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Alfred Boisseau

Self-portrait

Artist

Alfred Boisseau
Paris 1823 – Buffalo, New York, 1901

Title

Self-portrait

Date

1842

Materials

Oil on canvas glued on plasterboard

Dimensions

55 x 45 cm

Credits

Gift of James Vaughn, inv. 1982.25

Collection

Quebec and Canadian Art

Boisseau moved from Paris to New Orleans around 1844. He sent three works painted during his stay there back to the Salons. One of these, Louisiana Indians Walking along a Bayou (1847, New Orleans Museum of Art), is considered the most famous painting made in Louisiana before the American Civil War. Boisseau then exhibited in New York and advertised himself as a “portrait and landscape painter, art instructor, and art dealer” in Cleveland, Ohio, where he opened his “daguerrian gallery.” In 1861, he moved to Montreal, where he worked for more than twenty-five years as an “artist-photographer,” according to the commercial directories. This almost photographic self-portrait calls the viewer to witness: the tightly framed composition emphasizes the brightly lit forehead, and the candid, direct gaze latches onto whoever looks the sitter’s way.

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