Catch a Glimpse of Spanish New Orleans At the O

Have you had the chance to explore Salazar: Portraits of influence in Spanish New Orleans, 1785 – 1802? In this video, we give you a glimpse into the exhibition and what portraiture looked like during the time of Spanish New Orleans.

Josef Fransisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza was a portrait artist in New Orleans from 1785-1802. He moved here from Mérida, Yucatán and made a living by painting portraits of military officials, merchants and other prominent figures in New Orleans. According to a receipt, Salazar charged patrons anywhere from 20 to 32 pesos at the time for a portrait. The exhibition includes not only Salazar’s portraits, but also furnishings and other historical artifacts. One of these is a census which shows that Salazar lived on San Felipe street in the French Quarter!

Did you know that Salazar is supposedly a self-taught portraitist? While his work includes Spanish painting styles of the time, such as using red ochre-based ground for priming, there are no records of him being formally taught. He also includes techniques from European, American and Hispanic portraiture. 

Salazar is on view at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art until September 2. Don’t miss your chance to see these unique paintings from North America’s only known Spanish colonial portrait painter!