This intimate portrait of the artist François Fleischbein’s wife was painted in New Orleans after the German-born painter and his French wife settled there in the mid-1830s. The work displays his winning combination of precise, tight brushwork in the French academic style and a sweetness and charm common to 19th-century German painting.
Fleischbein was born in Bavaria and studied in Paris before joining the community of international painters seeking fame and fortune in cosmopolitan New Orleans. Although born “Franz Josef,” he changed his name to the French “François” to fit in with his Creole clients of Gallic descent. After arriving in New Orleans in 1833, he spent the rest of his life there, working not only as a portrait painter but also as an early photographer, an enterprise in which Mme Fleischbein also took part.
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