<< YCBA Home Yale Center for British Art Yale Center for British Art << YCBA Home

YCBA Collections Search

IIIF Actions
Agostino Brunias, 1728–1796
A Linen Market with a Linen-stall and Vegetable Seller in the West Indies
ca. 1780
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
21 5/8 x 30 inches (54.9 x 76.2 cm), Frame: 26 3/8 × 34 3/8 × 2 inches (67 × 87.3 × 5.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
babies | bananas | children | cigarette and tobacco boxes | costume | dwellings | food | genre subject | landscape | linen | men | selling | women
Associated Places:
West Indies
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

The linen market was a recurrent theme in the work of Agostino Brunias. His detailed depictions of the buying and selling of textiles—manufactured in Britain for export to the Caribbean and Africa—were calculated to showcase the prosperity of the British-controlled West Indies, and the islands’ active participation in the global economy. Brunias’s careful depictions of dress and race draw on ethnological images of racial and social types that were popular in Europe, yet his figures also function as individuals actively negotiating their place in society. Dress was a form of resistance and means of establishing autonomy among the enslaved and free people of color. Brunias gave particular prominence to figures of women, who are often well dressed and stride confidently through the bustling chaos of the public marketplaces. Surrounded by people and goods from around the world, they are an integral part of the islands’ commercial and social life.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Caribbean - Crossroads of the World (Perez Art Museum Miami, - ) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Historias Afro-Atlanticas (Instituto Tomie Ohtake, 2018-06-28 - 2018-10-21) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

American Adversaries - West and Copley in a Transatlantic World (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2013-09-22 - 2014-01-19) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Caribbean - Crossroads of the World (El Museo del Barrio, 2012-06-12 - 2013-01-06) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Amanda Michaela Bagneris, Coloring the Caribbean : Agostino Brunias and the Painting of Race in the British West Indes, 1765-1800 [PhD Dissertation, Harvard University], Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2009, pp. 148, 238, fig.41, available online via Proquest [ORBIS]

Mia L. Bagneris, Colouring the Caribbean : Race and the Art of Agostino Brunias, Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2018, pp. 67, 69, 90n.89, 134n.61, fig. 14, NJ18.B84652 B34 2018 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, Still Thinking about Olympia's Maid, Art Bulletin, vol. 97, College Art Association of America, Inc., New York, NY, December 2015, p. 451, fig. 59, available online via Art Bulletin Online [ORBIS]

Erica James, Re-worlding a World : Caribbean Art in the Global Imaginary [PhD Dissertation, Duke University], Durham, North Carolina, 2008, pp. 229-30, fig. 82, available online via ProQuest [ORBIS]

Sotheby's sale catalogue : Topographical Paintings, Watercolours and Drawings : 27 May 1988, Sotheby's, London, May 27, 1988, p. 76, Lot 155, Auction Catalogues (YCBA)

Kaylin H. Weber, American Adversaries : West and Copley in a Transatlantic World, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, 2013, pp. 168, 170-171, fig. 159, NJ18.W52 A5 47 2013 (HAAS) [ORBIS]

If you have information about this object that may be of assistance please contact us.