Leistikov was born in West Prussia Bydgoszcz, Bydgoszcz in Poland today. His parents' house was located in the busy street corner Danziger Elizabeth Street in the city center. In the courtyard of his home, there was the factory kujawiak, once a bitter factory owned by Leistikow parents today as a brewery in Bydgoszcz known. The home is no longer available. In 1883 he moved to Berlin. He was discharged from the Royal Academy of Art under Anton von Werner because of " lack of talent " and then took private lessons with Hermann and Hans Gude Eschke. With his friend Hans Voelcker - also a pupil of Gude - he shared a penchant for painting of Max Liebermann.
Leistikov participated for the first time in 1886 at the Berliner Salon, 1892 was one of the founding members of the artist group " XI " and sat down in 1898 for the founding of the Berlin Secession. Around 1893 he was at times close to the Symbolism, whose coloring and lines remained governed it.
Leistikov also worked as a writer. In 1896 he published his novel On the threshold, which was reissued in 2008.
His painting " Grunewald " was rejected by the jury to the Great Berlin Art Exhibition in 1898. His opponents included, among other Kaiser Wilhelm II, his images absolutely despised ( " he has me messed up the Grunewald "). Gerhart Hauptmann, Lovis Corinth and Edvard Munch were some of his friends.
Leistikov worked in 1902 for the Cologne Chocolate producer Ludwig Stollwerck with designs for Stollwerck Collecting pictures and designs included the series " German landscapes" for the scrapbook no. 5
His children Hans and Grete Leistikov Leistikov were famous graphic artist.
Walter Leistikov shot himself on July 24, 1908 in connection with a syphilis - suffering and was buried in the cemetery of Steglitz. His grave is a grave of honor in the State of Berlin. The grave stone - a work of Franz Seecks of 1909 - has been renewed for the 100th anniversary of his death. The tomb is located in the Abt.Ih - family vault 251
- Since 1920, the Walter Leistikov Lane in Berlin- Mahlsdorf bears his name.
- 1945 Leistikowstraße in Potsdam was named after Walter Leistikov.
- In 1972, a stamp with a motif Leistikow ( Am Schlachtensee ).
- From 1954 until its closure in 2008 was the only secondary school in Berlin- Zehlendorf, the " Leistikov High School ", named after him.
- Dunes on Rügen, 1886
- Washerwomen at the lakeshore, 1886
- Brickworks in Eckernförde, 1887
- Helgoland, 1889
- Lovis Corinth, 1893
- Lonely Forest Pond, around 1894
- The old pilot boats, 1895
- Grunewald, 1895
- Märkische Lakelands, 1896
- Norwegian high mountains, 1897
- House in Denmark, 1898
- The blue bridge at Dianasee, 1898
- From Mark, 1898
- Overlooking the River Havel, 1900
- Evening at the Schlachtensee, 1895
- Tall pines at Grunewald, 1901
- Thuringia, 1902
- Fisherman's Cottage in the Dunes, 1902
- Villa on Lake Märkischen, 1906
- At the Grunewald, 1900