Retour d'une vente d'esclaves, à Rio-de-Janeiro


"Trip Back from a Sale of Slaves, in Rio de Janeiro" (caption translation). This engraving shows a slave owner smoking a cigar and carrying an umbrella while leading a horse and a group of four enslaved adults and a child. One of the men carries household goods, including a clock and a musical instrument while the two women, one holding onto a child, are behind him. Bringing up the rear is a man who appears to be guarding the newly-bought slaves. The material goods shown suggest that the auction was not only for the purchase of slaves but household items as well. 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. 99.

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Spatial Coverage

South America--Brazil--Rio de Janeiro
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