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Slave Portraiture in the Atlantic World

Angela Rosenthal, Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Marcia Pointon, David Bindman, Eric Slauter, Tom Cummins, Carmen Fracchia, Geoff Quilley, Rebecca P. Brienen, Susan Scott Parrish, James Smalls, Viktoria Schmidt-Linsenhoff, Helen Weston, Toby Chieffo-Reidway, Daryle Williams
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  • Date Published: July 2016
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107533752


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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • The first book to address this topic
    • Richly illustrated (more than 130 images), including new visual material never before published
    • It is interdisciplinary in the variety of its methodological approaches to the study of slave portraiture, cutting across intellectual and art history and literary studies, among other fields
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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107533752
    • dimensions: 255 x 178 x 25 mm
    • weight: 1.11kg
    • contains: 159 b/w illus. 11 colour illus. 1 map
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: envisioning slave portraiture Angela Rosenthal and Agnes Lugo-Ortiz
    Part I. Visibility and Invisibility:
    1. Slavery and the possibilities of portraiture Marcia Pointon
    2. Subjectivity and slavery in portraiture: from courtly to commercial societies David Bindman
    3. Looking for Scipio Moorhead: on the portrayal of an 'African painter' in revolutionary North America Eric Slauter
    Part II. Slave Portraiture, Colonialism, and Modern Imperial Culture:
    4. Three gentlemen from Esmeralda: a portrait fit for a king Tom Cummins
    5. Metamorphoses of the self: slave portraiture and the case of Juan de Pareja in imperial Spain Carmen Fracchia
    6. Of sailors and slaves: portraiture, property, and the trials of circum-Atlantic subjectivities, c.1750–1830 Geoff Quilley
    7. Between violence and redemption: slave portraiture in early plantation Cuba Agnes Lugo-Ortiz
    Part III. Subjects to Scientific and Ethnographic Knowledge:
    8. Albert Eckhout's African Woman and Child (1641): ethnographic portraiture, slavery, and the New World subject Rebecca P. Brienen
    9. Embodying African knowledge in colonial Surinam: two William Blake engravings in Stedman's 1796 narrative Susan Scott Parrish
    10. Exquisite empty shells: sculpted slave portraits and the French ethnographic turn James Smalls
    Part IV. Facing Abolition:
    11. Who is the subject? Marie-Guilhelmine Benoist's Portrait d'une Négresse Viktoria Schmidt-Linsenhoff
    12. The many faces of Toussaint Loverture Helen Weston
    13. Cinqué: a heroic portrait for the abolitionist cause Toby Chieffo-Reidway
    14. The Intrepid Mariner Simão: visual histories of blackness in the Luso-Atlantic at the end of the slave trade Daryle Williams.

  • Editors

    Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, University of Chicago
    Agnes Lugo-Ortiz is Associate Professor of Latin American and Caribbean Literatures and Cultures at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Identidades Imaginadas: Biografía y Nacionalidad en el Horizonte de la Guerra and co-editor of Herencia: The Anthology of US Hispanic Writing, En Otra Voz: Antología de la Literatura Hispana de los Estados Unidos and Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage, Volume V.

    Angela Rosenthal, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire
    Angela Rosenthal was Associate Professor of Art History at Dartmouth College. She was the author of Angelika Kauffmann: Bildnismalerei im 18. Jahrhundert and Angelica Kauffman: Art and Sensibility, which won the 2007 Historians of British Art Book Award in the pre-1800 category. She also was co-editor of The Other Hogarth: Aesthetics of Difference.


    Angela Rosenthal, Agnes Lugo-Ortiz, Marcia Pointon, David Bindman, Eric Slauter, Tom Cummins, Carmen Fracchia, Geoff Quilley, Rebecca P. Brienen, Susan Scott Parrish, James Smalls, Viktoria Schmidt-Linsenhoff, Helen Weston, Toby Chieffo-Reidway, Daryle Williams

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