Lot 240

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Louis Oscar Griffith (American, 1875-1856, active New Orleans, 1916-1917), "French Market", oil on canvas, signed lower left, 24 in. x 20 in., in a period frame.

  • Note: After studying at the Art Institute of Chicago, the St. Louis School of Fine Arts, and the National Academy of Design, Louis Oscar Griffith came to New Orleans for the winter of 1916-17 and was fascinated with the celebrated local scenes of the French Quarter and the French Market. He, along with artists Robert Grafton and the Woodward brothers, helped make such local market scenes famous. Although the French Quarter neighborhood was considered largely "working class," Grafton chose to portray the diversity of customers shopping in the French Market. The women in the left half of the painting, with their aprons and old-fashioned bonnets, are clearly from the working class, either shopping for their own families or gathering groceries for the families for which they work. The man and woman in the center of the piece are dress d in white, fashionable attire with stylish hats to match; they are undoubtedly representations of the upper class who would, from time to time, stroll through the markets to ensure finding the freshest produce. Yet another demographic in this painting is the group of nuns in the background. At this time in history, the streetcars of New Orleans still ran throughout the city, making it easily feasible for these three diverse groups of people to congregate in the French Quarter's markets to purchase their daily goods.

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October 11, 2008 10:00 AM CDT
New Orleans, LA, US

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