‘A Negro Festival drawn from Nature in the Island of St Vincent’

Etching entitled 'A Negro Festival, drawn from Nature in the Island of St Vincent/ from an original picture by Agostino Brunais, in the possession of Sir William Young Bart F.R.S'.

In this picture, the artist avoided depicting any sign of harsh plantation conditions. Instead, he has shown enslaved people at leisure and dancing. In the foreground, the display of abundant fruits suggests the fertility of the land. The image is a fiction, devised to appeal to the plantation owners who would read such books as Bryan Edwards’s ‘The History, Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the West Indies’ (3rd edition, London, 1801), in which this engraving appeared.

Brunias was a painter and draughtsman from Rome. In 1770 he accompanied Sir William Young (1749–1815), the first British governor of Dominica, to the West Indies. He concentrated on Caribbean subjects for wealthy planters.

Object Details

ID: ZBA2522
Collection: Fine art; Special collections
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Brunais, Agostino
Date made: circa 1800
Exhibition: The Atlantic: Slavery, Trade, Empire; Enslavement and Resistance
People: Brunais, Agostino
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Michael Graham-Stewart Slavery Collection. Acquired with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund
Measurements: Image: 203 mm x 170 mm;Mount: 483 mm x 318 mm;Sheet: 260 mm x 207 mm

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