Flower Seller, Jamaica, 1837


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This record was last updated on 13 May 2016

Image Reference
Belisario10

Source
Isaac Mendes Belisario, Sketches of character, in illustration of the habits, occupation, and costume of the Negro population, in the island of Jamaica: drawn after nature, and in lithography (Kingston, Jamaica: published by the artist, at his residence, 1837-1838).

Comments
Captioned "Lovey," Belisario's detailed account notes Lovey was born in the Congo, where he was called Kangga, but in 1803 he was baptized by a Catholic priest in Jamaica and called Louis; however, "for reasons only known to himself, he has . . . for several years assumed the appellation of Lovey." Characterizing Lovey as a "shrewd, intelligent, kind-hearted, and industrious fellow," Belisario describes him as a well-known seller of flowers in the Kingston area for the past 30 years. The flowers are grown in his master's garden and as a way of increasing his own income, Lovey "nightly dances two wooden puppets [shown in the lithograph], as he calls Captain and Mrs. Jones, and accepts tips from his audiences; the performances are accompanied with songs of his own composition," a few of which Belisario describes in the written descriptions accompanying his lithographs. For background on the artist, see Belisario01.