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Paulo Knauss de Mendonça

also known by the French cognate “Horace,” an African slave who served as an anthropological model in nineteenth-century Brazilian fine arts, was born in 1811. He was reportedly Cassange, an ethnic-locational marker assigned to enslaved Africans from a region of an ancient kingdom in the Cuango River Valley (at the northern border of contemporary Angola) where an extensive slave market existed. There is no archival reference about his family. However, it is known that at the age of 5, Horácio was purchased as a slave by a man named Desmarais. It is also known that at the age of 45, the slave Horácio was established in Rio de Janeiro, capital of the Brazilian empire, where he served as a slave and cook for the family of the French dealer who had purchased him as a child.

In 1856 Horácio met the French sculptor Louis Rochet (1813–1878 visiting ...