Saturday, April 23, 2016

My Creole Folk art painting titled "Creole Banjo player"

"Creole Banjo player" By Andrew LaMar Hopkins 20 X 16 Available.

"If I were called upon to define briefly the word Art, I should call it the reproduction of what the senses perceive in nature, seen through the veil of the soul." Paul Cezanne. 

My painting titled "Creole Banjo player" shows a colorful 1840's French Quarter street scene of a Creole Banjo player making street music with a Street fruit seller and a dancing Creole Lady. The Banjo player is in front of a late 18th century Creole two bay cottage of brick between post construction covered in stucco and roofed with steeply pitched hip roof. The house next to the Creole cottage would have been built during the Transitional Period, 1820-35. American architects and builders were introducing the Federal style into the Creole city of New Orleans, often using red brick, white trim, freestone columns and green blinds. A style brought from the East Coast. The wrought iron balcony on the building is in the popular "Running Dog" pattern, a popular pattern used on French Quarter buildings of the period.

The instrument proper to them, "wrote Thomas Jefferson in his Notes on the State of Virginia, "is the Banjar, which they brought hither from Africa." "They" were, of course, African slaves, and musicologists today agree with Jefferson's assertion about the origins of the instrument we now know as the Banjo. Just as music is played on the streets of Creole New Orleans today with dancing in the streets. Not much has changed from the 19th century when music and dancing on the streets was a daily occurrence. The African influence on New Orleans music can trace its roots at least back to Congo Square in New Orleans in the first half of the 19th century, when slaves and Free people of color would congregate there to play music and dance on Sundays. African music was played as well as local music, This early African music inspired local Whites as Louis Moreau Gottschalk. A Creole child prodigy.

Along with such popular European musical forms popular in the city, perhaps most notably the brass band traditions, the cultural mix laid the groundwork for the New Orleans musical art forms to come. In 1838 a local paper—the daily Picayune—ran a scathing article complaining about the emergence of brass bands in the city, which it stated could be found on every corner. The painting also shows a 2-story Creole Federal house lived in by a mix-race couple. When French settlers and traders first arrived in these colonies, the men frequently took Native American women as their concubines or common-law wives. When African slaves were imported to the colony, the colonists took African women as concubines or wives. In the period of French and Spanish rule, men tended to marry later after becoming financially established. This tradition continued well into the 19th century after the 1803 Louisiana Purchase by America. Acrylic on canvas 20 X 16 Available.

A Creole Banjo player making street music with a dancing Creole Lady.

A Street fruit seller 

A turbaned Free woman of color looks out of her window. 

mix-race New Orleans couple common in 18th & 19th century New Orleans. 

New Orleans Free woman of color obtained land in the Quarter and surrounding areas most by Plaçage. Plaçage was a recognized extralegal system in French and Spanish slave colonies of North America (including the Caribbean) by which ethnic European men entered into the equivalent of common-law marriages with women of color, of African, Native American and mixed-race descent. The term comes from the French placer meaning "to place with". The women were not legally recognized as wives but were known as placées; their relationships were recognized among the free people of color as mariages de la main gauche or left-handed marriages. They became institutionalized with contracts or negotiations that settled property on the woman and her children, and in some cases gave them freedom if enslaved. The system flourished throughout the French and Spanish colonial periods, reaching its zenith during the latter, between 1769 and 1803. It was most practiced in New Orleans, where planter society had created enough wealth to support the system. 

 The Creole cottage to the left has two French doors. French Colonial homes in the American South commonly had stuccoed exterior walls covering soft local brick made from clay and mud from the Mississippi river banks. 

French Colonial is a style of architecture used by the French during colonization. It is believed to have been primarily influenced by the building styles of French Canada and the Caribbean. Most buildings constructed during the French colonial period utilized a heavy timber frame of logs installed vertically on a sill, poteaux-sur-sol, or into the earth, poteaux-en-terre. An infill of lime mortar or clay mixed with small stones (pierrotage) or a mixture of mud, moss, and animal hair (bousillage) was used to pack between the logs. Many times the infill would later be replaced with brick. This method of construction was used in the Illinois Country as well as Louisiana.

French Colonial roofs were either a steep hipped roof, with a dormer or dormers, or a side-gabled roof. 

"Creole Banjo player" By Andrew LaMar Hopkins 20 X 16 Available.

You can check out my Art & Antiques for sale on my square account

No comments:

Post a Comment