Friday, May 8, 2009

Ambassador Pierre Vimont

Chief Curator, David Houston, explains the relevance of Lulu King Saxon's 1890 painting, Uptown Street to French Ambassador Pierre Vimont (red tie) and French Consul General Olivier Brochenin (far left) during a visit to the Ogden Museum in March. A landscape painter, writer, poet, actress, singer and musician, Lulu Saxon King was born in Louisiana around 1855. She travelled and painted in Russia prior to the first World War, and died in New Orleans in 1927. Painted in 1890 and measuring almost eight feet high, Uptown Street is not only the oldest, but one of the largest paintings currently on display. The Uptown street depicted is most likely Magazine Street in New Orleans. The subject closely resembles roads entering rural villages of Europe popularized by French Impressionist painters of the 1870s and 1880s. It is rendered in an atmospheric mood reminiscent of French landscape painting. Painted in a style descended from Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, the Barbizon School and Impressionism, Uptown Street exemplifies the lasting influence of Europe on the art of the South.

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