Reading Art: Picturing Colonial Rio de Janeiro

image of a Brazilian postage stamp honoring Debret

In 1816, artist Jean-Baptiste Debret (1768-1848) traveled from Paris to Rio de Janeiro at the invitation of King D. João VI as part of the French Artistic Mission. Debret, along with other European artists of the project, created a visual record of colonial Rio de Janeiro. His work dating from 1816-1831 is considered to be one of the most prolific records of slavery in Brazil.