Lot 278

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Andres Molinary (Gibraltar/New Orleans, 1847-1915), "Le Chemin des Chapitoulas", oil on canvas, signed lower right, a typewritten label reading "Mrs. Boullemet, 2625 St. Charles Ave" en verso, 18 in. x 30 in., in a period frame.

  • Provenance: The Boullemet house, 2625 St. Charles Avenue, on the corner of Fourth Street in the Garden District of New Orleans, still stands today. The Boullemet name has died out, although related families, such as the Legendres, remain in the city. Neal Auction Company's December 3, 2005 Louisiana Purchase Auction included an Andres Molinary and a William Henry Buck Louisiana landscape painting with the same Boullemet provenance, and all were probably collected in the late 19th century.
  • Literature:
  • Reference: Bezou, Monsignor Henry C., Metairie: A Tongue of Land to Pasture, Pelican Publishing Company, Gretna, 1979 ; and New Orleans City Guide: American Guide Series, revised by Robert Tallant, Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration for the City of New Orleans, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1952.
  • Notes:
  • Note: As a young man in his twenties, Andres Molinary left his native Gibraltar for New Orleans with the intention of visiting his uncle, who was a partner in an importing business. After several years of traveling throughout Mexico and Central America, Molinary settled permanently in the Crescent City in 1876. With the encouragement of his uncle, Molinary pursued a career as an artist and eventually opened an art studio. He soon earned portrait commissions and furthered his interest in landscape and genre painting. Always engaging and popular, Molinary's studio became a gathering place for the coterie of local artists and writers. Despite the trials and tribulations of Reconstruction, the late nineteenth century brought a renewed economic prosperity to the city. Talented artists and writers flourished in New Orleans during this time, which coincided with the arrival of the Woodward Brothers and the establishment of Newcomb College of Art. As an active member of the local art community, Molinary was instrumental in the founding of the Cup and Saucer Club, Southern Art Union and Artists' Association of New Orleans. The unique landscape of Southern Louisiana, made up of swamps, bayous and interlacing waterways, fascinated the artist. As New Orleans began to expand its environs beyond the French Quarter and the surrounding areas near the Mississippi River, Molinary documented the growth of the city. Many of his landscape paintings depict a solitary cabin or horse and cart in the developing, but still clearly rural, communities of Gentilly and the North Shore. Bayou Tchoupitoulas (derived from the Indian tribe name Chapitoulas), located between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, was comprised in the late nineteenth century of plantations and farms. Today it is the location of Metairie Ridge and Road in Old Metairie. Land closer to the lake inevitably took longer to develop since the swampy areas had to be carefully cleared and drained. In this beautifully rendered painting, Molinary focuses on a dredger working to make the canal in Bayou Tchoupitoulas more navigable; on the shore, an African-American fisherman with his skiff at the ready and pole in hand meets with his wife.

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July 17, 2010 10:00 AM CDT
New Orleans, LA, US

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