Wilfred M Barnes was born in 1882 in Montréal Québec. He studied at the Art Association of Montréal Under William Brymner, Maurice Cullen, and Edmond Dyonnet. He moved to New-York where he studied at the Chase School under William Chase.
His realistic paintings depict vast landscapes and the countryside. Occasionally he would paint ships and barns. He worked primarily in oil on canvas or board.
Barnes operated the Barnes School of Art in Montréal Québec. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
His paintings are in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, The Ottawa Art Gallery and the University of Lethbridge.
Barnes died in 155 in his home town of Montréal.