Artisans and Hairdresser, Paramaribo, Suriname, ca. 1831


Pierre Jacques Benoit, Voyage a Surinam . . . cent dessins pris sur nature par l'auteur (Bruxelles, 1839), plate x, fig. 19. (Copy in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University)


Shows urban male clothing styles. In the left foreground three free black craftsman/artisans are in conversation. On the right a young hairdresser, a creole slave himself, is followed by another slave, a boy, who is carrying various items of his trade: the comb, pomade, and curling tongs (p.20). 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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