People of Color in European Art History


  1. One of the most durable paradoxes of white supremacy - the idea that those who are closest to an experience of oppression are its least credible witnesses.

    Walter Johnson, Soul by soul: life inside the antebellum slave market
    (via drapetomaniakkk)

    This is the type of violence—from microaggressions to epistemic violence to emotional/physical violence to enslavement/genocide—that gets justified by asserting that the oppressor is “objective” and “logical” and thereby “credible.” As if there is objectivity in choosing to oppress. As if the emotions of entitlement, indifference, greed or hatred aren’t involved. 

    (via gradientlair)

    (via tiarasofspanishmoss)

  2. WoC in Solidarity Mod Post: “Colored People” vs. “People of Color”

    wocinsolidarity:

    We recently got an ask from someone who was wondering if we could (privately) please explain the difference between saying “colored people” and “people of color.” This, in tandem with the amount of asks we’ve gotten where people use the term “colored person” I thought it was important to make this clear for why we don’t like this term. And even though this is easily Google-able, we’re sick and tired of seeing people using this in our askbox so here’s a one stop source. 

    The term “colored people” has been around for a loooooong time. White people used it to mean anyone who was nonwhite, but was mostly used to refer to black people in a derogatory and patronizing way. “Colored people” was invented by white people in order to be Othering and discriminatory. Now we understand the term means something different in some places, but when we hear/refer to this term, the definition we just gave you is the one that matters to us. 

    The term “people of color”  as we use it today is much more recent, gaining popularity in the 1970s and 1980s in order to mean any person who is nonwhite. Franz Fanon is often credited as first using the term in order to talk about racism in a more inclusive way. “People of color” as we know it was coined in order to connect “minorities” (ugh) in order to celebrate our differences while acknowledging the racism and prejudices that we all face.

    Some people do not like the term PoC because it can be erasing if individual groups and people, but I think it’s more about being in solidarity with one another. It is a term that we have created and that we chose to identify as. Sometimes PoC use the term “colored people” to refer to themselves or their works (like Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf) and that’s okay because that’s our word to reclaim and our word to use.

    But at the end of the day if someone is asking you not to call them something because it is offensive then do not call them that. We do not want to be referred to as “colored women,” and will delete any ask that comes at us using the term “colored people.” So stop using it.  

    - the mods 

    It’s looking like I need to post something about this again…

  3. Gesina ter Borch
Study of a Young Boy
Holland (1654)
Rijksmuseum Collection
[x] [x] [x]

    Gesina ter Borch

    Study of a Young Boy

    Holland (1654)

    Rijksmuseum Collection

    [x] [x] [x]

  4. William Cornelisz
Family Group (detail)
Holland (c. 1631)
Oil on Panel, 56.5 cm × 73.4 cm.
Rijksmuseum Collection

    William Cornelisz

    Family Group (detail)

    Holland (c. 1631)

    Oil on Panel, 56.5 cm × 73.4 cm.

    Rijksmuseum Collection

  5. distant-relatives-blog:

     The University of Sankoré, or Sankore Masjid is one of three ancient centers of learning located in TimbuktuMaliWest Africa. The three mosques of Sankoré, Djinguereber Mosque and Sidi Yahya compose the famous University of Timbuktu. During the 14th -16th century, Sankore University enrolled more foreigen students than New York University today. 

    The Mali Empire gained direct control over the city of Timbuktu in 1324 during the reign of Mansa Kankou Musa also known as Musa I “King of Kings”. He designed and saw the construction of one of Sankore’s first great mosques and the Jingeray Ber Masjid in 1327.The foundations of the previous structure were laid around 988 A.D. on the orders of the city’s chief judge Al-Qadi Aqib ibn Mahmud ibn Umar. A local mandinka lady, esteemed for her wealth, financed his plans to turn Sankoré into a world class learning institution. 

    By the end of Mansa Musa’s reign (early 14th century CE), the Sankoré Masjid had been converted into a fully staffed Madrassa (Islamic school or in this case university) with the largest collections of books in Africa since the Library of Alexandria. The level of learning at Timbuktu’s Sankoré University was superior to that of all other Islamic centers in the world. The Sankoré Masjid was capable of housing 25,000 students and had one of the largest libraries in the world with between 400,000 to 700,000 manuscripts.

    Today, the intellectual legacy of Timbuktu is neglected in historical discourse. These pages of WORLD history tend to get ripped out.   

