Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Slave Trade by Auguste-Francois Biard
This painting was finished around 1840.  During this time slaves and slave trade was still legal in French countries.  This perticular painting is about the trading of slaves.  You can see a faint image of a boat in the background and with the tilt of the picture and the fact that there standing on wood indicates that the poeple in the foreground are on a boat too. 
I really like the strong contrast between the sun set and the figures in the forground.  The figures are arranged in a crazy composition.  The blacks are very overpowering.  The shadows are darkened and where the light is present the highlights are brightened.  The characters are all very different.  Their are many different types of slaves and what appears to be buyers of the slaves.  These elements give the sense of how the trade was crazy, and dark.  Last, i would like to talk about the sunset.  It is almost like an oxymoron, because its a beautiful sunset but its of a ship that symbolizes the dark days of the slave trade.   

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