Portrait of a Couple in Suriname, J.L. Riker, c. 1846
The young man is the 33-year-old Ghana-born Johannes Ellis, his wife the Surinamese Maria Louisa de Hart, then aged 19. The couple’s dress is rich and fashionable. According to tradition, the portrait dates from 1845 (the year they married), but, in fact, it must have been made in Paramaribo the following spring, when two travelling American daguerreotypists visited South America’s ‘Wild Coast’.