Robert Harris

Canadian, Founding member of the Royal Canadian Academy, Founding member of the Pen and Pencil Club

Robert Harris

Robert Harris was a Canadian painter born in the United Kingdoms in 1849. Robert Harris studied painting first in Boston and then went on to England in the Slade Shcool of Art. He continued his training at the Atelier Léon Bonnat in Paris.

He settled in Canada and moved to Montreal, where he became an illustrator for publications in Montreal, Halifax, Boston and Toronto. In 1880, he was commissioned to draw portraits of accused of sordid murders of an Irish family in Lucan, Ontario.

In 1883 he painted his greatest masterpiece, The Fathers of Confederation, which was burnt in the Ottawa Parliamentary Fire in 1916. Robert Harris was Canada's greatest portrait painter. Robert Harris taught at the Montreal Society of Arts. In 1880 he became a founding member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Ten years later, he co-founded the Pen and Pencil Club. In 1893, he became president of the Royal Canadian Academy.

Robert Harris died in 1919 in Montreal.

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