Frans Post was one of the artists who travelled to Brazil with Johan Maurits. This landscape with a view of Itamaracá Island is the first painting that we know of by Post. And the first that a European painter made of Brazil.
Standing by the water are four men: two Portuguese and two enslaved Africans. Their presence makes the painting more than just a simple Brazilian landscape – Post inadvertently shows us that the inequality between black and white was linked to skin colour.
on the verso of the original canvas: Het Eijlant ITamaraca gelijck / het selve int Zuijden ver thoont de / stadt legt boven op den Berg beneden / is het Fort orangien het welck leit / inden mont van de Zee op dese / manier sitten de Portugisen de peert / No 443
Painted in Brazil for Johan Maurits; presumably part of his gift to King Louis XIV of France, 1679; Eugène Odinot, Paris, 1879; purchased by the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (inv. no. SK-A-4271), 1879; on long-term loan from the Rijksmuseum, since 1953
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