Frederick H. Varley was born in Sheffield, England and received his formal training in Europe. Like other members of the Group of Seven, Varley began his career as a commercial artist, working for Grip Ltd. and Rous and Mann in Toronto. Although Varley participated in Group sketching trips in Northern Ontario, and produced many landscape paintings, he maintained an interest in the figure, and is known for his expressive portraits. In 1926, Varley moved to Vancouver to accept a teaching post at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts. He remained in Vancouver for ten years, and it is the landscape of British Columbia which dominated his work until his death. Three Mountaineers is characteristic of Varley’s expressionistic colour sense and vigorous paint handling technique.