Michael Graham-Stewart collection, Special collections

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The Voyage of the Sable Venus from Angola to the West Indies

Michael Graham-Stewart collection

Object connections:

Collection Michael Graham-Stewart collection, Special collections
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleMaker: Grainger, W.
Maker: Stothard, Thomas

Object details:

Object ID ZBA2520
Description This etching is a plate by Thomas Stothard from the third edition of Bryan Edwards’ 'The history, civil and commercial, of the British colonies in the West Indies', (1801). Thomas Stothard was a highly prolific artist and book illustrator. Inspired by Sandro Botticelli’s fifteenth-century masterpiece 'The Birth of Venus', Stothard presents an African woman (the ‘Sable Venus’) standing on a half-shell, attended by cherubs, being towed by dolphins to the Americas. To the left is Triton carrying the British flag and guiding the procession across the ocean, looking the woman. This depiction of the Middle Passage there is no reference to the horrors endured by those transported across the Atlantic on slave ships.
Date made circa 1800

Artist/Maker Grainger, W.
Stothard, Thomas
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Michael Graham-Stewart Slavery Collection. Acquired with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund
Materials etching with engraving
Measurements Sheet: 260 mm x 207 mm; Image: 203 mm x 164 mm
  • The Voyage of the Sable Venus from Angola to the West Indies (ZBA2520)
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