Jean Baptiste Debret (1768 - 1848), the French painter and draughtsman, is considered to be most faithful illustrator of 19th-century Brazil. Trained at the Academie des Beaux Arts in Paris, in 1816 Debret joined the French Artistic Mission called to Brazil by D. João VI.
'Une Dame Brésilienne dans son intérieur', in Debret, Jean Baptiste, Voyage pittoresque et historique au Brésil, ou séjour d'un artiste français au Brésil, depuis 1816 jusqu'en 1831 inclusivement, etc, Paris, 1834-39, vol. 2, pl. 6 [650.b.5] © The British
The mission, led by Joachin Lebreton, stayed until 1831 during which time Debret travelled in the states of Rio, São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul making extremely detailed sketches of the landscape and people that culminated in almost 200 engravings.
The Voyage pittoresque et historique is thought to be Debret's best work. It comprises 151 plates and is divided into three volumes dealing respectively with the indigenous population and the forest, slaves and craft makers and urban costumes. This image from the second volume shows a woman and child of European descent in a domestic, interior setting with African servants and their children.
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