Coda – Pushing Brunias’s buttons, or rebranding the plantocracy’s painter
The afterlife of Brunias’s imagery
in Colouring the Caribbean
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Archival evidence reveals doubts about the buttons' attribution to Agostino Brunias as early as 1946. In investigating the credibility of the buttons' provenance, both their attribution to Brunias and their connection to Toussaint L'Ouverture must be scrutinised. Ironically, Brunias, the painter of the plantocracy, is responsible for images that frequently illustrate the 'resistance to Anglo-American domination' reinforced by Domingan refugees in New Orleans. In museums and academic texts, Brunias's imagery continues to be used to represent the former French colony. The Brooklyn museum understood Brunias's picture as offering a unique representation of Afro-Caribbean agency and elite social status, an image of a woman of African descent in a position of power. Brunias's Free Women of Color with their Children and Servants in a Landscape presents an intriguing colonial Caribbean revision of the English conversation piece.

Colouring the Caribbean

Race and the art of Agostino Brunias


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