Venice, Alexandria, and the Nile River. Once home, he soon established a studio in Boston, the city where he would make his career.
Eldred was a fairly prolific painter, but he was an infrequent exhibitor. He contributed six paintings to the Boston Art Club during the years 1876 to 1886. He exhibited at the American Society of Painters in Watercolors in 1875 and at the National Academy of Design in 1876.
Eldred's favorite subject was the sea, a passion he developed as a youth. He painted costal scenes all along the shores of Massachusetts, Maine, the Bay of Fundy, and the St. Lawrence River.