NewsCovering Louisiana


Painting goes for almost $1 million because it's Marie Laveau - or is it?

Posted at 1:28 PM, May 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-24 14:28:24-04

A painting sold for almost $1 million - more than twice the expected price - at a recent art auction.

If you saw it, you might recognize it as a painting widely advertised as a portrait of Marie Laveau by frontier artist George Catlin.

But it turns out that experts don't know that it's the Voodoo Queen, and they're not convinced Catlin painted it, either.

Our media partners at The Advocate/Times Picayune have posted an article about Saturday's $984,000 auction sale of the 1837 painting, which is so widely assumed to be a portrait of Laveau that it's the image you see when you find her Wikipedia page.

But, the newspapers report, scholars say there’s no proof the painting depicts Laveau at all, and there’s a very good chance Catlin didn’t paint it.

To read the story, which includes the known history of the painting and a widely-viewed copy as well, click here.