Thumbing through an old stack of postcards I found this image of Marie Adrien Persac’s painting of Shadows-on-the-Teche, 1861. The French-born Presac (1823–1873) is not particularly well known outside of Louisiana, but his legacy is significant. He was a true renaissance man, a civil engineer who worked as an architect, cartographer, photographer and artist. Persac’s renderings of Louisiana plantation scenes are invaluable records of mid-nineteenth-century life along the Mississippi and the bayous. Although I was familiar with the plantation scenes, I was delighted to discover that while employed by the New Orleans Notarial Archives he produced an amazing series of architectural drawings and paintings of the city. He also created a group of charming watercolors for sale posters of properties intended for public auction (see below, and here).
Persac worked primarily in watercolor and gouache on paper, achieving an amazing degree of precision. It is interesting to note that while he clearly was an excellent architectural draughtsman, he clipped his figures from various printed sources, and affixed them by collage. For more, see Marie Adrien Persac: Louisiana Artist.
(top image: Shadows-on-the-Teche (Front View), 1861, collection of Shadows-on-the-Teche, New Iberia, Louisiana, National Trust for Historic Preservation; and below: Eugène Surgi and Marie Adrien Persec, sale plan, 25 February 1860, New Orleans Notarial Archives)