Percival Leonard Rosseau




Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana


Sporting dogs, birds and other animal in landscape paintings


Percival Rousseau

Born of French descent in Pointe Coupée Parish, Louisiana, on September 21, 1859. His father and two older brothers were killed during the Civil War; his mother had also died, and the Union General W. T. Sherman destroyed the family plantation during the Mississippi campaign. Rosseau was educated in a private school and taught to shoot and fish by his guardian. He began working at seventeen, trying his hand at various trades to earn a living for himself and a dowry for his sister. He worked as a cowboy along the Chisholm Trail. He eventually owned an import business which provided him with enough income that he retired at age 35, leaving the business in the hands of a partner and sailed to Paris, France to study art at the Academie Julian.

While there he studied under Jules Lefebvre and Tony Robert-Fleury. Not having the patience to flatter a portrait sitter, he began his studies painting classical subjects, but after a picture of Diana with two wolfhounds met with acclaim he adopted sporting dogs as his sole subject.