Frederick Coburn was born in Upper Melbourne, Quebec. He studied at the Arts and Crafts School in Montreal. In the following years he attended classes in New York, Berlin, Munich, the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and the Slade School in Antwerp. He returned to New York where he had a successful career illustrating for C G Putnam Publishing. About 1914 he turned to oils through the encouragement of Maurice Cullen. Later he decided to specialize in the painting of horse and oxen drawn sleds in Laurentian and Eastern township settings. He was never able to hold a solo exhibit due to such a demand for his work. In 1927 he became a full member of the Royal Canadian Academy. He is represented in the collections of the National Gallery, Brisbane, Australia; The Tate Gallery, London, England; in the National Gallery of Canada and in galleries in Japan, Belgium, Europe, and the U.S.A.