Slaves Fighting, Brazil, ca. 1820-24
Painted by Augustus Earle (1793-1838); original in National Library of Australia, Canberra (nla.pic-an2822650)
This picture is Water colour on paper and is entitled "Negroes fighting, Brazils." Although the word "fighting" is in the artist's title, the men's body movements are those of Capoeira, a martial art practised by the enslaved in dance form. Several onlookers are shown, including a woman carrying an infant, and a policeman/soldier approaching the scene; note the drum shown by the seated man, the source of music for this performance. Augustus Earle, an English painter, lived in Rio de Janeiro from 1820 to 1824.