Charles Comfort
(1900-1994)

Scottish born Charles Comfort moved to Winnipeg with his family in 1912 and, by 1914, he was working as a commercial artist. He attended the inaugural exhibition of the Group of Seven in 1920 and that inspired him to work on landscape paintings. He taught at both the Ontario College of Art and the University of Toronto and rented a studio in Toronto next to A.Y. Jackson and other members of the Group of Seven. Around this time he designed the exterior and interior murals for the Toronto Stock Exchange that can still be seen there today. Holding a strong belief in the importance of art in society, Comfort contributed to the initiation of the Canadian War Art Program and served as an Official War Artist during World War II; during this time he produced an important body of work documenting army life in England and the Allied invasion of Italy (he was embedded with the 1st Canadian Infantry Division). In addition to being recognized for his contributions to the creation of the Federation of Canadian Artists, the Canadian Society of Graphic Art, and the Canada Council for the Arts, Comfort also sat on the Board of Directors of the Art Gallery of Toronto and the National Gallery of Canada, served as president of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts from 1957-1960, and was awarded the Order of Canada in 1972.

Comfort contributed four designs to the Sampson-Matthews silkscreen project. “Algonquin Lake” (1947-1953), a scene of Ontario during the fall, reveals Comfort’s interest in modernism and landscape and captures the blazing colours revealed by deciduous trees in the boreal forest as they ditch their leaves in preparation for the long Canadian winter. Perhaps more intensely than any other works in the Sampson-Matthews silkscreen project, this piece presents the enduring beauty of the seasonal cycle so familiar to Canadians.

Artwork for sale by Charles Comfort