Berczy - 955032

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Introduction M21252 08843 M8355 08838 ME940.1.1.1-2 M1314 08837 M5932


Born in Germany as Johann Albrecht Ulrich Moll, William Berczy lived, studied and painted in Vienna, Saxony, Italy and England from 1744 until 1791. The European influences are evident in all his work. The prospects of a lucrative land proposition brought him first to the United States in 1792 and then to Lower Canada. It was the failure to resolve litigation of the land deal in 1800, however that ended his career as a businessman and led him to devote himself full-time to painting.
Before 1800, painting was a means for Berczy to make business contacts. He also produced sketches, religious paintings, oils, miniatures and architectural work. It was during this last twelve years of his life, however, that Berczy produced some of his most famous works. In this essay, I will discuss two works produced between 1800 and his untimely death in 1813 and the extent to which these works were influenced by European compositions.