This lithograph shows a barefoot man carrying two wooden puppets and a basket of flowers. Belisario described how this individual, called Lovey, "was born in the Congo, where he was called Kangga, but in 1803 he was baptized by a Catholic priest in Jamaica and called Louis; however, for reasons only known to himself, he has. . . for several years assumed the appellation of Lovey." Belisario characterized Lovey as "a shrewd, intelligent, kind-hearted, and industrious fellow. . . [he was a] well-known seller of flowers in the Kingston area for the past 30 years. The flowers are grown in his master's garden and as a way of increasing his own income, Lovey nightly dances two wooden puppets, as he calls Captain and Mrs. Jones, and accepts tips from his audiences; the performances are accompanied with songs of his own composition," a few of which Belisario describes in the written descriptions accompanying his lithographs. Isaac Mendes Belisario (1795–1849) was a Jamaican artist of Jewish descent and active in Kingston Jamaica around British emancipation in 1833. The image shown here, as well as others of “John-Canoes,” was drawn from life by Belisario in 1836. This lithograph is one of twelve originally published in three parts, four plates at a time.
Isaac Mendes Belisario, Sketches of character, in illustration of the habits, occupation, and costume of the Negro population, in the island of Jamaica: drawn after nature, and in lithography (Kingston, Jamaica: Published by the artist, 1837-1838).
Belisario, Isaac Mendes
Image is in the public domain. Metadata is available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International.
"Lovey", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed September 19, 2020, http://www.slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/2316