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Martin Lenzi

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Martin Lenzi
(Wallbach, Switzerland, 1815 - 1898)

Martin Lenzi was a Swiss convert to the Mormon Church. He arrived in the Salt Lake Valley with the J. Hoffines Company in September 1857 from Philadelphia where he had been living. Lenzi was a tobacconist by trade and was probably not a prolific painter. He was unassuming but was well known in pioneer art circles for his still-life paintings. He won prizes in the Territorial Fair and was even the janitor for the short lived Deseret Academy of Fine Art in 1863. Lenzi's work seems to have reflected the 19th century interest in trompe-l'oeil or "fool the eye" illusionism. His painting of a pine board, grapes and leaves with such precision indicates that he was an artist of some training and talent. He might have been influenced by the work of Edwin Deakin, a California artist who came to Utah in 1883.

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