Thomas Mower Martin, 1838 - 1934 was born in London, England and, although he took a few art courses in England, he was essentially self taught. Moving to Toronto in 1862, he became one of the founders of the Ontario Society of Artists in 1872 and of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1880. The first director of the Ontario Government Art School in 1877, he left the position to travel across Canada.
Equally at ease with oils and watercolour, Martin was best known as a portrait artist, but he also painted still lifes and landscapes from Cape Breton to Victoria, BC. Martin was also one of several freelance professional artists commissioned by the Canadian Pacific Railway to traverse the country searching for new, spectacular scenery to view and document western Canada.