In 1856 my Great Great Grandfather Robert Ruffin (RR) Barrow Sr. persuaded Jacques Amans to paint an almost life-size portrait of his wife Volumnia Washington Hunley Barrow (sister of the famous confederate submarine Captain Horace Hunley) and their daughter Volumnia Roberta.
The portrait now hangs in Volumnia House on Volumnia Farm in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana.
Jacques Guillaume Lucien Amans (1801–1888) was a French neoclassical portrait painter living in Nouvelle-Orleans and working in South Louisiana in the 1840’s and 1850’s. Amans was born in Maastricht, France and was trained at Le Grande École du Beaux-Arts de Paris, a French grande école specializing in the French Neoclassical tradition of portraiture. In 1837 Amans arrived by boat in Nouvelle-Orleans and by 1840 became the most celebrated portraitist in Louisiana.
Amans painted Andrew Jackson in 1840 while Jackson was attending the 25th year celebration of the Battle of New Orleans and gave the painting to the City of New Orleans. Early in 1856 Amans was scheduled to return to France but was persuaded by a generous offer from my Great Great Grandfather R.R. Barrow Sr. to stay and paint an almost life size portrait of his wife and daughter.
This elegant 4′ x 5′ portrait has always been at R.R. Barrows Residence Plantation (now Volumnia Farm) in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana . This was the last painting Amans would make outside of France because Shortly after completing the Painting, Amans returned to France, never to come back to Louisiana