Unidentified 19th century American painter
Portrait of a Creole ‘free man of color’ in front of a Gothic revival style window, two slaves near a hut in the right background
Oil on panel : 28,7 X 24,0 cm
Bottom right signed with monogram “H.M.D.H” and dated “45” (1845)
Frame : 41,5 X 37,0 cm
This pre-Civil War flamboyant upper-class portrait represents an American planter of mixed origin, who most probably lived in Louisiana. He was a Creole, so-called ‘free man of color’, who clearly owned his own slaves. He was born out of the relationship between a black or a Creole woman and a white man. Their liaison had been sealed by a so-called ‘left-hand marriage’.