Leopold Otto Strützel was a German landscape and animal painter, graphic artist and illustrator. Strützel was the second child of the Dessau master tailor Leopold Strützel, who promoted his talent as an animal painter. The earliest known oil painting by him dates from 1869. After his father's death in 1870, he managed to earn money through artistic work. With the support of a bank director, he studied at the art school in Leipzig from 1871. After completing his military service, he went to the Düsseldorf Art Academy in 1879 to study with Carl Irmer and Eugen Dücker. In the summer he preferred to travel to Schwalm (Hesse) from 1880, where he joined the Willingshausen painters' colony in Willingshausen. In 1885 Strützel married the Swede Maria Ahlström, and Swedish motifs became part of his artistic work, whose simple and natural conception stands in contrast to the idealized, sublime Nordic depictions of landscapes by many of his contemporaries.