Gift of the children of Mrs. Angela Labatut Puig
This painting depicts Charles Laveau Trudeau playing backgammon. Trudeau (1743–1816), also known as Don Carlos dit Laveau Trudeau, was the Surveyor General of Spanish Louisiana in the early 1780s, and the recorder and president of the city council of New Orleans. In 1812, he served as interim Mayor. Trudeau was the father of famed voodoo priestess Marie Laveau, whose mother, Marguerite Darcantel, a free woman of color, was Trudeau’s mistress.
This painting was most likely part of one image that was later cut in half. The other half depicts Trudeau's wife, Charlotte Peyraud, which is also in Newcomb Art Museum's collection. Painted by José Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza in the late 18th century, the work is an example of some of the earliest portrait paintings in New Orleans.
José Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza, known by the abbreviated Salazar, was the first significant painter to work in New Orleans during the city’s Spanish colonial period. He was well-versed in the late Baroque style popular among Spanish colonies. Born in Yucatan, Mexico, Salazar studied at the Academy in Mexico City before moving to New Orleans in 1782 where he and his wife became artists, with their children assisting in the studio. After settling in New Orleans, Salazar went on to paint many of colonial Louisiana's prominent citizens, government and military figures, and clergymen. Salazar's paintings provide a rare historic glimpse into gentry life in Spanish New Orleans.
Click an image to view a larger version
Dimensions: in. (cm)
Dimensions: 42 x 34 in. (1066.8 x 863.6 mm)