Linen Market, Dominica
This painting shows enslaved people, free people of color, and Europeans in a crowded market scene. Agostino Brunias (sometimes incorrectly spelled Brunyas, Brunais), was a painter born in Italy in 1730. He came to England in 1758 where he became acquainted with William Young, who had been appointed to a high governmental post in West Indian territories acquired by Britain from France. In late 1764, Brunias accompanied Young to the Caribbean as his personal artist. Arriving in early 1765, Brunias stayed in the islands until around 1775, when he returned to England (exhibiting some of his paintings in the late 1770s). He returned to the West Indies in 1784 and remained there until his death on the island of Dominica in 1796. Although Brunias primarily resided in Dominica, he also spent time in St. Vincent and visited other islands, including Barbados, Grenada, St. Kitts, and Tobago. See Lennox Honychurch, Chatoyer's Artist: Agostino Brunias and the Depiction of St Vincent, for what is presently the most informative and balanced discussion of Brunias and his romanticized and idyllic paintings of West Indian scenes and slave life (Jl of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, vol. 50 , pp.104-128); see also Hans Huth, Agostino Brunias, Romano (The Connoisseur, vol. 51 [Dec. 1962], pp. 265-269). Some of the features and human subjects in this scene are also found in the Brunias oil painting, Linen Market at St. Domingo (see image reference NW0009).
Original painting; courtesy, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection (B1981.25.76).
Image is in the public domain. Metadata is available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International.
"Linen Market, Dominica", 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/2513