Salazar: Portraits of Influence in Spanish New Orleans, 1785-1802 tells the story of the Yucatan-born artist Josef Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza (c. 1750-1802), who arrived in Luisiana in 1784 and spent eighteen years creating portraits there during the Spanish administration.
This catalogue serves as teh first critical examination of Louisiana's earliest known artist and North America's only known Spanish colonial portrait painter.
Edited by Cybele Gontar. Hardcover, 275 pages, includes 7 essays. Published by Ogden Museum of Southern Art and University of New Orleans Press.
This catalogue of forty of his most pertinent works forms a collective portrait of Spanish colonial New Orleans and situates Salazar within an extended community of transnational North American artists. Salazar's corpus evokes the shifting geopolitical scene of the so-called Spanish borderlands via his likenesses of diverse patrons and his amalgam of European, Spanish colonial, and Anglo-American painting styles and traditions. His works are considered in the context of late-eighteenth-century portraiture from Europe, New Spain, the West Indies and North America by artist such as Goya, Jose Campeche, Agostino Brunias and Charles Willson Peale. Salazar's oeuvre is further considered in relation to works by other early New Orleans portraitists such as Francois M. Guyol de Guiran and Louis Collas, whose careers are reflective of the city as a site of mobility and transatlantic artistic exchange.
Cybele Gontar, Editor, is a doctoral candidate in American art at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York and former Pre-doctoral Fellow of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution (2014-2015).