George David Coulon (American/Louisiana, 1823-1904), oil on panel landscape painting depicting Fort Macomb, Chef Menteur Pass. A brick building sits atop the moated hill, with a wooden structure in the foreground and a bridge faintly visible at left. Signed and dated lower right “G.D. Coulon 86”. Remnants of old label on verso reading: “Fort Macomb Chef Menteur, __ view taken from the residence of the officer in charge, sketched by Coulon June 12 __ .” Later pen inscription “Menton” underneath. Later wooden frame with gilt rabbet edge. Sight: 11″ x 17″. Framed: 15″ x 21″. Provenance: A Nashville, Tennessee estate. Note: Fort Macomb was a pre- Civil War fort, built to defend the city of New Orleans and located within what is now the city limits, on the western shore of Chef Menteur Pass. After the War of 1812’s Battle of New Orleans revealed weaknesses in the country’s coastal defenses, President James Monroe ordered better fortifications built along the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts; this one was intended to protect the water route from the Gulf of Mexico to the western shore of Lake Pontchartrain. Designed by French engineer Simon Bernard, the brick fort was built in 1822 at the site of an earlier fort called Fort Chef Monteur. It was named Fort Wood in 1827 and renamed in 1851 for Major General Alexander Macomb (1782-1841), commanding general of the U.S. Army from 1828-1841. The fort was occupied by a Confederate garrison in 1861 at the start of the Civil War and retaken by Union troops after the capture of New Orleans, but not before Confederate soldiers destroyed the guns and burned the wooden structures. It was decommissioned in 1871 and the fort and its lands are now owned by the State of Louisiana. George David Coulon was born in France and became a prominent painter of portraits and landscapes in New Orleans in the late 19th century. He was a founder of the Southern Art Union and the Artists Association of New Orleans. CONDITION: Overall very good condition. Faint scratch at left side near tree, few light spots of grime and inclusions. Former areas of craquelure abrasion in sky area (recently cleaned). Later frame has some gilt wear at rabbet edge and a ding on central lower edge.
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