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August Norieri

August Norieri was a New Orleans born painter best known for his Louisiana maritime subjects such as sailboats, bayous, and lakes.

August Norieri

Courtesy of Louisiana State Museum

Steamboat Frank Pargoud. Norieri, August (Artist)

By the late nineteenth century, steamboats were being replaced by railroads for passenger and commercial transportation. New Orleans artist August Norieri documented these rapidly disappearing “floating palaces,” a romanticized name given to these often luxuriously outfitted paddlewheelers. Norieri favored maritime subjects such as sailboats, bayous, and lakes. Typical of his works are Loading the Boats at Esplanade Wharf (1885-1890), Robert E. Lee Steamship (1876), and Low Tide, Lake Pontchartrain (1893). His work was not limited to marine art; Norieri also painted portraits, made sketches, engaged in commercial art, and worked with crayon.

Although Norieri was born in New Orleans (in January or February 1860), he is often referred to as an Italian painter, presumably because of family background. He studied with the well-known New Orleans painter Andres Molinary from 1880 to 1881. In 1884 he opened a studio in the city where he practiced his art until his death on July 11, 1898.

Perhaps because he died at the age of 38, Norieri’s work gained little attention during his lifetime. Nevertheless, he exhibited at the National Academy of Design in New York City in 1885, the American Exposition from 1885 to 1886, and the Artists’ Association of New Orleans (in which he was a member) from 1886 to 1887.