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Jacques Guilliaume Lucien Amans

Paintings Works On Paper Photographs Sculpture

 

French, 1801- 1888

Amans elegant neoclassical style of portrait painting appealed to French émigré and Creole plantation owners and merchants. He was active in New Orleans and along the River Road between 1836 and the mid-1850s. Amans was born in the city of Maastricht, then part of the French Republic. His father had been a captain in the French Cavalry, and was awarded the Legion d'honneur. His mother, Thésèse Visschers, (1773-1856), was born in Maastricht. He probably studied in Paris, at the École des beaux-arts. He exhibited at the Salon between 1831 and 1837, and appears to have been a friend of Jean Joseph Vaudechamp (1790-1866). The two artists traveled from France to New Orleans on the same ship twice, in 1836 and 1837. Both had studios on Royal Street between St. Peter and Toulouse Streets.

Amans was the leading portraitist in Louisiana after 1837, despite serious competition from Aimable-Désiré Lansot (1799-1851) and Louis Nicolas Adolphe Rinck (1802-1895). On January 10, 1840, Amans wrote to Andrew Jackson requesting "Four sittings of an hour each," adding that General would not be burdened by "the necessity of interrupting your conversations with your friends and visitors." The resulting full-length painting was hung in the City Council Hall and awarded a $1,000 prize for "the best portrayal of the hero of 1815." The New Orleans Bee noted that "the general effect of the portrait is striking, simple and at the same time animated." He painted several versions of the composition, and collaborated with Theodore S. Moise (1808-1885) on an equestrian portrait of the general.

Amans depicted many prominent citizens, including Hilary Breton Cenas, Florient Fortier, Sophronia Louise Claiborne de Marigny de Mandeville, Prudent Mallard and his wife, Andrea. In 1844, Amans married Marguerite Azoline Landreaux, the daughter of a sugar planter in St. Charles Parish. He bought Trinity Plantation on the Bayou Lafourche as well as property in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Like Joseph Henry Bush (ca. 1796-1865) and William Garl Brown, Jr. (1823-1894), Amans capitalized for the sudden demand for portraits of Zachary Taylor after his presidential bid was announced in 1847. Amans traveled to Fashion, Taylor's plantation near Baton Rouge for sittings in 1848. In the mid-1850s, possibly foreseeing the growing sectional tensions and depressions of crop prices, Amans returned to France. He bought La Cour Levy, an estate near Versailles, and seems to have given up painting.

 

Hilary Breton Cenas - Jacques Guilliaume Lucien Amans
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Hilary Breton Cenas
Attributed to Jacques Guillaume Lucien Amans
c. 1850
Oil on canvas, 27 x 22 inches
Louisiana State Museum, Loan of Mrs. Rene T. Beauregard, 07052

 

Reverend Mother Sainte Seraphine - Jacques Guilliaume Lucien Amans
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Reverend Mother Sainte Seraphine
Attributed to Jacques Guillaume Lucien Amans
c. 1840
Oil on canvas, 22 x 18 inches
Louisiana State Museum, Loan of Ursuline College/Academy, 08802.86

 

Madame Felix Formento & George Edouard Francois Felix Formento, Jr. - Jacques Guilliaume Lucien Amans
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Madame Felix Formento (née Palmyre Henrietta Lauve), and George Edouard Francois Felix Formento, Jr. (Dr. Felix Formento)
Jacques Guillaume Lucien Amans
c. 1838
Oil on canvas, 41 x 32 inches
Signed upper right corner in brown paint, "Amans"
Louisiana State Museum, Loan of Mr. W. J. Formento, 12069.4

Felix was born on March 16, 1837. His father was a surgeon trained in Italy, and the son attended Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and, like his father, the Royal University of Turin. He completed studies in 1857. Formento worked in Paris for a time, and joined the Franco-Sardinian army during a war between France and Austria in 1859. He returned to New Orleans, married Celestine Voorhies, and enlisted in the Confederate army. Formento opened the Louisiana Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, to serve wounded soldiers from his native state. A pathbreaking advocate of sanitary procedures, he published Notes and Observations on Army Surgery in 1863. Formento left the army in 1864 and returned to New Orleans, where he focused on infectious diseases. According to the press, his life was "snuffed out by an apoplectic stroke" in 1907. Formento was lauded his work with the Italian community in New Orleans.

