Daubs and Cowhide

In 1859, an artist painted 3 portraits in New Orleans, of a man, his wife and their daughter.

The client and his friends all judged that the artworks were miserable daubs, and declined to pay for them.

The artist unwisely sent a letter to the client, wherein he threatened to have the daughter’s portrait hung in a bordello on Perdido Street, where he claimed the father was well known.

The soon-to-be son-in-law Mr Newman took umbrage at this insult to his betrothed, and chased the artist down Camp Street, while chastising him with a leather whip (cowhide). The general opinion was that he should have used a cudgel for greater effect.

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New Orleans Crescent Oct 21, 1859

The judge fined Mr Newman $5 for the whipping.

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The_Daily_Delta_Fri__Oct_28__1859_-2
Daily Delta Oct 28, 1859

The artist was Louis Adolph William Neuser, who emigrated from Germany to New Orleans in 1854. He developed a more respectful manner towards his clients, and continued as a portraitist until his death in 1902.

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Daily Delta Jun 11, 1864
NeuserPortrait
Neuser Portrait (Unknown Woman) 1869

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