Jefferys, Charles William
March of the N.W. Mounted Police across the Prairies in 1874
Charles W. Jefferys was an early proponent of the idea that Canadian subject matter, and a stylistic approach that complemented it, was necessary to the formation of a Canadian artistic identity. It was a concept that would reach its full expression with the activities of the Group of Seven in the 1920s. Jefferys is known as a painter of landscape and historical painting and his travels throughout Western Canada provided him with a wealth of source material. In 1924, Jefferys was commissioned to research sites in Alberta and Saskatchewan associated with the early days of the North West Mounted Police for the 50th anniversary celebrations of the RCMP. March of the North West Mounted Police Across the Praries in 1874 is likely a result of that project. Jefferys was born in Rochester, England and came to Toronto in 1881. He attended evening classes at the Ontario School of Art and Design, and worked for the Toronto Lithography Company from 1885-1889. He later became a newspaper illustrator, working for the Globe and Mail in Toronto and with the New York Herald. He taught drawing at the Department of Architecture at the University of Toronto (1912-1937), and was well-known as the author of The Picture Gallery of Canadian History, (1942-50). Jefferys received an LL.D from Queen's University in 1931.