Charles Fraser Comfort
Canadian (born in Scotland), 1900–1994
Prof. Felix Walter, 1933
watercolour on paper on stretcher
162.4 x 76.4 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of the artist
Charles Comfort belonged to a generation of artists in the 1930s who helped shepherd Canada’s painting tradition beyond the wilderness landscapes of the Group of Seven. Comfort was a versatile member of the Canadian Group of Painters, which formed after the demise of the Group of Seven in 1933. He grew up in Winnipeg and worked there as a commercial artist, developing skills in a wide range of techniques, from watercolour and oil painting, to printmaking and mural design. This portrait of a French literature professor shows Comfort’s characteristic interest in balancing the elegant control of a medium with innovative and unexpected composition. In 1960 Comfort became the first and only artist to date to become the Director of the National Gallery of Canada.