    Learn more about the surviving manuscripts of the library of Timbuktu and its fate here.

    (via talesofthestarshipregeneration)

  6. Caspar Luyken
Kangxi (king of China)
Holland (1698)
Etching; Print on paper; 172 x 112 mm.
Rijksmuseum Collection

    Caspar Luyken

    Kangxi (king of China)

    Holland (1698)

    Etching; Print on paper; 172 x 112 mm.

    Rijksmuseum Collection

  7. Jan Mijtens
Portrait of Margaretha van Raephorst with Servant (detail)
Holland (c. 1650)
Oil on Canvas, 135 × 105cm.
Rijksmuseum Collection

    Jan Mijtens

    Portrait of Margaretha van Raephorst with Servant (detail)

    Holland (c. 1650)

    Oil on Canvas, 135 × 105cm.

    Rijksmuseum Collection

  8. whatlander:

    medievalpoc:

    ^ This is the British Library Digitized Manuscripts Site.

    A lot of people have asked about my process doing research for medievalpoc. I use a lot of resources and tools that are readily available for anyone to use, and this is one of them. There are thousands of manuscripts available to just page through and zoom in on, as if you had the book right in front of you.

    If the idea of searching through endless lists of titles and numbers is daunting to you, the Digitized Medieval Manuscripts Collection has a blog.

    The blog makes topical posts with images of the manuscripts according to those topics, and then links to the full manuscripts, so you can go looking at them yourself:

    image

    Like so:

    image

    You can learn what the heck a Leucrota is supposed to be here.

    They also have a Twitter.

    One of the best things about medievalpoc is that I get to see people get excited about art and history, and if you decide you’d like to go exploring, this is a great place to do that. I think the manuscript viewer is relatively user-friendly, and there’s a ton of information about the histories of the manuscripts themselves there, too.

    I wish I could know how the people who illuminated these would react if you told them that one day their books would be duplicated into an incoporeal form that anyone in the world can summon at will with the right equipment.

    Well, considering none of the above creatures actually exist, seems like they’d probably take it in stride. ;) Magic and dragons kinda go together TBH

  9. Looking Further

    mickiperspicacious submitted to medievalpoc:

    Hi medievalpoc! Great blog, been following for a while now. It’s really helped me become more aware of diverse representation not only in medieval and Renaissance art, but in all aspects of modern society as well. (As an English teacher, I especially loved Fiction Week!)

    Just one example — while preparing for a lecture on early American journalism, I searched the Library of Congress website for photos of people setting type (as they did in the “old days” for newspapers). At first I found a bunch of photos of white men typesetters, but I decided I wanted to look further. As it turns out, at the bottom of the page was a photo of three black students setting type for a student newspaper in Washington, D.C. in 1942! I was very pleased and was reminded of this blog. Keep on doing what you do!

    [Source]

    P.S. I know this isn’t related to medieval/renaissance art, but I thought I’d share anyway, or at least let you know that your blog has inspired people in many different ways!

    Thank you for the kind words and this great submission!

    It’s been my hope that even people outside art/history disciplines can find inspiration here, to look and think critically about how people of color are (or aren’t) represented in their disciplines (or media they’re interested in). The more people who do this sort of thinking and questioning, the closer we are to seeing a real change. Where it’s in the way that museum displays are set up, what authors we choose as “examples” of genres, or even just making google image searches more inclusive, taking the time to look a little further is almost always going to be worth it.

    Thank you again.

  10. skemono submitted to medievalpoc:

Philippe Vignon
Françoise-Marie de Bourbon, Mademoiselle de Blois, et Louise-Françoise de Bourbon, Mademoiselle de Nantes
France (date unknown, ca. last quarter of the 17th century)
Château de Versailles
Françoise Marie (the blonde on the left) and Louise Françoise (the brunette on the right) were legitimized daughters of Louis XIV and his mistress, Françoise-Athénaïs, marquise de Montespan.
[X] [X] [X] [X]

    skemono submitted to medievalpoc:

    Philippe Vignon

    Françoise-Marie de Bourbon, Mademoiselle de Blois, et Louise-Françoise de Bourbon, Mademoiselle de Nantes

    France (date unknown, ca. last quarter of the 17th century)

    Château de Versailles

    Françoise Marie (the blonde on the left) and Louise Françoise (the brunette on the right) were legitimized daughters of Louis XIV and his mistress, Françoise-Athénaïs, marquise de Montespan.

    [X] [X] [X] [X]