Horatio Walker was born in Yorkshire, England and emigrated to Listowel Ontario in 1856. He was an apprentice with Notman and Fraser He learned watercolour from Robert Gagnon, miniature portrait painting from John Arthur Fraser and painting from Lucius Richard O'Brien and Henri Perre. Living in the United States he became familiar with the Barbizon school painters and opened a studio in New York City. In later years he spent his summers in Quebec and winters in New York. He joined the American Watercolour Society in 1882, the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1913, the Society of American Artists, the National Academy of Design and the British Institute of Watercolours. Walker was a founding member of the Canadian Art Club.