Free Women of Color, Saint Domingue, late 18th cent.

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This record was last updated on 05 Jul 2017

Image Reference

Nicolas Ponce, Recueil des vues des lieux principaux de la colonie Francaise de Saint-Domingue (Paris, 1791), fig. 25; from a painting by Agostino Brunias. (Copy in the John Carter Brown Library)

Captioned, "Costumes des Affranchis et Des Esclaves des Colonies" (clothing worn by free people of color and slaves in the colonies), this image shows three free women of color in an urban setting. Engraving by Ponce for Moreau de Saint Mery, Loix et Constitution des Colonies Francais (Paris, 1784, 1790). This image is reversed from the original Brunias print (not shown on this website, but a copy is owned by the Barbados Museum), one edition of which was published in London in 1790. The engraving, in turn, is derived from the Brunias painting, "A West Indian Flower Girl," ca. 1769; for a b/w photo of this painting, see Malcolm Cormack, A Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art (New Haven, 1985, pp. 44-45). For biographical details on Brunias, see image NW0016.