Musings of a Lady

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Images: 18th century images of Gen coleur

I was having a leisurely morning with my bowl of mocha and found a wonderful blog  Madame Isis' Toilette.  Through her site I kept wondering around and found a couple of images in her Pinterest  Thank you Elisa Edgren for finding these amazing images.  Gen coleur is the term for free people of color during the late 18th century and into the 19th century.  Free people of color from places like Santa Dominigo which I think is now Haiti and also Louisana when it was a French owned land in North America, were labeled Gen Coleur.  In anycase, finding images of free blacks during the 18th century is difficult.  So, when I stumbled on these, I was thrilled and want to share.

Attirbuted to Jean-Etienne Liotard
 Isn't she absolutely beautiful!  The artist did a beautiful job rendering her skin tones and the sweetness of her character.
Attributed to Pehr Hillestrom - This one reminds me of having tea with my fellow 18th century enthusiasts.
Often the only focus for images during this time were of enslaved people - which is of course the reality in European and Early American history.  However, we often forget or ignore the fact that there were free people of color that filled many levels of society - perhaps in segregation but covered a wide ranges of class levels. 

Here is another image I found but I can't remember what website or blog I got this so, I know that is totally bad form, but I hope you will forgive me.

Free women and men of color.


Rowenna said...

Gorgeous pictures! The last one is particularly fascinating--I love "group shots" so you can see the varied clothing and people in one spot. The men seem to be wearing military uniforms--perhaps French?--which only piques my curiosity more--I want to know the story behind the image!

Lauren R said...

Google Goggles (Anroid app) to the rescue! The last painting, which is completely awesome, is from the Brooklyn Museum, "Free Women o Color with their Children an Servants in a Landscape," by Agostino Brunias, painted c. 1764-1796.

Angela said...

Lauren, you are awesome! Merci!

Cécile said...

I just remembered your post:
did you know this painting?

And this one, showing St. James's Park in the 1740's: