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


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


"A sale of slaves, in Rio-de-Janeiro" (caption translation). Sstanding on a chair, the auctioneer, with his hammer, dominates the scene, while an enslaved woman with a child clinging to her arm is examined by a prospective buyer. The engraving also shows three other enslaved people up for auction. Various material goods, including household furniture and musical instruments, are being sold at the same auction. Biard, a French painter, lived in Brazil for about two years, 1858-1860, and witnessed the scene depicted (pp. 97-98); the auction took place in a private home and these were the possessions, including the enslaved person, of the owner. Biard's published account contains a number of images of slave life, several of which are included on this website. For a detailed study of Biard and his Brazilian sojourn, see Ana Lucia Araujo, Brazil through French Eyes: A Nineteenth-Century Artist in the Tropics (University of New Mexico Press, 2015).

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