Biografie von François BERNARD (1812-c.1875)

Birth place: France

Addresses: New Orleans, LA, active c.1856-75

Profession: Portrait, genre and landscape painter

Studied: In France with Paul Delaroche

Exhibited: Wagener's, 1867; Grand State Fair, 1868, 1869 (silver medal for best head in oil); Wagener & Meyer's, 1869-71; Am. Expo., 1885-86.

Comments: Bernard visited and then settled in New Orleans in 1856 supposedly at the invitation of sugar planters who wanted him to paint their portraits. He worked there during the winter months and for the summer he traveled as an itinerant painter. It is probable that he also returned to France, because his children were born there, c.1857 and c.1862. He seems to have traveled also during the Civil War, painting local Indians around Mandeville, LA. He returned to the city in 1867. He taught drawing to Alexandre Alaux (see entry) and went to Peru, c.1875. Examples of his work have been found in New Jersey. He was possibly the François Bernard who was born in Nimes, France and exhibited in Paris between 1842-49.

Sources: G&W (listed him as Francisco Bernard); New Orleans Bee, Nov. 9, 1856, Picayune, March 22, 1857, New Orleans CD 1858, Bee, Sept. 12, 1859 and Nov. 9, 1860, Bee, Dec. 8, 1867; WPA (N.J.), Historical Records Survey inventory. More recently, see Encyclopaedia of New Orleans Artists, 36; Complementary Visions, 87.

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