64 Parishes

Julien Hudson

Published: October 22, 2011
Last Updated: June 30, 2021

Julien Hudson, a free man of color, was a successful painter and art teacher. His father, John Thomas Hudson, was an English ship chandler and ironmonger, and his mother, Suzanne DŽsirŽe Marcos, was a New Orleans free quadroon. During the antebellum period, Hudson was one of several free men of color who worked as professional artists, writers, and musicians in New Orleans.Hudson studied art locally with Antonio Meucci in 1826 and 1827 and furthered his training in Paris with Alexandre Abel de Pujol. In 1831 he opened a studio on Bienville Street and advertised his services as a miniature and portrait painter, and drawing instructor. His Self Portrait shows him as a fashionable young man in a black frock coat and patterned red waistcoat. A landscape serves as the background.Only four of HudsonÕs signed oil painting Hudson have been identified. Of these, the Louisiana State Museum has the Self Portrait, a widely published and exhibited piece, and a portrait of Jean Michel Fortier III. The self-portrait was included in the 1974 traveling exhibition “American Self-Portraits 1670-1973” and the 1976 exhibition of “Selections of Nineteenth-Century Afro-American Art” organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.