Achille Perelli (Italian/New Orleans, 1822-1891), "Nature Morte: Passenger Pigeon", watercolor on paper, signed and inscribed "N.O." lower left, sheet 27 1/2 in. x 21 in., framed. Provenance: William E. Groves Collection, New Orleans; D. Benjamin Kleinpeter, Sr. Collection, Baton Rouge. Note: After studying sculpture in his native Italy, Achille Perelli came to New Orleans in the late 1840s and began his career as a sculptor, painter, and marble cutter. Active in the New Orleans art world, Perelli was involved in the formation of the Southern Art Union and the Artists’ Association of New Orleans, where he taught drawing and sculpture. By the 1870s, Perelli had turned almost exclusively to painting nature morte scenes of fish, birds, and other small animals. Prized for their accuracy and attention to detail, Perelli’s nature mortes have always been highly sought after by collectors. In the current lot, Perelli depicted a Passenger Pigeon, a now-extinct cousin of the mourning dove, with a distinctive gray-blue head and back and a red breast.