Thursday, April 17, 2008
The French Beekeeper
Gouache on Watercolor paper
11" x 14"
Original in private collection.
This is a portrait of my great grandfather, Camille Pierre (C.P.) Dadant. He migrated with his mother and sisters at the age of 11 to the United States during the Civil War. His father, Charles, had come over a few months prior to C.P.'s arrival to build a little log cabin for his family to live in. Originally, they grew grapes, but found soon that beekeeping was more profitable in the area where they had settled along the banks of the Mississippi river.
C.P. and his father built a business specializing in beekeeping and beekeeping supplies that still exists today - five or six generations later.
This painting derives from a photo taken around 1910 as C.P. walked to work at the factory at the bottom of the hill. In the background is the Keokuk Lock and Dam. C.P. was one of the business men that was instrumental in moving to get the dam built across the Mississippi at this point.