"His mellow vision conveyed an image of the Canadian West as a secret garden, an oasis of calm and quiet, rather than the tragic battlefield portrayed by many American painters." The Canadian Encyclopedia entry on Frederick A. Verner

Frederick Arthur Verner was a Canadian artist famous for his landscape and scenery paintings from the Canadian plains in the west.


Verner was born in Sheridan, Ontario, which was then called Hammondsville, in Upper Canada. Already as a boy, he was fascinated and inspired by the paintings of Paul Kane and tried to convince this established painter to take him on as a pupil, but was turned away. A few years later, he went to London, where he studied at Heatherley's Academy of Arts from 1856 to 1860, before joining the British army, enlisting in the Third West York regiment. He returned to Toronto in 1862, where he worked first as a photograph colorist and then as a photographer himself. During this time, he became a friend of his long-time idol Paul Kane. Verner's work is, like Kane's, also focused on scenes from the Canadian west and also sometimes based on field sketches, although Verner did not travel as extensively as Kane had done. Many of Verner's paintings are based on sketches made when he accompanied Alexander Morris to the signing of the third Northwest Angle Treaty at Lake of the Woods in 1873. In 1880, Verner moved permanently to London, England but continued to visit Canada sporadically to paint. He had frequent exhibitions of his paintings in Toronto. In 1893, he became a member of the Royal Canadian Academy.

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