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Picturing CubaArt, Culture, and Identity on the Island and in the Diaspora$
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Jorge Duany

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781683400905

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683400905.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

Between Civilization and Barbarism

Between Civilization and Barbarism

Víctor Patricio de Landaluze’s Paintings during the Ten Years’ War in Cuba (1868–1878)

(p.30) 2 Between Civilization and Barbarism
Picturing Cuba

E. Carmen Ramos

University Press of Florida

Art historian and curator E. Carmen Ramos focuses on the pioneering but problematic work of the nineteenth-century Spanish painter and caricaturist, Víctor Patricio de Landaluze, who spent much of his adult life in colonial Cuba. Despite his opposition to Cuba’s independence from Spain, Landaluze was one of the leading practitioners of costumbrismo (genre painting, or the literary and artistic representation of local customs) on the island, portraying human “types” such as Creole landowners, slaves, former slaves, mulatas, and guajiros (peasants). By the end of the nineteenth century, Landaluze had documented many aspects of Afro-Cuban daily life—including religion, music, and dance—all while, according to Ramos’s analysis, perpetuating the racial stereotypes of African savagery that was common in other former slave societies such as Brazil, the United States, and Puerto Rico. A close look at one of Landaluze’s most famous paintings, Corte de caña (Cutting Sugar Cane, 1874), reveals the racial anxieties among the peninsular Spanish, as well as some members of the Creole elite, provoked by the slaves’ emancipation and the war of national liberation in Cuba.

Keywords:   Genre painting, Colonial Cuba, Afro-Cuban culture, Slaves, Víctor Patricio de Landaluze

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