People of Color in European Art History


  1. 
British (English) school
Portrait of Abd el-Ouahed ben Messaoud ben Mohammed Anoun, Moroccan Ambassador to Queen Elizabeth I
England (1600)
Oil on canvas
113 x 87.6 cm 

Elizabeth Ives (elizives@gmail.com) submitted to medievalpoc:


 Portrait of Abd el-Ouahed ben Messaoud ben Mohammed Anoun, Moroccan Ambassador to Queen Elizabeth I 

From The British Museum:

The striking portrait of Abd el-Ouahed ben Messaoud ben Mohammed Anoun, Moroccan Ambassador to Queen Elizabeth I, depicts the head of a delegation of soldiers from Barbary who came to London in 1600 on a state visit. The presence of these men had a great impact on London at the time. They were a source of fascination and of fear. El-Ouahed and his men were in the city for six months and would certainly have been known to Shakespeare: they may well have informed the character of Othello, the soldier and ‘noble moor’.
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Note: it is unlikely this was the model for Othello, since Othello is a Black character.
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