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"Despite the range of subjects that Debret illustrates, historians of Brazil have usually only reproduced his images of Afro-Brazilian slaves. This is understandable, given the political, social and economic interest in the topic and the fact that Debret is one of the few artists who portrayed the horrors of slavery in Brazil at so early date.3 The keen interest in slavery as an historical topic has also led some scholars to assume that all Afro-Brazilians depicted in Debret's volumes are slaves, when many individuals may in fact have been free.4 While acknowledging the importance of examining Debret's images of slavery in light of an abolitionist discourse in South America, my own interests lie more with considering the full range of images and the narrative structure of Debret's three-volume Voyage as a whole. I hope thereby to contextualize a particular image of Afro-Brazilian men, the Return of the Negro Hunters, in broader issues of colonialism and its institutions."
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
Ethnic Studies | Illustration | Indigenous Studies | Latin American Languages and Societies | Latin American Studies | Latina/o Studies
Buono, Amy J., “Jean-Baptiste Debret’s Return of the Negro Hunters, the Brazilian Roça, and the Interstices of Empire,” in Orientes-occidentes. El arte y la Mirada del otro. XXVII Coloquio Internacional de Historia del arte, ed. Gustavo Curiel, 69-99. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, 2007.