Charles William Jefferys

Charles William Jefferys, painter, illustrator, muralist, writer, teacher (born 25 Aug 1869 in Rochester, England; died 8 October 1951 in Toronto, ON).

Théâtre de Neptune
First play in Canada, 1606, imaginary reconstruction by C.W. Jeffreys, pen and black ink over pencil on cardboard (National Archives of Canada/C-106968).
The Coronation of Queen Victoria
Charles William Jefferys. Library and Archives Canada, Accession No. 1972-26-42, e010999883

Determined to explore both "the true nature of our landscape" and the historical (and prehistorical) background that shaped Canadian society, Charles William Jefferys was a strong advocate of artistic nationalism. Beginning work as a newspaper artist in 1889, Jefferys served as an illustrator on the New York Herald 18931901, and as art editor of the satirical periodical The Moon (190203). He was appointed chief illustrator of the Toronto Star (1905) and art director of Toronto Star Weekly (1910), before launching a freelance career. He also taught at the School of Architecture, University of Toronto, 191139. Jefferys is one of the most frequently reproduced of Canadian illustrators and is best known for his "visual reconstructions" of Canadian history.


Further Reading

  • C.W. Jefferys, Dramatic Episodes in Canada's Story (1930), Canada's Past in Pictures (1934) and Picture Gallery of Canadian History (3 volumes, 194250)

  • Robert Stacey, Charles William Jefferys: 18691951 (1976)