American Artist: Philippe R. Vallée
New Orleans Gentleman of the Early Nineteenth Century
by Philippe R. Vallée (fl. 1803-1812)
1 1/4 x 2 3/4 inches (sight)
watercolor on ivory; housed in a gilt metal pendant frame with a green velvet bow
(believed to be original to the miniature) fastened to the top as a hanging loop
About the Artist: Philippe R. Vallée was born circa 1777 in Saint-Domingue, on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola (the island that is today comprised of both Haiti and the Dominican Republic). He studied under François-André Vincent at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris. First recorded in America in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1803. Relocated to New Orleans by 1810. Served in the Louisiana militia during the war of 1812, during which time he painted a miniature portrait of General Andrew Jackson, who would years later become the 7th President of the United States. Often confused with Jean François Vallée, also a French immigrant, who painted miniatures of lesser quality and also painted silhouettes. (Philippe R. Vallée's portrait of General Jackson, in particular, is often erroneously attributed to Jean François Vallée.) Listed by Barratt and Zabar (page 67), Blättel (pages 906, 907) and Lemoine-Bouchard (page 495).