Marketing & Urban Scenes

  • Hawkers of Foodstuffs,Gordonsville, Virginia, 1873-74

    Railway station at Gordonsville, not far from Charlottesville. Black hawkers selling goods and other refreshments to white passengers; the Negroes . . . swarm day and night like bees about the trains (p. 649). Original sketch made by J. Wells Chamney who accompanied the author during 1873 and the spring and summer of 1874. Although relating to the post-emancipation period, the scene possibly evokes the later ante-bellum years.
  • Woman Carrying Bundle, Savannah, Georgia, 1873-74

    The woman is descending a staircase by the levee in Savannah; she carries a bundle on her head, a ubiquitous form of burden carrying throughout African America from the earliest times. It is not specified if the woman was a domestic servant. Original sketch made by J. Wells Chamney who accompanied the author during 1873 and the spring and summer of 1874.
  • Fruit and Vegetable Vendor, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1850s

    Shows female hawker, The Quitandeira, carrying a tray on her head with her infant tied to her back. The quitandeiras are the venders of vegetables, oranges, guavas, . . mangoesö sugar-cane, toys, etc. They shout out their stock in a lusty voice . . . . The same nasal tones and high key may be noticed in all. Children are charmed when their favorite old black tramps down the street with toys or doces. The same illustration appears in later editions of this work, e.g., 1866 (6th ed.), 1879 (9th ed.).
  • Carrying a Palanquin, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1817-1818

    Caption: Vue de la Salle de Spectacle sur la Place du Rocio, a Rio de Janeiro. The background shows the theatre (Salle de Spectacle), with miscellaneous urban scenes in the foreground, including two slaves (?) carrying a woman in a palanquin or covered litter (left), right, a group of slave convicts carrying water buckets on their heads, linked by chains around their necks and a uniformed guard with a sword (right). This engraving, by Lerouge and Bernard, but based on a drawing by Jacques Arago, was published in an elaborate Atlas of 112 plates, some in color, based on drawings made by various artists during a French geographical expedition in the early nineteenth century. The expedition visited Rio in in Dec. 1817-Feb. 1818. (The Atlas accompanies a multi-volume account of the expedition, and is sometimes cataloged under the authorship of Ministere de la Marine et des Colonies [France], rather than Freycinet, the commander of the expedition. See other images of the palanquin on this website.
  • Market, Dominica, West Indies, 1770s

    Titled Linen Market, Dominica, shows enslaved people, free people of color, and Europeans in crowded market scene. Some of the features and human subjects in this scene are also found in the Brunias oil painting, Linen Market at St. Domingo (see image reference NW0009). Agostino Brunias (sometimes incorrectly spelled Brunyas, Brunais), a painter born in Italy in 1730, came to England in 1758 where he became acquainted with William Young. Young had been appointed to a high governmental post in West Indian territories acquired by Britain from France, and in late 1764 Brunias accompanied Young to the Caribbean as his personal artist. Arriving in early 1765, Brunias stayed in the islands until around 1775, when he returned to England (exhibiting some of his paintings in the late 1770s) and visited the continent. He returned to the West Indies in 1784 and remained there until his death on the island of Dominica in 1796. Although Brunias primarily resided in Dominica he also spent time in St. Vincent, and visited other islands, including Barbados, Grenada, St. Kitts, and Tobago. See Lennox Honychurch, Chatoyer's Artist: Agostino Brunias and the Depiction of St Vincent, for what is presently the most informative and balanced discussion of Brunias and his romanticized and idyllic paintings of West Indian scenes and slave life (Jl of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, vol. 50 [2004], pp.104-128); see also Hans Huth, Agostino Brunias, Romano (The Connoisseur, vol. 51 [Dec. 1962], pp. 265-269).
  • Sunday Marketing, Trinidad, 1836

