Plantation Funeral, U.S. South, ca. 1860

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Image Reference

Painting by John Antrobus, ca. 1860, held by Historical New Orleans Collection. Published in James Oliver Horton & Lois E. Horton, A History of the African American People (Wayne State University Press, 1997), p. 58; Hugh Honour, The Image of the Black in Western Art (Menil Foundation, Harvard University Press, 1989), vol. 4, pt. 1, p. 213, fig. 134); and E.D.C. Campbell and K.S. Rice, eds., Before Freedom Came: African-American Life in the Antebellum South (Univ. Press of Virginia, 1991), p. 72.

Oil painting, titled "Plantation Burial," shows a Black preacher and mourners at an evening burial service. Antrobus (1831-1907) was an Englishman who lived about eight years in the United States and briefly served in the Confederate Army. A writer in a Southern newspaper in 1860 remarked that this painting is "illustrative of a negro funeral, and those conversant with such scenes will at once see how faithfully the artist has performed his task" (quoted in Honour, The Image of the Black, vol. 4, pt. 1, p. 215).