Gift of the children of Mrs. Angela Labatut Puig
This painting was most likely part of one image that was later cut in half. It shows Charlotte Peyraud, and the other her husband Charles Laveau Trudeau, playing backgammon. 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. The sitter in this painting, Trudeau (1743–1816), also known as Don Carlos dit Laveau Trudeau, was the Surveyor General of Spanish Louisiana in the early 1780s, the recorder and president of the city council of New Orleans, and, in 1812, he served as interim Mayor. Trudeau was also the father of famed voodoo priestess Marie Laveau, whose mother, Marguerite Darcantel, a free woman of color, was Trudeau’s mistress.
Salazar's paintings, including this #TulaneTreasure , which was gifted by the children of Mrs. Angela Labatut Puig, provide a rare historic glimpse into life in Spanish New Orleans.