Miss 4th of July
1971, oil on canvas
signed and dated G. Rodrigue 71 lower left
30 x 36 in., frame: 35 x 41 in.
Provenance: George Rodrigue Gallery, Lafayette, Louisiana; acquired from the above September 25, 1979 by a Wellesley, Massachusetts Collector; The Estate of a Wellesley, Massachusetts Collector.
George Rodrigue began to paint the Louisiana landscape after being inspired by his home-town view as he drove back and forth from South Louisiana to the Art Center College of Design in California. He took an academic interest in the art history of Louisiana, studying past depictions of the state, but ultimately focused his work on one particular aspect of the land: the enormous old oak trees that filled the vistas of Southern Louisiana. As he progressed from his early empty, moody landscapes he began to include figures, often focusing on the Cajun heritage of which he was so proud. Miss 4th of July, which is based off of a photograph from Rodrigue's mother's photo album, explores this theme of Cajun-American heritage, set against the backdrop of Rodrigue's iconic Louisiana oak. According to Rodrigue's wife Wendy, the artist noted, “even though the Cajuns spoke French, once they reached America they became, over the next one hundred years, truly Americanized. They were in a country with freedom of religion and freedom of speech, neither of which they experienced as the British moved into Nova Scotia. In America they became liberated, and they started to appreciate the concept that they were Americans. The 4th of July became a big event in their lives because it was an expression of the flag and nationalism.”
overall good condition.