    Captioned Sunday morning in the country, a man and a woman are going to Sunday market, the day enslaved laborers were released from plantation work; the woman has a full tray of goods, including poultry. Bridgens, in common with many other visitors to the British West Indies, observes that the markets in the West Indies are supplied almost entirely by the Negroes of the surrounding country. A sculptor, furniture designer and architect, Richard Bridgens was born in England in 1785, but in 1826 he moved to Trinidad where his wife had inherited a sugar plantation, St. Clair. Although he occasionally returned to England, he ultimately lived in Trinidad for seven years and died in Port of Spain in 1846. Bridgens' book contains 27 plates, thirteen of which are shown on this website. The plates were based on drawings made from life and were done between 1825, when Bridgens arrived in Trinidad, and 1836, when his book was published. Although his work is undated, the title page of a copy held by the Beinecke Rare Book Room at Yale University has a front cover with a publication date of 1836, the date usually assigned to this work by major libraries whose copies lack a title page. Bridgens' racist perspectives on enslaved Africans and his defense of slavery are discussed in T. Barringer, G. Forrester, and B. Martinez-Ruiz, Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and his Worlds (Yale University Press, 2007), pp. 460-461. Bridgensí life is discussed extensively along with discussion of his drawings and presentation of many details on slave life in Trinidad in Judy Raymond, The Colour of Shadows: Images of Caribbean Slavery (Coconut Beach, Florida: Caribbean Studies Press, 2016). Raymondís book, which is an essential source for any study of Bridgens, also includes a number of unpublished sketches of Trinidadian slave life. See also Brian Austen, Richard Hicks Bridgens (Oxford Art Online/Grove Art Online).
  • Afro-Brazilian Women, Rio de Janeiro, 1858-1860

    Four women heading various goods, including an umbrella and a basket of fruit; also shows clothing styles. Biard, a French painter, lived in Brazil for about two years, 1858-1860. His published account contains a number of images of slave life, several of which are included on this website. For a detailed study of Biard and his Brazilian sojourn, see Ana Lucia Araujo, Brazil through French Eyes: A Nineteenth-Century Artist in the Tropics (University of New Mexico Press, 2015).
  • Moving a Piano, Rio de Janeiro, 1858-1860

    Captioned, Dèmènagement d'un piano ‡ Rio de Janeiro, the engraving shows six men who seem to be jogging while chanting as they transport a piano on their heads through the streets of Rio; they are part of a much larger group involved in moving someoneís household goods and furniture. Biard, a French painter, lived in Brazil for about two years, 1858-1860, and witnessed this scene soon after his arrival. The man on the right in the first row is the leader; he holds a type of rattle with which he keeps the beat of the work chant (pp. 89-90). Biardís published account contains a number of images of slave life, several of which are included on this website. For a detailed study of Biard and his Brazilian sojourn, see Ana Lucia Araujo, Brazil through French Eyes: A Nineteenth-Century Artist in the Tropics (University of New Mexico Press, 2015).
  • Market Women, Rio de Janeiro, 1858-1860

    Shown are three women in full dresses and head ties/turbans; one woman carries a basket of fruit on her head. Biard, a French painter, lived in Brazil for about two years, 1858-1860. His published account contains a number of images of slave life, several of which are included on this website. For a detailed study of Biard and his Brazilian sojourn, see Ana Lucia Araujo, Brazil through French Eyes: A Nineteenth-Century Artist in the Tropics (University of New Mexico Press, 2015).
  • Afro-Jamaicans Carrying Goods on Their Heads, Jamaica, 1808-1815

    Drawn from life by William Berryman, an English artist who lived in Jamaica for eight years in the early 19th century. This illustration contains sixteen small drawings of men and women carrying goods; brief notations indicate the subjects of the drawings. Berryman produced about 300 pencil and watercolor drawings of people, landscape, settlements, and flora in the island's southern parishes, the general region surrounding Kingston. He had intended to produce a series of engravings, never realized because of his death (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs, An Illustrated Guide). Several other Berryman works are reproduced in T. Barringer, G. Forrester, and B. Martinez-Ruiz [and others], Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and his Worlds (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art in association with Yale University Press, 2007), passim.
  • Female Clothing Styles, Paramaribo, Suriname, ca. 1831

