Slave Auction at Richmond, Virginia (1856)

'Slave auction at Richmond, Virginia', by Eyre Crowe (1856)

'Slave auction at Richmond, Virginia', by Eyre Crowe (1856)

Medium: pen and ink

This piece of artwork exists in a pen and ink sketch, engraved and published in the Illustrated London News on 27 September 1856. It accompanied an essay written by Crowe entitled ‘Sketches in the Free and Slave States of America’, which began with the statement that ‘no pen, we think, can adequately delineate the choking sense of horror which overcomes one on first witnessing these degrading spectacles’. It is not known whether a full painting of this exact scene was ever produced, but a similar painting, Slaves Waiting for Sale: Richmond, Virginia, appeared at the British Academy exhibition in 1861.

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