Woman of Martinique
Hartmann of Martinique (attrib.)
A very fine carte-de-visite portrait of an elderly black woman of Martinique, resplendent in a striped turban, earrings and necklaces. An inked inscription verso in a period hand reads: ‘Type de négresse / Martinique.’
Situated in the Caribbean Sea, the island of Martinique is an overseas department of France. It is therefore a part of the European Union and its currency today is the euro. Most of Martinique's population is descended from African slaves brought to work on sugar plantations during the colonial era, generally mixed with some French, Amerindian, Indian (Tamil), Lebanese or Chinese elements.
Photographer unidentified, but probably Hartmann of Martinique.
Hippolyte Hartmann was a daguerreotypist who settled on Martinique and sometimes worked in the neighbouring colonies. The business was later taken over A.H. Hartmann, probably the son of Hippolyte, and he also travelled throughout the Caribbean recording the inhabitants of Suriname, British Guiana, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Haiti.
Condition: the print presents a few small imperfections in the area of the background but is otherwise in excellent condition, as is the mount.