Flower Seller, Jamaica, 1837


Isaac Mendes Belisario, Sketches of character, in illustration of the habits, occupation, and costume of the Negro population, in the island of Jamaica: drawn after nature, and in lithography (Kingston, Jamaica: published by the artist, at his residence, 1837-1838).


Captioned Lovey, Belisario's detailed account notes Lovey was born in the Congo, where he was called Kangga, but in 1803 he was baptized by a Catholic priest in Jamaica and called Louis; however, for reasons only known to himself, he has . . . for several years assumed the appellation of Lovey. Characterizing Lovey as a shrewd, intelligent, kind-hearted, and industrious fellow, Belisario describes him as a well-known seller of flowers in the Kingston area for the past 30 years. The flowers are grown in his master's garden and as a way of increasing his own income, Lovey nightly dances two wooden puppets [shown in the lithograph], as he calls Captain and Mrs. Jones, and accepts tips from his audiences; the performances are accompanied with songs of his own composition, a few of which Belisario describes in the written descriptions accompanying his lithographs. For background on the artist, see Belisario01.


Belisario, Isaac Mendes

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