Art Hx: Visual and Medical Legacies of British Colonialism

A colored aquatint shows a scythe's blade curved in the shape of a semicircle. Underneath the blade is a skeletal beast-like figure holding an hourglass labeled "Yellow Fever" with diseased bodies labeled "Sore Throat" and "Dry Gripes" at its left and right. Dark insects and snakes populate the semicircle's dark background. Arched above are a number of seated, reclining, and standing white colonists. A winged elderly figure hovers above in the sky holding a bottle of opium, and the sun and zodiac symbols for cancer and leo are behind him. The work is labeled "The Torrid Zone" above the print, and below "Or, the Blessings of Jamaica."

Title: The Torrid Zone, or, Blessings of Jamaica (A parody astrological diagram showing opposing aspects of the life of settlers in Jamaica: langorous noons and the hells of yellow fever)

Artist/Maker: Abraham James

Date: October 1, 1800

Source: Wellcome Collection

Copyright/Permissions: A parody astrological diagram showing opposing aspects of the life of settlers in Jamaica: langorous noons and the hells of yellow fever. Coloured aquatint after A.James, 1800.. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Location(s): Jamaica; 50 Oxford Street, London, England

 

Art Hx