Category: 1700s

Thalia, Muse of Comedy, 1739, by Jean-Marc Nat…

Thalia, Muse of Comedy, 1739, by Jean-Marc Nattier (1685-1766)

Joshua Reynolds

Joshua Reynolds

The Children of Edward Holden Cruttenden with Indian Ayah

England (1759)

WIWH | Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP)

A Disabled Black Flower-Seller Carts his Wares…

A Disabled Black Flower-Seller Carts his Wares Through Town

England (c. 1790)

Hand-coloured stipple engraving on paper

This print shows a black flower-seller carting his wares through a
British town. It is not possible to tell whether this print was based on
a real person, or is an imaginary scene. However, there were
significant numbers of black people in many British towns, particularly
London and other ports, such as Liverpool and Bristol, by the end of the
18th century, so a scene like this would not have been uncommon. This
man is shown earning his living from selling flowers. His wooden (peg)
legs suggest that he may previously have been a sailor. The loss of
one’s legs was then an occupational hazard in the navy, when sea fights
were mostly duels between cannon-laden, timber-built warships. Many
black men served in the British navy in the 18th century.

Victoria & Albert Museum, London

UnknownPortrait of Francis Williams, Scholar o…

Unknown

Portrait of Francis Williams, Scholar of Jamaica

European School (c. 1745)

Oil on Canvas, 66 x 50.1 cm.

There were conventions in representing scholarly men, and the artist has
used several of them here. Williams is shown as a scholar in his
book-lined study, with a globe of the world, and a celestial globe on
the table. Dividers and other instruments are also strewn on the table.
All this indicates that he has studied astronomy, mathematics and
geography. 

Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Ivan Petrovich Argunov

Ivan Petrovich Argunov

Portrait of Kalmyk Girl Annushka

Russia (1767)

Annushka, a Kalmyk girl of Western Mongolian ancestry, was a serf and pupil of Countess Varvara Sheremeteva, daughter of Count Sheremetev. Argunov himself was a serf of Count Sheremetev (1713-1788). Annushka is holding a portrait of the late Countess.

Henry Edridge

Henry Edridge

Portrait of Francis Barber

England (c. 1785)

Watercolor on Paper

Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Detail of West African crewman from John Singl…

Detail of West African crewman from John Singleton Copley’s Watson and the Shark, 1778. image via

Pieter Tanjé Portrait of Jacobus Elisa Johanne…

Pieter Tanjé

Portrait of Jacobus Elisa Johannes Capitein

Netherlands (1742)

Print, 245 x 181 mm

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Rosalba Carriera

Rosalba Carriera

Africa (from Allegories of Four Continents)

Italy (c. 1712)

Pastel on blue paper; 34 x 28 cm.

Portrait of Omai, c. 1776, by Joshua Reynolds …

Portrait of Omai, c. 1776, by Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792)