Varley, Frederick Horsman, 1881-1969
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Frederick Horsman Varley, painter, was born in Sheffield, England in 1881. He studied at the Sheffield School of Art 1892–1900, and at the Koninklijk Akademie voor Shone Kunsten (Académie royale des beaux-arts) in Antwerp for the following two years. After working as an illustrator and art teacher in England, he immigrated to Canada and obtained work as a commercial illustrator in Toronto in 1912, the same year he first exhibited his art work at the Canadian National Exhibition. In 1914, Varley joined Tom Thomson, A.Y. Jackson and Arthur Lismer on sketching trip to Algonquin Park in Ontario. Some of his most famous works resulted from his association with these artists. He participated in the War Art program after the war in 1918 and was a founding member of the Group of Seven in 1920. Although he painted numerous landscapes, his interest lay more in portraiture, which he pursued during the 1920s. Varley moved to Vancouver in 1926 to teach at the School of Decorative and Applied Arts. His landscapes from this period are marked by fine draftsmanship, exotic colour and unusual vantage points. In 1933 he and J.W.G. Macdonald opened their own school, the British Columbia College of Arts, which closed in 1935. Varley lived subsequently in Ottawa and Montreal, returning in 1944 to Toronto. The Art Gallery of Ontario held a retrospective of his work in 1954. He died in Toronto in 1969. Varley was a member of the Arts and Letters Club, Toronto. His work is in numerous Canadian public collections.
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Horsman was a painter, primarily of landscapes and portraits.
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