Jean-Baptiste Belley, Saint Domingue (Haiti), 1797 or 1798

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This record was last updated on 10 Jun 2016

Image Reference

Painted by Anne-Louis Girodet (1767-1824) and published in Hugh Honour, The Image of the Black in Western Art (Menil Foundation, Harvard University Press, 1989), vol. 4, pt. 1, p. 104, fig. 55.

Belley was a Senegalese, born at Goree about 1747 and enslaved in St. Domingue. Later he was in the French army and in 1793 became a representative of St. Domingue to the French government, a position he continued to hold for several years. For details on Belley and this painting, which is located at the Musée National des Chateaux de Versailles, France (which also issues it as a colored postcard), see Honour, Image of the Black, pp. 104 ff, and Laurent Dubois, Revolution & Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804 (University of North Carolina Press, 2004), pp. 66-68.