Free Woman of Color and Household Slaves, Paramaribo, Suriname, ca. 1831

Source

Pierre Jacques Benoit, Voyage a Surinam . . . cent dessins pris sur nature par l'auteur (Bruxelles, 1839), plate xiii, fig. 25. (Copy in the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University)

Description

A missie (that is, a common-law wife or mistress of a white man, usually a free woman of color) taking her child to be baptized, accompanied by two slaves -- one carries the infant, the other a bible. The women are dressed in their finest. 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.

Creator

Benoit, Pierre Jacques

Date Created

1831

Language

French

Rights

Metadata is available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International

Identifier

BEN6a
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