Shopkeeper and Tailor, Paramaribo, Suriname, ca. 1831


Pierre Jacques Benoit, Voyage a Surinam . . . cent dessins pris sur nature par l'auteur (Bruxelles, 1839), plate xvi, fig. 32. (Copy in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University)


The shop of a vette-warier or retailer (left) who is selling goods (beads) to several Amerindians. A tailor's shop is on the right; a man (slave or free?) is being measured for clothing. The vette-warier, Benoit writes, are usually owned by Jewish merchants, but the tailor shops are sometimes held by slaves who have slaves working for them. 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

Date Created





Metadata is available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International


IIIF Manifest Download