Market Women with Children, Paramaribo, Suriname, ca. 1831


Pierre Jacques Benoit, Voyage a Surinam . . . cent dessins pris sur nature par l'auteur (Bruxelles, 1839), plate xi, fig. 22. (Copy in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University)


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.


Benoit, Pierre Jacques

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