biography of Louis Antoine COLLAS (1775-1856)

Birth place: Bordeaux, France

Addresses: Active in NYC, Charleston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New Orleans, 1816-c.1831

Profession: Miniature painter, portrait painter

Studied: Vincent (most likely Françoise André Vincent), France

Exhibited: Paris Salon, 1798-99, 1812, 1831, 1833; St. Petersburg, Russia, 1808-11; American Academy of Fine Arts, NY (1816, 1820, exhibited as a resident of NYC); Elkin's Exchange, 1823, New Orleans

Work: Worcester A. Mus. (miniature); Carolina Art Assoc, Gibbes Art Gal., Charleston, SC; NOMA

Comments: Also known as Callas, or Lewis Collers. Accomplished French-trained miniaturist who worked from 1808 to 1811 in Russia, painting members of the czar's court. He came to America in 1816 and settled in NYC (where he was listed in the city directory as Lewis Collers). Over the next fifteen years, Collas painted in the South and all along the Eastern seaboard, working in Charleston, SC, in December 1816 through 1817; Baltimore in 1818; Philadelphia in 1819; and New Orleans from 1822 to 1824 and again from 1826 to 1829. Collas often included extensive landscapes in his miniatures. In 1831-32 he returned to France.

Sources: G&W; Thieme-Becker; NYCD 1816; Rutledge, Artists in the Life of Charleston, repro., 178; Cowdrey, AA & AAU; Delgado-WPA cites New Orleans CD 1822-24, Louisiana Gazette (Jan. 20, 1823, and Jan. 28, 1824), and New Orleans Courrier (April 24, 1826, and March 7, 1829). More recently, see Encyclopaedia of New Orleans Artists, 82; Strickler, American Portrait Miniatures, 46-47; Gerdts, Art Across America, vol. 2: 47, 92 (w/repro.)