Alfred Boisseau was born in February 1823, he was a painter, photographer, art teacher, and art dealer. studied under Paul Delaroche (1797-1856), was admitted to the School of Fine Arts in 1838. Judges selected his work for exhibition at the prestigious Salon when he was only 19.
Around 1844, he left Paris for New Orleans, spending two years there before returning to France. The 1844 Paris Salon exhibited three paintings he made while abroad, 'Louisiana Indians Walking along Bayou' one of the works he produced became famous.
He lived in New York from 1848 to 1852, where he learned photography. In 1852 he moved to Cleveland, working t as a portraitist, landscape artist, photographer and art dealer until 1859. In 1861 Boisseau settled in Montreal, probably fleeing the Civil War, which broke out that year in the United States. In 1865 he painted the portrait of American president Abraham Lincoln, the victor of the war. Apart from the portrait of Lincoln, Boisseau worked mostly with photography during his early years in Montreal.
Around 1869 he returned to painting, creating portraits in pastel, in addition to other kinds of work. His customers included highly regarded actors and musicians of the day, Aboriginals, politicians and business figures. In 1871 he painted the portrait of Louis-Joseph Papineau and in 1886 that of the mayor of Montreal, Honoré Beaugrand. During this same period he became a professor of fine art, and painted many genre scenes of Montreal.