    Three enslaved women and a girl in the foreground. Benoit writes that their feet are bare because only free people of color have the right to wear shoes (p. 21). The civil and military hospital is in the background. Sick people are transported to the hospital in a type of box covered by canvas (p. 17). Benoit (1782-1854), a Belgian artist, visited Suriname around 1831 and apparently stayed for several months. The 100 lithographs in his book (hand colored in the John Carter Brown copy), accompanied by textual descriptions of varying detail, are derived from drawings he made during his visit, which included time in Paramaribo, the capital, as well as trips into the interior visiting Maroons and Amerindians. Forty of his lithographs, with our translations from the French text, are shown on this website.
  • Market Women, Paramaribo, Suriname, ca. 1831

    The image shows three market women or retailers of various dry goods with wood trays on their heads. From left to right, a crèole, a black creole ( negresse-crèole ) and a cabougle or African; in the background, cake sellers. The man clad in a loincloth appears to be a slave, but it is unclear what he is doing. Benoit (1782-1854), a Belgian artist, visited Suriname around 1831 and apparently stayed for several months. The 100 lithographs in his book (hand colored in the John Carter Brown copy), accompanied by textual descriptions of varying detail, are derived from drawings he made during his visit, which included time in Paramaribo, the capital, as well as trips into the interior visiting Maroons and Amerindians. Forty of his lithographs, with our translations from the French text, are shown on this website.
  • Marketplace, Paramaribo, Suriname, ca. 1831

    The main vegetable, fruit, and poultry market. Benoit describes this area as a large square. In former years the cemetery was located there, but the government, fearing an epidemic, moved it to the city's outskirts (p. 17); note the gravestones on the ground in the lower left. Benoit (1782-1854), a Belgian artist, visited Suriname around 1831 and apparently stayed for several months. The 100 lithographs in his book (hand colored in the John Carter Brown copy), accompanied by textual descriptions of varying detail, are derived from drawings he made during his visit, which included time in Paramaribo, the capital, as well as trips into the interior visiting Maroons and Amerindians. Forty of his lithographs, with our translations from the French text, are shown on this website.
  • Clothing Styles, Paramaribo, Suriname, ca. 1831

    On the streets of Paramaribo, the author writes, one can encounter a variety of people, wearing different styles of clothing; the woman on the left appears to be a slave, the others may be free women of color (p. 17). Benoit (1782-1854), a Belgian artist, visited Suriname around 1831 and apparently stayed for several months. The 100 lithographs in his book (hand colored in the John Carter Brown copy), accompanied by textual descriptions of varying detail, are derived from drawings he made during his visit, which included time in Paramaribo, the capital, as well as trips into the interior visiting Maroons and Amerindians. Forty of his lithographs, with our translations from the French text, are shown on this website.
  • Market Women with Children, Paramaribo, Suriname, ca. 1831

    Several enslaved or free women. In the foreground, left, a hawker (with small children), selling fish called kabbeljaauw or dry/salt cod; center, a young milk maid; right, a vegetable seller (who also carries an infant on her back). In the background, a retailer or market woman is conversing with another woman. Benoit (1782-1854), a Belgian artist, visited Suriname around 1831 and apparently stayed for several months. The 100 lithographs in his book (hand colored in the John Carter Brown copy), accompanied by textual descriptions of varying detail, are derived from drawings he made during his visit, which included time in Paramaribo, the capital, as well as trips into the interior visiting Maroons and Amerindians. Forty of his lithographs, with our translations from the French text, are shown on this website.
  • Female Clothing Styles, Paramaribo, Suriname, ca. 1831

    Five enslaved women going to various places of worship. From right to left, a Lutheran, a Jew, a Calvinist, a Moravian. In the background, a young Christian is going to church on a holiday. Benoit (1782-1854), a Belgian artist, visited Suriname around 1831 and apparently stayed for several months. The 100 lithographs in his book (hand colored in the John Carter Brown copy), accompanied by textual descriptions of varying detail, are derived from drawings he made during his visit, which included time in Paramaribo, the capital, as well as trips into the interior visiting Maroons and Amerindians. Forty of his lithographs, with our translations from the French text, are shown on this website.
  • Sarameca Street, Paramaribo, Suriname, ca. 1831

