Imaging Imperialism

Imaging Imperialism
Part I: Images of Colonial Jamaica
Tim Barringer, Gillian Forester, and Barbara Martinez-Ruiz, Art and Emancipation in Jamaica:
Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007)
1655: Britain seizes Jamaica from Spain
George Robertson, The Spring Head of Roaring River, 1775
Robertson’s patron: William Beckford of Somerley
Peter Paul Rubens, The Watering Place, c. 1615-22
Claude Lorrain, Landscape with Dancing Figures,
Term: picturesque
Salvator Rosa, Landscape with Travelers
Asking the Way, c. 1641
William Gilpin, Scene without picturesque adornment,
ca. 1792
William Gilpin, Scene with picturesque adornment, ca.
Images from: William Gilpin, Three Essays: On Picturesque Beauty, On Picturesque Travel,
and On Sketching Landscape (1792)
Thomas Gainsborough, The Watering Place, c. 1778
Term: enclosure
George Robertson, The Spring Head of Roaring River, 1775
The Old Montpelier Estate
Montego Bay
From James Hakewill, A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica from Drawings Made in the
Years 1820 and 1821, published in 1824
Adolphe Duperly, The Attack of the Rebels on
Montpelier Old Works Estate, 1833
Terms: Christmas Rebellion or Baptist War, 1831; Emancipation Act, 1833
Adolphe Duperly, A View of Montego-Bay, Taken
from Reading Hill, The Rebels Destroying the Road
and Reading Wharf in Flames, 1833
Part II: Paul Gauguin and Tahiti
1840s: Tahiti becomes a French protectorate
1880: Tahiti becomes a French colony
Universal Exposition, Paris, 1889
Palais des machines, Universal Exposition, Paris 1889
Egyptian Bazaar and Cairo Street, Universal Exposition, Paris, 1889
Gauguin imagining Tahiti in 1889: “With the money I’ll have, I can buy a native
hut, like the ones you saw at the Universal Exposition. Made of wood and clay,
thatched over (near a town, yet in the country). That costs next to nothing …
I’ll go out there and live withdrawn from the so-called civilized world and
frequent only so-called savages.”
Gauguin, The Vision after the Sermon - - Jacob Wrestling with the Angel, 1888
Gauguin describing Tahiti: “Such a beautiful night it is. Thousands of
persons are doing the same as I do this night; abandoning themselves to
sheer living … The Tahitian soil is becoming quite French, and the old order
is gradually disappearing. Our missionaries have already introduced a good
deal of Protestant hypocrisy and are destroying a part of the country, not
to mention the pox which has attacked the whole race ...” (Gauguin, letter
to his wife Mette, 1891)
Paul Gauguin, Vahine no te Tiare - - Woman with
a Flower, Tahiti, 1891
Gauguin, Siesta, Tahiti, c. 1893
Gauguin, Where Do We Come From? Where Are We? Where Are We Going?, 1897

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