Frederick S. Coburn

Canadian, Royal Canadian Academy, Jessie Dow Price of the Art Association of Montreal

Frederick S. Coburn

Frederick Coburn was born in 1871 in the village of Upper Melbourne in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. He enrolled at the Council of Arts and Manufactures School in Montreal and then completed the Carl Hecker School of Art in New York.

At the age of 19, he left Canada to study art at the Royal Academy of Berlin. He continues in Paris becoming the apprentice of the master Jean-Léon Gérôme and receives the influences of the French Impressionism movement. He continues his journey in London at the Slade School under the influence of Henry Tonks who teaches him the importance of the interpretation of the subject. Coburn then continued to Holland where he developed a great friendship for artists Maris and J.H Weissenbruch.

Upon his return to Canada, Frederick Coburn devoted himself to illustrating William Henry Drummond's book of poems, including The Habitant, published in 1897. Then came the work of illustrating the book Louis Frechette's Christmas in French Canada in 1899 and his French edition Christmas in Canada in 1900.

Having been noticed for his works from Drummond's books, G.P. Putman Publishing House asked Coburn to illustrate Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens' classic editions.

Frederick Coburn participated in many drawing tours in the Quebec City area with his friend Maurice Cullen. It was at this moment that Coburn's career took a whole new turn. As a result, the artist devoted himself to Canadian winter landscapes by using bright colors and bright lighting effects. These works about rural Canada were very successful.

He became a member of the Royal Academy of Canada in 1928 and the following year was awarded the Jessie Dow Prize by the Montreal Arts Association.


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