    The author writes that Sarameca-Straat is where the most and best stores and shops of the colony are located. . . . It is the general congregating place not only for foreigners, but also of all classes of locals (p. 21). Benoit (1782-1854), a Belgian artist, visited Suriname around 1831 and apparently stayed for several months. The 100 lithographs in his book (hand colored in the John Carter Brown copy), accompanied by textual descriptions of varying detail, are derived from drawings he made during his visit, which included time in Paramaribo, the capital, as well as trips into the interior visiting Maroons and Amerindians. Forty of his lithographs, with our translations from the French text, are shown on this website.
  • Milk Seller, Jamaica, 1838

    Captioned Milkwoman, she is carrying on her head a bowl and small tin pans of milk in a wooden tray. Many Colored persons, as well as free Negroes living at short distances from towns or villages, Belisario writes, find it to their advantage to supply the inhabitants with goats' milk, which being richer than that of the cow, is therefore preferred by most families. The woman is on her way to town from the country in the early morning. Divested of the encumberance of shoes and stocking and with the dress of a convenient walking length, the Milkmaid of Jamaica travels along at a rapid rate . . . arrived in town, she announces herself with 'See me day a wid de milk' (Here I am with the milk). For background on the artist, see Belisario01.
  • Pottery Sellers, Kingston, Jamaica, 1838

    Caption, Water-Jar Sellers, shows two men carrying pottery on their heads. The pottery in tray on the left includes (on the very top) the globular tea-pot shaped ceramic ware known in the Anglophone Caribbean as a monkey or monkey jar, used to hold water and keep it cool. This might be the earliest known illustration of the monkey in the Caribbean. The large pot being carried on the right appears to be a Jamaican version of the Spanish [olive] jar. Belisario provides a detailed description of water supplies in Jamaica, particularly Kingston, and notes that the porous water jars in ordinary use are manufactured at potteries near the city; the two men shown here are apprentices who sally forth daily. The blue bag hanging from the neck of the taller man is a purse, every female Negro also carries a similar appendage at her waist. For background on the artist, see Belisario01.
  • Church and Convent Scene, Havana, Cuba, 1839

    Caption, Yglesia y Convento de Belen (Habana). Urban scene, showing, among other figures, a black man pushing a wheelbarrow, others carting loads on their backs, and a liveried coachman waiting by a carriage in front of the convent. This illustration was, in fact, done by the French artist Frederic/Federico Mialhe, who lived in Cuba from 1838 to 1854; see, Emilio Cueto, Mialhe's Colonial Cuba [Miami, The Historical Association of Southern Florida, 1994], pp. 38, 40 for the same image and when it first appeared.)
  • Paramaribo, Surinam, 1808

    In foreground, slaves are rowing European visitors ashore from sailing vessel; another African (on left) is paddling a canoe. Waller, a surgeon in the British Navy, landed in Paramaribo in July 1808. As his ship approached the city, the Surinam river becomes more and more interesting. The right bank ascending, appears covered with cultivated grounds and villas; the Dutch and the English too have spared neither pains nor expense to render their habitations delightful. These villas are principally the country residences of the citizens.
  • Marketing, St. Vincent, West Indies, 1770s

    Titled, The Fruit Market at St. Vincent, shows free colored woman and slaves, perhaps meant to depict the Sunday Market, a major institution in the British West Indies during the period of slavery. Agostino Brunias (sometimes incorrectly spelled Brunyas, Brunais), a painter born in Italy in 1730, came to England in 1758 where he became acquainted with William Young. Young had been appointed to a high governmental post in West Indian territories acquired by Britain from France, and in late 1764 Brunias accompanied Young to the Caribbean as his personal artist. Arriving in early 1765, Brunias stayed in the islands until around 1775, when he returned to England (exhibiting some of his paintings in the late 1770s) and visited the continent. He returned to the West Indies in 1784 and remained there until his death on the island of Dominica in 1796. Although Brunias primarily resided in Dominica he also spent time in St. Vincent, and visited other islands, including Barbados, Grenada, St. Kitts, and Tobago. See Lennox Honychurch, Chatoyer's Artist: Agostino Brunias and the Depiction of St Vincent, for what is presently the most informative and balanced discussion of Brunias and his romanticized and idyllic paintings of West Indian scenes and slave life (Jl of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, vol. 50 [2004], pp.104-128); see also Hans Huth, Agostino Brunias, Romano (The Connoisseur, vol. 51 [Dec. 1962], pp. 265-269).
  • Market, Saint Domingue (St. Domingue, Haiti), 1770s