 

Judge Charles A. de Maurian - Jacques Guilliaume Lucien Amans
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Judge Charles A. de Maurian
Jacques Guillaume Lucien Amans
1841
Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 19 1/8 inches
Signed upper right in black paint, "Amans 1841"
Louisiana State Museum, Gift of Mrs. Charles A. DeMaurian, 01735

In 1869, famous New Orleans chess champion Paul Morphy played his final game of chess against de Maurian's son, whose name he shares. In April, 1914, about the time de Maurian gave the painting to the Louisiana State Museum, Mrs. Charles A de Maurian of Paris presented the Louisiana Historical Society with a daguerreotype of Morphy. Despite a prominent signature, the painting has been attributed to Vaudechamp.

 

Clara Mazureau - Jacques Guilliaume Lucien Amans
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Clara Mazureau
Jacques Guillaume Lucien Amans
1838
Oil on canvas, 36 1/2 x 29 inches
Signed lower left in brown paint, "Amans 1838"
Louisiana State Museum, Gift of Miss Celestine Reynes, 08794

Her father, Etienne Mazureau (1777 - 1849), came to New Orleans from France about 1805. He married Aimée (Alice) Grima. A lawyer, he served as Attorney General (1815 - 1817) and immediately after as Secretary of State of Louisiana, until 1821. He died in 1848 or 1849, reportedly in "great poverty." Clara had several brothers and sisters: Edward, Adolphe, Polyxene, and Stéphanie. She was the youngest, and does not seem to have married.

 

Mrs. Ambroise Brou - Jacques Guilliaume Lucien Amans
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Mrs. Ambroise Brou (née Seraphine Becnel)
Attributed to Jacques Guillaume Lucien Amans
c. 1840-45
Oil on canvas, 41 1/4 x 33 ½ inches
Louisiana State Museum, Gift of Marguerite Fortier, 11342

 

Mrs. Gustave Miltenberger - Jacques Guilliaume Lucien Amans
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Mrs. Gustave Miltenberger (née Corinne Knott)
Jacques Guillaume Lucien Amans
c. 1840
Oil on canvas, 30 x 25 inches
Signed upper right in brown paint, "Amans"
Louisiana State Museum, Gift of the Friends of the Cabildo, 1969.35.1

 

François Petitpain - Jacques Guilliaume Lucien Amans
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François Petitpain
Attributed to Jacques Guillaume Lucien Amans, 1809 - 1888
c. 1840
Oil on canvas, 36 1/2 x 29 3/8 inches
Louisiana State Museum, Gift of the Friends of the Cabildo, 1970.53

 

Florient Fortier - Jacques Guilliaume Lucien Amans
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Florient Fortier
Jacques Guillaume Lucien Amans
c. 1850
Oil on canvas
Louisiana State Museum, Gift of Mrs. Mary S. Fortier, 1983.060

 

Andrea Mallard (Mrs. Prudent Mallard) - Jacques Guilliaume Lucien Amans
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Andrea Mallard (Mrs. Prudent Mallard)
Jacques Guillaume Lucien Amans, 1809 - 1888
1841
Oil on canvas, 36 x 29 inches
Signed upper right in black paint, "Amans 1841"
Louisiana State Museum, 1983.118.2

 

Sophronia Louise Claiborne de Marigny de Mandeville - Jacques Guilliaume Lucien Amans
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Sophronia Louise Claiborne de Marigny de Mandeville
Attributed to Jacques Amans
c. 1840
Oil on canvas, 41 1/2 x 33 ½ inches
Louisiana State Museum, acc. no T39.1967

 

Rosalie Jonas - Jacques Guilliaume Lucien Amans
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Rosalie Jonas
Jacques Guillaume Lucien Amans, 1809 - 1888
1839
watercolor on ivory, 33 ¾ x 29 inches
Louisiana State Museum, Gift of Ms. Patricia Page, acc. no 1980.119