ABSTRACT

“The Unknown Painter” is an antislavery short story that first appeared in the mid-1830s. Its author, original place of publication, and date remain undetermined. It concerns the Spanish artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo and his black slave, the painter Sebastián Gómez. This paper analyzes the nineteenth-century publication history of the story, its translations, and the ideologies of its revisions and republications. The analysis pays particular attention to racial content, its revision in Frederick Douglass’ Paper, the zombie sub-theme, and translations.

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