Mameluke with a basket of flowers, 1641
Albert Eckhout was the first European painter in Brazil. Eckhout was an official painter, hired by Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen, a prince of the House of Orange. These paintings tell us much about Brazil in the first half of the seventeenth century, and but also about the activities of the Dutch, and Dutch perceptions of the colony. The reason why they were there was to grow sugar – so it was a colony with slaves. The background of this painting shows the sugar cane plantation, but does not show the slaves that laboured there. This is typical of colonial painting, which tended to depict an idealised picture of the New World.
Eckhout, Albert, Mameluke with a basket of flowers, 1641. Listed in Global History Reader: http://chnm.gmu.edu/global-history/index.php/2013/07/16/ecology-environm...