Une vente d'esclaves, à Rio-de-Janeiro


"A Sale of Slaves, in Rio de Janeiro" (caption translation). This engraving shows a the auctioneer standing on a chair with his hammer, while a prospective buyer examines an enslaved woman with a child clinging to her arm. In the background, are three other enslaved people about to be auctioned. Various material goods, including household furniture and musical instruments, are being sold at the same auction. François-Auguste Biard (1799-1882), or François Thérèse Biard, was a French painter and traveler. Around 1858, he spent two years in Brazil working at the court of Emperor Pedro II. From Rio de Janeiro, he made several excursions into the interior, where he painted some of the earliest images of indigenous people in the Amazon. On his return to France, he went through North America and painted scenes depicting slavery. He published around 180 engravings and was sometimes criticized for inserting humour in otherwise serious paintings. See Ana Lucia Araujo, Brazil through French Eyes: A Nineteenth-Century Artist in the Tropics (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2015).


François-Auguste Biard, Deux Annèes au Brèsil (Paris: Hachette, 1862), p. 95.

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Spatial Coverage

South America--Brazil--Rio de Janeiro
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