"His skill as a painter and his dedication to refreshingly Canadian subject matter won him praise from forward-thinking artists, critics and patrons." The Canadian Encyclopedia

J.W. Beatty was born and educated in Toronto, Ontario. He learned sign painting with his father and later began working at an engraving firm. Beatty studied in Paris at the Academie Julian. When he returned to Toronto in 1901, he opened a studio and became an art teacher at the Ontario School of Art and Design. Beatty attended classes at the Mahl Stick Club and became a member of the Graphic Arts Club. He made his return to Paris from 1906 to 1908, where he again studied at the Academie Julian, as well as at the Colarossi Academy, then went to study in London. Beatty also travelled to Holland, Belgium, Italy and Spain. In 1912, he began to teach at the Ontario College of Art. He often went on sketching trips with Tom Thomson, J.E.H. MacDonald and A.Y. Jackson. In 1917, he was appointed as the official war artist for the Canadian War Memorials. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy, the Ontario Society of Artists, and served as president of the Arts and Letters Club.


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