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).

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson

Title

Jean-Baptiste Belley

Origin

France

Date

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

369 × 303 mm

Credit Line

Restricted gift of the Joseph and Helen Regenstein Foundation

Reference Number

1973.156

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 .

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