George Rodrigue

About Artist: George Rodrigue (March 13, 1944 – December 14, 2013) was an American artist originally from New Iberia, Louisiana, who in the late 1960s began painting Louisiana landscapes, followed soon after by outdoor family gatherings and southwest Louisiana 19th century and early 20th-century genre scenes. His paintings often include moss-clad oak trees, common to an area of French Louisiana known as Acadiana. In the mid-1990s Rodrigue's Blue Dog paintings, based on a Cajun legend called loup-garou, catapulted him to worldwide fame. His funeral mass was open to the public, held St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square, New Orleans. Rodrigue attended the Brothers of the Christian Schools all-male high school called St. Peter's College, (now Catholic High School) which was located near St. Peter's Church, and near the banks of the Bayou Teche running through New Iberia. He studied art formally at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (then named the University of Southwestern Louisiana) and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He returned to Louisiana in the late 1960s and became well known for his interpretations of Cajun subjects and landscapes, inspired by his roots. Rodrigue’s early notable works include The Aioli Dinner, which divides its time between the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and The Class of Marie Courrege, which won an Honorable Mention at Le Salon in Paris France, 1975, prompting the French newspaper, Le Figaro, to dub Rodrigue "America's Rousseau." His most famous works include the Acadian heroine, Evangeline, portrayed in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem, Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie (1847)[1] and the Cajun modern-day Evangeline, Jolie Blonde.[2] He also designed three posters for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which feature portraits of Louis Armstrong, Pete Fountain, and Al Hirt. Between 1985 and 1989, Rodrigue painted the Saga of the Acadians, a series of fifteen paintings chronicling the Acadian journey from France to Nova Scotia to Louisiana and ending with the official return visit to Grand Pré.

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