Brooklyn Museum Acquires 18th Century Painting by Agostino Brunias Depicting Colonial Elite

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BROOKLYN, NY.- The Brooklyn Museum has acquired, by purchase from the London Gallery Robilant + Voena, Agostino Brunias’s (1730-1796) painting Free Women of Color with Their Children and Servants in a Landscape, (circa 1764-96), a portrait of the eighteenth-century mixed-race colonial elite of the island of Dominica in the West Indies. Brunias, a London-based Italian painter, left England at the height of his career to chronicle Dominica, then one of Britain’s newest colonies in the Lesser Antilles. The painting depicts two richly dressed mixed race women, one of whom was possibly the wife of the artist’s patron. They are shown accompanied by their mother and their children, along with eight African servants, as they walk on the grounds of a sugar plantation, one of the agricultural estates that were Dominica’s chief source of wealth. Brunias documents