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Hacienda La Fortuna

Francisco Oller

European Art

Francisco Oller’s painting depicts a Puerto Rican sugarcane mill (or ingenio), a major source of wealth for those who settled in the Spanish colonies in the Caribbean. The mill’s Spanish owner commissioned this landscape, which features figures tending to the fields and preparing the crop for sale, as industrial smoke is released into an otherwise clear, blue sky. Oller painted this image well after Puerto Rico abolished slavery in 1873, and the relatively few workers on the mill grounds suggest the growing obsolescence of a production system that relied on forced labor.

Among the most celebrated painters to emerge from the Caribbean region in the nineteenth century, Oller spent a number of years living and studying in Paris, where he absorbed and reconfigured the radical styles of Realism, with its democratic approach to everyday subject matter, and Impressionism, with its emphasis on spontaneous and momentary effects of light and atmosphere. Together these movements helped Oller form a unique artistic vision of his native Puerto Rico.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES 1885
DIMENSIONS 26 x 40 in. (66 x 101.6 cm) Frame: 33 x 49 x 3 in. (83.8 x 124.5 x 7.6 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of Lilla Brown in memory of her husband, John W. Brown, by exchange
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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CAPTION Francisco Oller (Puerto Rican, 1833-1917). Hacienda La Fortuna, 1885. Oil on canvas, 26 x 40 in. (66 x 101.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Lilla Brown in memory of her husband, John W. Brown, by exchange, 2012.19 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2012.19_PS6.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 2012.19_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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