"L'African Hospitalier" & "Traite de Nêgres" after George Morland

Code: 11010


H: 51.7cm (20.4")W: 59.5cm (23.4")


"L'African Hospitalier" & "Traite de Nêgres"  
A very scarce pair of 18th Century French abolitionist tinted stipple engravings 
George Morland (1763–1804) (After) 
Engraved by Citoyenne Rollet (fl 1794)
Published in Paris by François Jules Gabriel Depeuille

51.7 cm x 59.5 cm (each) (framed)

A pair of 18th Century prints, French stipple-engraved versions of English mezzotints, contrasting the hospitality shown to shipwrecked Europeans by Africans and the enslavement of Africans by Europeans. Presented in what are probably their original French, black-lacquered and parcel gilt frames.

"L'African Hospitalier"
Lettered below image with title and text "Les Noirs sont d'un caractère doux et humain, au milieu des horreurs de la guerre, ils sont toujours restés fidels à la France, j'apporte ici leur Serment de vivre et de mourir français: Législateurs rendez nos frères à leurs droits naturels, et vos noms y seront bénis (Extrait du Discours prononcé à la Convention Natle. par in homme de cordeur, le 16 Pluvôise, l'an 2me. [4 February 1794] de la Rebublique français une et indivisible."  Artist's details: "Painted by G. Morland", ""Gravé par la Citne. Rollet" and publication line: "Se vend á Paris chez Depeuille Rue Franciade, Section Bon-Conseil No.52."

"Traite de Nêgres"
Lettered below image with title and text "quel contrat infâme, l'un marchande ce qui n'appartient à personne, l'autre vend la propriété de la nature" / "Ce nil métier a été aboli par la Convention Nationale le 16 Pluvoise, l'an 2me. de la Rebublique français une et indivisible" [4 February 1794]. Artist's details: "Painted by G. Morland", ""Gravé par la Citne. Rollet" and publication line: "á Paris chez Depeuille Rue St Denis Section Bon-Conseil."

A rare pair of French published, abolitionist stipple engravings, after original paintings by George Morland, dealing with the highly emotive subject of slavery. The pictures juxtapose African benevolence with European brutality and were first engraved in mezzotint in England by John Raphael Smith in 1790 (published in 1791) as "African Hospitality" and "The Slave Trade". George Morland is an artist normally associated with sentimental rural subjects and rustic sporting scenes, he exhibited the "Slave Trade" painting at the Royal Academy in 1788 under the title "Execrable human traffic. Or the affectionate slaves": it is widely regarded as the first painting to record a slave trading scene. He subsequently painted "African Hospitality" as a companion-piece which he exhibited at the Society of Artists in 1790 alongside a proof of John Raphael Smith's mezzotint. Morland's "Slave Trade" gave a substantial boost to the Abolitionist cause, only a year after the founding of the "Society for the Abolition of the Slave trade" (formed in London on 22 May 1787).

These French stipple engraving seem to have been published to accompany the 'décret d'abolition de l'esclavage dans les colonies françaises' of 4 February 1794, a revolutionary act which abolished slavery in all French colonies and therefore stole a march on British abolitionism (it was repealed under Napoleon in 1802). The engraver "Citizen Rollet" was clearly a supporter of the revolution and abolitionism and produced other prints in 1794 relating to the emancipation of enslaved people (which include "Toi enfin sera heureux" and "Le Negre Armé". She may possibly the have been mother to (or aunt of) the printmaker Louis René Lucien Rollet (1809-1862). 

Scarce. See British Museum [1865,0812.4] & [1865,0812.3]