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date: 07 December 2019

Berthon, George Theodorelocked

(b Vienna, May 3, 1806; d Toronto, Jan 18, 1892).
  • Linda Jansma

Extract

(b Vienna, May 3, 1806; d Toronto, Jan 18, 1892).

Canadian painter of French origin. He was the son of René Théodore Berthon (1776–1859), court painter to Napoleon I, who was in Vienna at the time of George Theodore’s birth to paint a portrait of Francis I (Vienna, Hofburg-Schauräume). The elder Berthon had been a student of Jacques-Louis David, and he trained his son in the French Neo-classical style.

George Theodore Berthon moved to England in 1827 and was employed by Sir Robert Peel as a French and drawing tutor to his daughters. From 1835 to 1837 Berthon exhibited several portraits at the Royal Academy, London. He settled in Toronto late in 1844 with a letter of introduction from Peel, which he presented to John Strachan, Anglican Bishop of Toronto. Strachan proved to be an important early patron to Berthon; a portrait of the Bishop (1845; Toronto U., Trinity Coll.) painted by Berthon helped to establish his career in Toronto. Other early paintings include Berthon’s first large-scale portrait, ...

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