Diamond Mining, Serro Frio, Brazil, ca. 1770s
The three slaves in the center background are breaking rock to extract diamonds. Born in Italy ca.1740, Juliao joined the Portuguese army and traveled widely in the Portuguese empire; by the 1760s or 1770s he was in Brazil, where he died in 1811 or 1814. For a detailed analysis and critique of Juliao's figures as as representations of Brazilian slave life, as well as a biographical sketch of Juliao and suggested dates for his paintings, see Silvia Hunold Lara, Customs and Costumes: Carlos Juliao and the Image of Black Slaves in Late Eighteenth-Century Brazil (Slavery & Abolition, vol. 23 , pp. 125-146). C. R. Boxer, The Golden Age of Brazil, 1695-1750 (Univ. of Calif. Press, 1962) reproduces this painting (in black and white) and gives it a date of 1762.
Carlos Juliao, Riscos illuminados de figurinhos de broncos e negros dos uzos do Rio de Janeiro e Serro do Frio (Rio de Janeiro, 1960), plate 40. The prints used as plates in this book are housed in the Secao de Iconografia in the National Library of Brazil; the historical introduction and descriptive catalog were written by Lygia da Foneseca Fernandes da Cunha. (Copy in Tulane University Library)
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"Diamond Mining, Serro Frio, Brazil, ca. 1770s", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed January 26, 2021, http://slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/874