Slave Portraiture in the Atlantic World

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-09-30
  • Publisher: Cambridge Univ Pr
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Slave Portraiture in the Atlantic World is the first book to focus on the individualized portrayal of enslaved people from the time of Europe's full engagement with plantation slavery in the late sixteenth century to its final official abolition in Brazil in 1888. While this period saw the emergence of portraiture as a major field of representation in Western art, 'slave' and 'portraiture' as categories appear to be mutually exclusive. On the one hand, the logic of chattel slavery sought to render the slave's body as an instrument for production, as the site of a non-subject. Portraiture, on the contrary, privileged the face as the primary visual matrix for the representation of a distinct individuality. Essays address this apparent paradox of 'slave portraits' from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives, probing the historical conditions that made the creation of such rare and enigmatic objects possible and exploring their implications for a more complex understanding of power relations under slavery.

Table of Contents

Introduction: envisioning slave portraiture
Visibility and Invisibility
Slavery and the possibilities of portraiture
Subjectivity and slavery in portraiture: from courtly to commercial societies
Looking for Scipio Moorhead: on the portrayal of an 'African painter' in revolutionary North America
Slave Portraiture, Colonialism, and Modern Imperial Culture
Three gentlemen from Esmeralda: a portrait fit for a king
Metamorphoses of the self: slave portraiture and the case of Juan de Pareja in imperial Spain
Of sailors and slaves: portraiture, property, and the trials of circum-Atlantic subjectivities, c.1750-1830
Between violence and redemption: slave portraiture in early plantation Cuba
Subjects to Scientific and Ethnographic Knowledge
Albert Eckhout's African Woman and Child (1641): ethnographic portraiture, slavery, and the New World subject
Embodying African knowledge in colonial Surinam: two William Blake engravings in Stedman's 1796 narrative
Exquisite empty shells: sculpted slave portraits and the French ethnographic turn
Facing Abolition
Who is the subject? Marie-Guilhelmine Benoist's Portrait d'une Négresse
The many faces of Toussaint Loverture
Cinqué: a heroic portrait for the abolitionist cause
The Intrepid Mariner Simão: visual histories of blackness in the Luso-Atlantic at the end of the slave trade
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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