Adam Leontus was a Haitian artist, producing primarily oils in a folk art style. Born in Anse-a-Galets on the island of Gonave in the Bay of Port-au-Prince, he joined the Centre d’Art in 1944. His early works were designs for Vodou flags and temples. He is well known for his painting of The Annunciation as part of the landmark mural project in the Cathedral of St. Trinite in Port-au-Prince in 1949-51, for which major works were commissioned by nine of Haiti’s leading artists. After that, he seems to have avoided Vodou themes in his art, focusing on still lifes and paintings of birds in vivid imaginary tropical landscapes. Sadly, the Cathedral of St. Trinite was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake.
The painting bears the label of Janet Nessler Gallery, Inc., New York City, with a numerical postal zone, in use between 1943 and 1963. However, our research suggests the gallery opened around 1959. We estimate the date of this painting to be in the 1950s, and prior to 1964.
Label verso: Janet Nessler Gallery, Inc., 718 Madison Ave, New York 21, Templeton 2-9480. L’Oiseau Jaune by Adam Leontus.
Additional label verso: Raydon Gallery, 1091 Madison Ave., New York, N.Y. 10028
Inscribed Verso: Haitain [sic], “L’Oiseau Jaune” Adam Leontus
“Adam Leontus.” The Electric Gallery. 1994-2005. http://www.egallery.com/artists/?id=125 (27 September 2005).
Bessinger, Donivan. “The Art of Sainte Trinite.” db Scriptorium. 14 January 2010. http://home.earthlink.net/~dbscr4/Plermurl-1.htm and http://home.earthlink.net/~dbscr6/ArtST-Two.pdf (3 February 2010).
Peters, Dewitt. “Experiment in Haiti.” Chicken Bones: A Journal for Literary and Artistic African-American Themes.” http://www.nathanielturner.com/experimentinhaiti.htm (27 September 2005).