Frederick varley

When I found out that Group of Seven artist Fred Varley once lived in an old brown house on Rice Lake road, just minutes from my own, I started poking about in his life and how the few years that he spent teaching and working in Vancouver helped shape art and architecture.

Frederick varley

In early life he spent much time in the English countryside and became intensely spiritual, finding God in nature, not in the church. Varley,oil on canvas courtesy NGC. After unsuccessful starts at careers as an illustrator and art teacher in England, Varley immigrated to Canada in Through Arthur Lismera Sheffield friend who Frederick varley moved to Canada a year earlier, he found employment as a commercial illustrator in Toronto and befriended Tom Thomson and Frank Carmichael.

Frederick varley

He painted several portraits in England and made 2 trips to France. The 4 large war scenes that resulted were critically acclaimed and brought him to the forefront of painters in Canada.

In May Varley became a founding member of the Group of Seven.

Frederick varley

He did not share the Group's enthusiasm for the Ontario landscape, however, and during the early s attempted to make a living as a portraitist.

The family of Vincent Massey commissioned several, but Varley made little money and in began to teach at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts. During the next 10 years he painted hundreds of landscapes in oil and watercolour, marked by fine draftsmanship, exotic colour, unusual vantage points, and after by metamorphosis of forms.

Inhe and J. Though it was well attended, it closed after 2 years, a victim of the Depression.

Horsham Cemetery

By Varley was broke, and moved to Ottawa to try to resume his career as a portraitist. In he made a sketching trip to Cape Breton, and in the first of several more painting trips to BC. Romantic and independent, Varley was known as the "gypsy" of the Group of Seven. His gifts as a colourist, draftsman and intimate observer of life are best displayed in both his drawings and small watercolours.

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Artworks by Frederick Varley

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