Lot 425: Jacques Guillaume Lucien Amans
December 3, 2016
New Orleans, LA, USALive Auction
Description: Jacques Guillaume Lucien Amans (French/Louisiana, 1801-1888), "Félicie Aime, Mme. Alfred Roman (1825-1859)", oil on canvas, unsigned, 36 1/2 in. x 29 1/4 in., framed. Provenance: By descent in the family of the sitter. Note: Félicie Aime, the daughter of prominent sugar planter, Valcour Aime, spent her childhood on the plantation officially known as St. James Plantation and widely referred to as Le Petit Versailles for its lavishness. The Aime, Fortier, and Roman families were intricately linked through multiple marriages, intertwining the family tree branches, and amassing many properties along the Mississippi River, including Elmwood, Felicity, Oak Alley, and Cabahanoce Plantations. Louisiana artists would often travel to plantation owners homes to paint portraits of multiple family members on site. Many of Félicie Aimes family members, including her father, Valcour Aime, her mother, Josephine Roman Aime, her sister, Félicité, and her cousins, Robert and Jeanne Roman (whose portraits were sold in these rooms in Nov. 2012) had likenesses painted by Amans in the late 1830s. Félicie married her cousin, Alfred Roman (1824-1892) in 1849 in St. James Parish, Louisiana. She died in Paris in 1859, and her portrait was passed down in her sister, Félicités family. In 19th century portraits, girls and young women were often depicted in impeccable white gowns, whether indoors or with an outdoor background; the current lot has an almost identical pose and double-puffed sleeve, off-the-shoulder dress as Amans portrait of Clara Mazureau from 1838. In both paintings, Amans remarkable brushwork detailing the facial features, hair, and dress of the sitter is beautifully offset by a brilliant blue sky and a low horizon landscape.