Artist Biography

Miller Gore Brittain (1912-1968) was born in Saint John, New Brunswick. He served as a bomb aimer with the Royal Canadian Air Force in World War II and became an official war artist in 1945. Brittain studied for three years at the Art Students’ League in New York (1930-1932), where he was influenced by the social realism so popular at the school during this time.

When he returned to Canada, Brittain brought with him a unique style. While many artists, like the Group of Seven, were concerned with landscape painting and non-objective art, Brittain’s work was primarily figurative with an unerring sense of structure and composition. Later, he began to combine figurative work with abstraction and surrealism, and his compositions became filled with emotion, from despair to ecstasy. He experimented with colour to intensify his messages and to make his works vibrate and move. Brittain’s paintings had many Biblical themes, and flowed from the inner pain he experienced after the death of his wife.

Miller Gore Brittain’s work can be found in many collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Fine Art, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Canadian War Museum, and the New Brunswick Museum.

Brittain died in Saint John, New Brunswick.