Slave Market

April 2nd, 2009

This is a painting done by an unknown American artist. The actual date this was painted is unknown, but it was created right before the Civil War, sometime between the years of 1850 and 1860. There is a steam boat in the background, meaning that this possibly depicts a scene in Mississippi. This is an oil painting that was done on canvas. The size of this painting is H: 29 3/4 x W: 39 1/2. The official name of this painting is Slave Market. No one knows who painted this picture, which is strange since artists usually sign their name.

This painting has a lot of meaning behind it. First, it shows the importance of the slave market in 19th century America. Secondly, it shows how controversially slavery was, eventually leading to the eruption of the Civil War. This painting shows that the artist is anti-slavery. This can be concluded because the painting shows the cruelty of the slave market. In this painting you can see the grief of the slaves that are being seperated from their families. Behind the woman slave, you can see the master whipping her as her child is laying on the pavement. Behind the male slave, the master is pulling at his hair and arm. While all this commotion is going on, the white people in the background are just simply watching and conversing with each other. This painting depicts the cruelty of slavery and it shows why slavery should be abolished. The woman in the pink dress could possibly be a mulatto, which signifies the sexual relationships between whites and blacks during the 19th Century.

This painting is currently housed in Gallery 3 in the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. This painting was given to the museum by Mrs. W. Fitch Ingersoll.

Comments are closed.