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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Agostino Brunias, Italian (Rome, Italy 1730 - 1796 Roseau, Dominica)
Francophone Women of Color and a Young Attendant, Dominica [French Mulatresses of Dominica in their Proper Dress]
Other Titles
Former Title: French Mulatresses of St. Dominica in their Proper Dress
Work Type
c. 1765-1790
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Oil on canvas
29.5 × 23.2 cm (11 5/8 × 9 1/8 in.)
framed: 35 × 28.5 cm (13 3/4 × 11 1/4 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: verso of frame, top, graphite: No 4
  • label: verso, right of frame and strainer [removed]: [printed:] Case...................... Shelf...................... / LIBRARY / OF THE / Peabody Museum of American Archæology and Ethnology / IN CONNECTION WITH HARVARD UNIVERSITY / [handwritten, black ink:] Deposited / [printed and crossed out in handwritten black ink:] PRESENTED [printed:] BY / [handwritten, black ink:] Harvard College Library. / [printed:] Received [handwritten, black ink:] Jan. 22, 1890.
  • inscription: verso, top strainer, black ink: French Mulatresses of St Dominica / in their proper dress.
  • inscription: verso, top strainer, graphite: No 4
  • label: verso, lower strainer, handwritten [or printed?], black ink: French Mulatresses of Dominica in their proper Dress / Brunias pinxit
  • label: verso, center of canvas, handwritten, black ink: Painted by Brunias, / an eminent French Artist. / Presented by John Gardner, Esq., of Pownalboro', / in 1790. / This is one of six Paintings by Brunias, / representing the People of different color in some of / the Islands in the West Indies.
  • inscription: verso, inside right strainer, black ink: 975-5 30/9416 A.


Recorded Ownership History
John Gardiner (or Gardner) (1737-1793), Pownalborough, Maine, by 1790, gift; to Harvard College Library, 1790, deposited; at Peabody Museum, 1890, acquired; by Peabody Museum, 1975, transferred; to Harvard Art Museums, 2023

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Transfer from the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University (transfer from Harvard College Library), gift of John Gardiner, 1790
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

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Publication History

  • Harvard Corporation, Meeting of the President and Fellows of Harvard College (Harvard University Archives, November 15, 1790)., p. 303 [ (accessed February 23, 2023)]
  • Kay Dian Kriz, Slavery, Sugar, and the Culture of Refinement: Picturing the British West Indies, 1700-1840, Yale University Press (New Haven, 2008), p. 63, repro. fig. 31
  • Mia L. Bagneris, Agostino Brunias: Capturing the Carribean (c.1770-1800), exh. cat., Robilant + Voena (London, 2010), p. 34 note 3, repr. as fig. 16
  • Ethan Lasser, ed., The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820, exh. cat., Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2017), pp. 27-28 in Ethan W. Lasser's "Harvard's Teaching Cabinet," repr. p. 96 as pl. 32
  • Mia L. Bagneris, Colouring the Caribbean: Race and the art of Agostino Brunias, Manchester University Press (Manchester, UK, 2018), pp. 14, 34 note 16, 91 note 96, 175 note 1, 185, 187, 211 note 7, repr. p.138 as fig. 36

Exhibition History

Related Works

Verification Level

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