"The human hand, the finger nail, the foot, every portion of the living body, the parts of a flower, are divinely beautiful...it is a joy to paint them as they are in reality."
Charlotte Schreiber (née Morrell) was a painter whose work is defined by an attention to detail and realistic renditions of everyday or literary scenes - most often executed in oil. She is credited with bringing high realism to Canada when she moved from England with her husband in 1875.
Schreiber trained at Mr. Carey's School of Art in London where she also took lessons in anatomy and studied with John Rogers Herbert, R.A. an expert in portraits and historical paintings. While still in England, she made a name for herself and was commissioned to illustrate several books. In 1871 she illustrated "Knight of the Red Cross", the first book of the epic poem The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser "A lovely Ladye rode him faire beside...". She exhibited at the Royal Academy in London, the Paris Salon, and later, in Canada and the United States.
In 1880 she was a founding member of the Royal Canadian Academy and the first woman elected as full academician (although she was not allowed to attend meetings or partake in policy making). Her diploma painting for the RCA, The Croppy Boy (The Confession of an Irish Patriot) (1879) is a fine example of her meticulous rendition of the human form, combined with a literary source of inspiration. She was also the only woman on the council of the Ontario School of Art. She continued to paint actively throughout her life, as well as passing her passion and skill on to a new generation through teaching at the OSA. Her notable role as a woman artist with positions on governing bodies helped pave the way for women artists after her.