Slave Market in West Africa, 1840


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This record was last updated on 23 May 2012

Image Reference
C003

Source
Richard Drake, Revelations of a Slave Smuggler (New York, 1860), opposite title page. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-30817)

Comments
Caption, "Slave Market on the Kambia [sic] River, Coast of Africa". A crowd scene with Europeans and Africans, one of latter being examined by a European, another being whipped; slave ship at sea in background. This woodcut is a copy of a 64 x 90 inch oil painting (titled, Traite d'Esclaves dans la Côte Ouest de l'Afrique), done in 1840 by Francois Auguste Biard (1798-1882), a French painter, located in the Wilberforce House Museum, Hull (England). The painting was first exhibited at the Salon (Paris) of 1835. There is no evidence that Biard ever witnessed this scene. Color images of the painting are published in Marcus Wood, Blind Memory (Manchester Univ. Press, 2000), plate 5, and Hugh Honour, The Image of the Black in Western Art (Menil Foundation, Harvard University Press, 1989), vol. 4, pt. 1, fig. 89. The black/white image is also reprinted in James Walvin, Slavery and the Slave Trade (Univ. Press of Mississippi, 1983, fig. 17) but with a misleading caption and a misspelling of the artist's name.