“Woman From Bahia”

Woman from Bahia

“Woman from Bahia,” 19th century painting. But, wearing white gloves, a midnight-blue gown, and ropes of gold beads, she’s a self-contained presence. Credit Museu Paulista da Universidade de São Paulo.

A large 19th century painting titled “Woman From Bahia” stands in contrast to all this. We don’t know who the subject is, or who painted her, or when (the guess is around 1850). But, wearing white gloves, a midnight-blue gown, and ropes of gold beads, she’s a self-contained presence. She doesn’t seem to notice or care that the painter, or we, are there. She has a life and thoughts all her own. She may be an ex-slave; she’s also a queen.

(Holland Cotter, “Brazil Enthralls With an Art Show of Afro-Atlantic History,” NYTimes, 10-13-18)

(c) 2018 JMN.

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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3 Responses to “Woman From Bahia”

  1. rothpoetry says:

    Very interesting painting. I think she is definitely not a slave. Look at all ornamentation on her and the dress looks like satin! Beautiful!
    Dwight

    • JMN says:

      I agree, not the attire of a slave. It’s interesting on several levels, but what caught my attention most was her expression and features. Her face and eyes convey for me a profound world-weariness. I found it sad and touching, a contrast with the splendor of her costume. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

  2. iScriblr says:

    That’s interesting! Definitely a queen!❤

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