North Shore Historic Art

J.W. Beatty RCA OSA (1869-1941)

 John William Beatty was born in Toronto and first learned sign painting under his father’s tutelage, followed by working at an engraving firm. He travelled to Paris and studied under Jean Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant at the Academie Julian. He returned to Toronto in 1901, opened a studio and began to teach at the Ontario School of Art and Design. He attended classes at the Mahlstick Club and became a member of the Graphic Arts Club. He then returned to Europe and studied at the Julian Academy for a second time, as well as the Colarossi Academy. He then studied in London, as well as travelled to Holland, Belgium, Italy and Spain. At this time, he began to be influenced by the Barbizon School, which was based on the work of John Constable. He returned to Toronto in 1909 and continued painting and teaching classes. He was a pioneer among Toronto artists, and travelled to Northern Ontario to sketch via canoe as early as 1912. It was this year that he also began to teach at the Ontario College of Art. He went on regular sketching trips with Tom Thomson, J.E.H. MacDonald and A.Y. Jackson. He was offered a studio in the famed Studio Building, in Toronto’s Rosedale Valley Ravine. He and A.Y. Jackson were both awarded a commission by the Canadian Northern Railway to paint in and around the construction camps as the railway was laid through the rocky mountains. He carved the stonework for the cairn erected to Tom Thomson at Canoe Lake, following his death in 1917. He was appointed an official war artist this same year. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy, the Ontario Society of Artists, and served as president of the Arts and Letters Club. His works are in the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the McMichael Canadian Collection, Hart House at the University of Toronto, Queen’s University Art Centre, the Canadian War Museum and elsewhere.       

Summer Landscape


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