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Colouring the Caribbean

Race and the art of Agostino Brunias

By Mia L. Bagneris

Colouring the Caribbean

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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-2045-8
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £75.00
  • Published Date: December 2017
  • BIC Category: Art History, History of art, HISTORY / Caribbean & West Indies / General, ART / History / General, Caribbean islands, The arts / History of art & design styles: c 1600 to c 1800
  • Series: Rethinking Art's Histories

Description

Colouring the Caribbean offers the first comprehensive study of Agostino Brunias's intriguing pictures of colonial West Indians of colour - so called 'Red' and 'Black' Caribs, dark-skinned Africans and Afro-Creoles, and people of mixed race - made for colonial officials and plantocratic elites during the late-eighteenth century. Although Brunias's paintings have often been understood as straightforward documents of visual ethnography that functioned as field guides for reading race, this book investigates how the images both reflected and refracted ideas about race commonly held by eighteenth-century Britons, helping to construct racial categories while simultaneously exposing their constructedness and underscoring their contradictions. The book offers provocative new insights about Brunias's work gleaned from a broad survey of his paintings, many of which are reproduced here for the first time.

Author

Mia L. Bagneris is Jesse Poesch Junior Professor of Art History at Tulane University

Contents

Introduction
1 Brunias's tarred brush, or painting Indians black: race-ing the Carib divide
2 Merry and contented slaves and other island myths: representing Africans and Afro-Creoles in the Anglo-American world
3 Brown-skinned booty, or colonising Diana: mixed-race Venuses and Vixens as the fruits of imperial enterprise
4 Can you find the white woman in this picture? Agostino Brunias's 'ladies' of ambiguous race
Coda - Pushing Brunias's buttons, or re-branding the plantocracy's painter: the afterlife of Brunias's imagery
Index