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Colouring the CaribbeanRace and the Art of Agostino Brunias$
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Mia L. Bagneris

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526120458

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526120458.001.0001

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Brown-skinned booty, or colonising Diana: mixed-race Venuses and Vixens as the fruits of imperial enterprise

Brown-skinned booty, or colonising Diana: mixed-race Venuses and Vixens as the fruits of imperial enterprise

Chapter:
(p.136) 3 Brown-skinned booty, or colonising Diana: mixed-race Venuses and Vixens as the fruits of imperial enterprise
Source:
Colouring the Caribbean
Author(s):

Mia L. Bagneris

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526120458.003.0004

Brunias is most famous for his images of mixed-race women. This chapter considers the virtual omnipresence of the ‘mulatress’ in the artist’s Caribbean pictures. K. Dian Kriz has argued that the ambiguous racial and social status of the mulatress figures served as a visual metaphor allowing Brunias to capture the state of the colonial West Indies – a locale popularly associated with laziness, leisure, luxury, licentiousness, and other forms of moral laxity. Building on Kriz’s work, the chapter asserts that the mulatress appealed to Brunias because of her ability to represent both the baser pleasures and profits to be taken in the Caribbean and the islands’ potential to conform to British ideals of societal refinement.

Keywords:   Mulatress, Mixed race, Female body, K. Dian Kriz

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