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Daryle Williams

artist’s model who posed for an allegory of the Law of the Free Womb executed by Francisco Manuel Chaves Pinheiro (1822–1884), professor of sculpture at the Academia Imperial de Belas Artes (Imperial Academy of Fine Arts; AIBA) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The archival records are thin, without documentation concerning Francisca Roza’s date or place of birth; the circumstances of her death are unknown. Nonetheless, contextual evidence points to the dynamics of enslavement in nineteenth-century Brazil. An inability to sign her name, the inconsistent use of a family name, and the surname itself (de Jesus) were common traits of a liberta (freedwoman) in Brazilian slave society. Francisca Roza, moreover, can be placed among the many women and men—mostly free, but some slaves or former slaves—employed as artist’s models in the regular art classes, qualifying examinations, and concursos competitive job selections offered by the premier fine arts school ...