The Slave Trade
For weggis. This detail of a female slave being branded with a red-hot iron on board a slave ship is taken from The Slave Trade by Francois Auguste Biard (1840). This painting is most unusual in being both a beautiful work of art and a powerful piece of propaganda. It also challenges the viewer, not in the sense of making it difficult for the viewer to comprehend the work, which is all too easy to understand, but in directly challenging the viewer's humanity. Biard's avoidance of melodrama increases the power of his visual message. No one bought this painting. So Biard gave it to an abolitionist.