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Jean-Baptiste Belley

A work made of black chalk, with stumping, and traces of pen and black ink, heightened with touches of opaque white, on ivory wove paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of black chalk, with stumping, and traces of pen and black ink, heightened with touches of opaque white, on ivory wove paper.

Date:

c. 1797

Artist:

Attributed to Anne-Louis Girodet de Roucy-Trioson
French, 1767-1824

About this artwork

Sold into slavery as a boy, Jean-Baptiste Belley (1746–1805) bought his freedom in 1764. Belley fought in the American War of Independence and served as a captain in the French army during the Haitian Revolution (1791–1804) fighting to abolish slavery on the island of Saint-Domingue (now Hispaniola). In 1793 he was elected to the National Convention in Paris, becoming its first black deputy.
Belley wears the uniform of a representative to the Convention. As we know from the painting for which this is a highly finished study or copy drawing, his hat feathers and sash are the colors of the French Republic: blue, white, and red. He leans against a marble plinth supporting a bust of the French philosopher and enemy of slavery Guillaume Raynal (1713–1796).

Status

On loan to Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown for Guillaume Lethiere and his Worlds

Department

Prints and Drawings

Artist

Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson

Title

Jean-Baptiste Belley

Place

France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

1787–1824

Medium

Black chalk, with stumping, and traces of pen and black ink, heightened with touches of opaque white, on ivory wove paper

Dimensions

36.9 × 30.3 cm (14 9/16 × 11 15/16 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by the Joseph and Helen Regenstein Foundation

Reference Number

1973.156

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/44272/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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