Born in Paris, Jules Lion became one of the most distinguished African American artists in 1800’s New Orleans. A master lithographer, he created portraits of Louisianans that are still reprinted.
In Paris he exhibited lithographs at the annual salons from 1831 to 1836. Lion received prizes and published work in L’Artiste, from his depictions of famous Americans. He moved to New Orleans, where he was hired for a new portrait lithography shop by the New Orleans Bee, a bilingual newspaper.
While in New Orleans, in 1840, he introduced the daguerreotype process, which was a new form of photography. New Orleans was the second city in the United States, after New York City, to adopt
At the outbreak of the Civil War, Lion began to lithograph confederate sheet music covers for New Orleans publishers. He returned to teaching and creating lithographic portraitures until his death.