    Titled The Linen Market at St. Domingo, shows free colored women and men; slaves in background. Some of the background features and human subjects in this scene are also found in the Brunias oil painting, Linen Market, Dominica, held by the Yale Center for British Art (see image reference Brunias-Yale). Agostino Brunias (sometimes incorrectly spelled Brunyas, Brunais), a painter born in Italy in 1730, came to England in 1758 where he became acquainted with William Young. Young had been appointed to a high governmental post in West Indian territories acquired by Britain from France, and in late 1764 Brunias accompanied Young to the Caribbean as his personal artist. Arriving in early 1765, Brunias stayed in the islands until around 1775, when he returned to England (exhibiting some of his paintings in the late 1770s) and visited the continent. He returned to the West Indies in 1784 and remained there until his death on the island of Dominica in 1796. Although Brunias primarily resided in Dominica he also spent time in St. Vincent, and visited other islands, including Barbados, Grenada, St. Kitts, and Tobago. See Lennox Honychurch, Chatoyer's Artist: Agostino Brunias and the Depiction of St Vincent, for what is presently the most informative and balanced discussion of Brunias and his romanticized and idyllic paintings of West Indian scenes and slave life (Jl of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, vol. 50 [2004], pp.104-128); see also Hans Huth, Agostino Brunias, Romano (The Connoisseur, vol. 51 [Dec. 1962], pp. 265-269).
  • Free Woman of Color, Barbados, late 1770s

    Titled by the artist, The Barbadoes Mulatto Girl, this engraved print shows an anonymous free woman of color (freedwoman) purchasing fruit/vegetables from enslaved vendors (see also, image NW0149-a ). Agostino Brunias (sometimes incorrectly spelled Brunyas, Brunais), a painter born in Italy in 1730 and came to England in 1758 where he became acquainted with William Young. Young had been appointed to a high governmental post in the Caribbean territories Britain had acquired from France, and in late 1764 Brunias accompanied Young to the Caribbean as his personal artist. Arriving at Barbados in early 1765 (where the sketch for the image shown here, perhaps for others as well, was probably done), Brunias stayed in the islands until around 1775, when he returned to England (exhibiting some of his paintings in the late 1770s) and visited the continent. He returned to the West Indies in 1784 and remained there until his death on the island of Dominica in 1796. Although Brunias primarily resided in Dominica he also spent time in St. Vincent, and visited other islands, including Barbados, Grenada, St. Kitts, and Tobago. See Lennox Honychurch, Chatoyer's Artist: Agostino Brunias and the Depiction of St Vincent, for what is presently the most informative and balanced discussion of Brunias and his romanticized and idyllic paintings of West Indian scenes and slave life (Jl of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, vol. 50 [2004], pp.104-128); see also Hans Huth, Agostino Brunias, Romano (The Connoisseur, vol. 51 [Dec. 1962], pp. 265-269). A photograph of this print was given to Handler in the 1960s by the late Neville Connell, Director of the Barbados Museum. Four Brunias paintings, some containing elements of images shown on this website (including, for example, the slave woman in the lower right, above) can be seen on the website of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University. Another copy of The Barbadoes Mulatto Girl is held by the Yale Center for British Art; it was published in London in 1779 and is dedicated to John Geo., Felton.
  • Trafalgar Square, Bridgetown, Barbados,1835

    Looking up Broad Street, with statue of Admiral Nelson in the foreground; also shown are people engaged in various activities, including carters with teams of oxen and wagons loaded with hogsheads of sugar or rum. Although Broad Street (shown in this drawing), the main street in Bridgetown, the Barbados capital, has changed considerably since 1835, it still exists as does the statue of Nelson. For details on this rare set of drawings, see Jerome S. Handler, Guide to Source Materials for the Study of Barbados History (Carbondale, 1971), p. 91.
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