Monday, May 24, 2010

(Social) Realism: Trinidad and Tobago

Jean Michael Cazabon (1813 – 1888)
Jean Michael Cazabon (September 20, 1813 – November 20, 1888) is regarded as the first great Trinidadian Painter and is Trinidad's first internationally known artist. He is also known as the layman painter. He is renowned for his paintings of Trinidad scenery and for his portraits of planters, merchants and their family in the 19th century. Cazabon's paintings are to be cherished not only for their beauty but also their historical importance: his painting has left us with a clear picture of the many aspects of life in Trinidad through much of the nineteenth century. Cazabon’s greatness was not in developing a new style of painting but recording life and events with a virtuoso's magic touch. His importance not only as a West Indian artist, but also as an historian, has for too long been ignored.

Cazabon relied on nature to expose the vistas which the plains of the Caroni and the tropical forests at Chagaramas are idyllic in spender. His portraits of the mulattoes, indenture Indians and Negroes where the bases of debate, and whether the painter immortalized these people because he felt a personal bond with them rather less than the European Creoles which no stately portraits were ever recorded.

World (Social) Realist Art (Index of Countries)
This blog page is part of an ongoing project by artist and part-time lecturer Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin ( to explore Realist / Social Realist art from around the world. The term Realism is used in its broadest sense to include 19th century Realism and Naturalism as well as 20th century Impressionism (which after all was following in the path of Courbet and Millet). Social Realism covers art that seeks to examine the living and working conditions of ordinary people (examples include German Expressionism, American Ashcan School and the Mexican Muralists).

Click here for (Social) Realist Art Definitions, World (Social) Realism and Global Solidarity, Art and Politics, Social Realism in history and Country Index.

Suggestions for appropriate artists from around the world welcome to

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