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Louisiana Swamp Deer Hunt, circa 1873
Everett B.D. Julio (1843-1879)

View Artist Bio
Oil on canvas
29 x 36 inches
Status: Private Collection, New Orleans, Louisiana

Born on the remote South Atlantic island of St. Helena—the place of Napoleon’s final exile—Everett B. D. Julio is believed to be of Scottish and Italian descent. Little is known about his childhood except that he was sent to Paris for his early education. Around 1860, he immigrated to America, living first in Boston and then in St. Louis. It was in the latter city that Julio created his masterwork, The Last Meeting of Lee and Jackson (1869; Museum of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia), a monumental history painting which depicts the final conference between Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall’ Jackson. Measuring thirteen feet by nine feet, the painting set Julio on a marketing tour through the South, where he hoped to find a purchaser for the iconoclastic work. By 1870, the artist was established in New Orleans, where he exhibited local landscapes and portraiture at the Wagner Gallery in an effort to generate income as he struggled to sell The Last Meeting. In 1874-1875, buoyed by the successful negotiation of the engraving rights to the painting, Julio traveled to France, studying with Leon Bonnat in Paris. Plagued by fragile health and burdened with debt, he returned to New Orleans, determined to live out his “desire to paint for the South.” Working from a studio on Carondolet Street, he produced genre scenes and Louisiana landscapes, offered instruction, and copied photographs.

In 1878, Julio made a trip to the American West, recording several images of Texas ranch life. These works, like this example and The Last Meeting, reveal Julio’s remarkable technical expertise in portraying mounted equestrian figures. Upon his return to New Orleans, one reviewer wrote that the artist had not “forgotten the easel and the brush in the excitement of the hunt and [that] the ride of the horse has not tired him enough to prevent him from reproducing a few of the scenes which he has witnessed.” It was while on another trip a year later—to Kingston, Georgia—that Julio succumbed to consumption and died at the age of thirty-six, having never sold the painting that would define his artistic legacy.

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This essay is copyrighted by Robert M. Hicklin Jr., Inc. and may not be reproduced or transmitted without written permission.

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