Baptism in a Catholic Church, Brazil,1816-1831

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Image Reference

Jean Baptiste Debret, Voyage Pittoresque et Historique au Bresil (Paris,1834-39), vol. 3, plate 8, p. 129 (top). (Copy in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University)

Captioned, "Negresses Allant a L'Eglise, Pour Etre Baptisées" (black females going to church to be baptized), shows two black mothers (?) elaborately dressed and bejeweled carrying infant girls and approaching the entrance of a church; they are followed by an older woman (the mother of the two women?) and preceded by an older man (the father of the two women?)--all are greeted at the entrance by the mulatto (?) priest or some other Catholic official. The engravings in this book were taken from drawings made by Debret during his residence in Brazil from 1816 to 1831. For watercolors by Debret of scenes in Brazil, some of which were incorporated into his Voyage Pittoresque, see Jean Baptiste Debret, Viagem Pitoresca e Historica ao Brasil (Editora Itatiaia Limitada, Editora da Universidade de Sao Paulo, 1989; a reprint of the 1954 Paris edition, edited by R. De Castro Maya).