National Gallery of Canada / Musée des beaux-arts du Canada

Annual Bulletin 6, 1982-1983 

Annual Index
Author & Subject

William Berczy's Portraits of Joseph Brant

by Gloria Lesser

Pages  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  


20 John Andre, William Berczy: Co-Founder of Toronto (Ortoprint: 1967).

21 Lord, p. 84.

22 Russel I. Harper, Painting in Canada: A History (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1966), p. 62.

23 1. Ross Robertson, ed., The Diary of Mrs John Simcoe (Toronto: 1932), p. 14.

24 Andre, p. 121.

25 W. Martha Cooke, The Four Indian Kings (Public Archives of Canada, Picture Division, 1977), n. p.

26 Honour, cat. no.170.

27 Cooke, n. p. 

28 Andre, p. 87.

29 In a conversation on 18 August 1981, John Andre theorized the probable sequence of the paintings' execution based on Berczy's current economic situation.

30 See Purves Carter, Descriptive and Historical Catalogue of the Paintings in the Gallery of Laval University (Quebec: 1908), no. 219, p. Il, in reference to the Quebec Seminary watercolour. The Château du Ramezay watercolour is in their file No. CRX978. 31.1. Refer to the letter in this file from William C. Sturtevant, Curator, the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., to Renée Martel, curator of Prints and Drawings dated 29 July 1978. Sturtevant notes the similarity of the Château du Ramezay rendition to the Quebec Seminary work, thus he attributes the watercolour to Berczy. See as well Lita-Rose Betcherman, "Genesis of an Early Canadian Painter: William Von Moll Berczy: in, Ontario History, Vol. 57, No.2 (1965), p. 60. Betcherman relates that Berczy's son certifies that the gouache (probably the Quebec Seminary one) was painted from the life (PAC, Berczy Papers, 015996, Robert Kerr to Berczy, 29 July 1794), and served as the model for the head in the oil painting. She writes that the sittings were arranged by Dr Robert Kerr, a white man related to Brant by marriage. Berczy was at Simcoe's headquarters at Niagara before taking possession of his land when he painted the work.

3l Correspondence with Karen Haslan, Royal Ontario Museum, dated 1 April 1980 to the author did not reveal the painting's provenance, nor was the painting dated.

32 The ROM catalogue cards revealed that their painting may be a preliminary sketch for the Pitfield painting. On the reverse (on paper glued to board) there is the following identification: "... Portrait taken from the life by my father, an excellent..." written by Berczy's son.

33 In a conversation with John Andre on 18 August 1981, the author offered his speculation on this portrait.

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