People of Color in European Art History

  1. Francesco Lorenzi

    The Madonna and Child Appearing to a Lame Noblewoman

    Easel Painting / Identified Artist

    Italy (c. 1750s)

    oils on canvas

    66 cm (26 in) x 86 cm (33 3/4 in)

    Image of the Black in Western Art (Harvard University)

    This 18th century painting of a fairly diverse group of fortunates experiencing a visitation by the Holy Virgin makes me think of today’s misconception that some media “tries too hard to be diverse”, or rather, angry overrepresented people who get put out when every single media depiction of a human being does not look exactly like them.

    In fact, this disgruntled constituency may be pictured here, seeming more interested in pouting than witnessing a fairly singular miracle:



    The Image of the Black in Western Art Research Project and Photo Archive, W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Harvard University