People of Color in European Art History


  1. madamefaust submitted to medievalpoc:

I know it’s not 1800s week, but this gentleman is currently on display at the Newport Antiques Show in Newport, RI and I didn’t want to forget about him or his fabulous eyebrows by the time 1800s week happened.
John BlanchardThomas Howland
United States, 1850-1857 [x]
Thomas Howland was a resident of Providence, Rhode Island who worked as a stevedore and became the first black elected official in the city when he was elected warden of Providence’s Third Ward. He was denied a passport on the basis that he was a person of “African extraction” and thus “not deemed [a citizen] of the United States” - again, this man was an elected official, in addition to being a citizen with voting rights. In 1857, he and his wife and daughter left Providence for Liberia where his wife became a teacher and Howland worked as a sugar manufacturer. 

That is really cool! I’m going to post this (even though it’s actually an American painting), since this painting’s going to be on display this weekend at the Newport Antiques Show, in case anyone wants to go see it in person!

    madamefaust submitted to medievalpoc:

    I know it’s not 1800s week, but this gentleman is currently on display at the Newport Antiques Show in Newport, RI and I didn’t want to forget about him or his fabulous eyebrows by the time 1800s week happened.

    John Blanchard

    Thomas Howland

    United States, 1850-1857 [x]

    Thomas Howland was a resident of Providence, Rhode Island who worked as a stevedore and became the first black elected official in the city when he was elected warden of Providence’s Third Ward. He was denied a passport on the basis that he was a person of “African extraction” and thus “not deemed [a citizen] of the United States” - again, this man was an elected official, in addition to being a citizen with voting rights. In 1857, he and his wife and daughter left Providence for Liberia where his wife became a teacher and Howland worked as a sugar manufacturer. 

    That is really cool! I’m going to post this (even though it’s actually an American painting), since this painting’s going to be on display this weekend at the Newport Antiques Show, in case anyone wants to go see it in person!

  2. the-history-of-fighting:

Dahomey’s Warrior Women

Speaking of West Africa, the Dahomey Warrior Women involves a fascinating history that spans nearly 200 years. It was during this time that the elite squad of female warriors fought and died for the border rights and inter-tribal issues in the ancient kingdom of Dahomey.
These women, who outranked their male counterparts, were given far more privileges, including the ability to  come and go from the palaces as they pleased (unlike the men). They were so revered for their warrior prowess, The Smithsonian explains, that men were taught to keep their distance:
“Recruiting women into the Dahomean army was not especially difficult, despite the requirement to climb thorn hedges and risk life and limb in battle. Most West African women lived lives of forced drudgery. Gezo’s female troops lived in his compound and were kept well supplied with tobacco, alcohol and slaves – as many as 50 to each warrior, according to the noted traveler Sir Richard Burton, who visited Dahomey in the 1860s. And “when amazons walked out of the palace,” notes Alpern, “they were preceded by a slave girl carrying a bell. The sound told every male to get out of their path, retire a certain distance, and look the other way.” To even touch these women meant death.”
Yet as colonialist ambitions grew in the region, the Dahomey female warriors eventually grew sparse. Fierce combat missions to crush the independent kingdom eventually succeeded, and in the 1940s, it is said that the last of the female warriors died.
www.care2.com


I’ve posted about this incredible military force for 1800s Week previously, and you can read more about women warriors of color in this Masterpost. There’s also Amazons of Black Sparta: The Women Warriors of Dahomey by Stanley B. Alpern.

    the-history-of-fighting:

    Dahomey’s Warrior Women

    Speaking of West Africa, the Dahomey Warrior Women involves a fascinating history that spans nearly 200 years. It was during this time that the elite squad of female warriors fought and died for the border rights and inter-tribal issues in the ancient kingdom of Dahomey.

    These women, who outranked their male counterparts, were given far more privileges, including the ability to  come and go from the palaces as they pleased (unlike the men). They were so revered for their warrior prowess, The Smithsonian explains, that men were taught to keep their distance:

    “Recruiting women into the Dahomean army was not especially difficult, despite the requirement to climb thorn hedges and risk life and limb in battle. Most West African women lived lives of forced drudgery. Gezo’s female troops lived in his compound and were kept well supplied with tobacco, alcohol and slaves – as many as 50 to each warrior, according to the noted traveler Sir Richard Burton, who visited Dahomey in the 1860s. And “when amazons walked out of the palace,” notes Alpern, “they were preceded by a slave girl carrying a bell. The sound told every male to get out of their path, retire a certain distance, and look the other way.” To even touch these women meant death.”

    Yet as colonialist ambitions grew in the region, the Dahomey female warriors eventually grew sparse. Fierce combat missions to crush the independent kingdom eventually succeeded, and in the 1940s, it is said that the last of the female warriors died.

    www.care2.com

    I’ve posted about this incredible military force for 1800s Week previously, and you can read more about women warriors of color in this Masterpost. There’s also Amazons of Black Sparta: The Women Warriors of Dahomey by Stanley B. Alpern.

    (via so-treu)

  3. 1800s Week!

    aseantoo submitted to medievalpoc:

    Friedrich Carl Albert Schreuel
    Raden Saleh
    Netherlands (c. 1840)
    [x]

    Raden Saleh
    Lion Hunt / Memburu Singa
    Netherlands? Germany? (1840)
    Indonesia di Galeri Nasional, Jakarta.
    [x, x]

    Raden Saleh Sjarif Boestaman (1811 - April 23, 1880) was a Javanese Indonesian painter who travelled to the Netherlands to study art. There, he became renowned as both a portrait and a landscape painter, working in several European courts. He was particularly noted for his paintings of wild animal fights.

    I’ve posted the portrait of Raden Saleh here before, but I hadn’t seen his paintings. Thanks for your submission!

  4. dukeofriven submitted to medievalpoc:

I don’t know much about Kusumoto Ine save the relatively brief brief of Wikipedia, but she was the first female doctor of Western Medicine in Japan and was herself the daughter of an exiled German father and a courtesan Japanese mother. Hr life seems super interesting, and I wish there was more there.
The painting here shows her (as a baby) and her parents observing the arrival of a Dutch trading ship in Nagasaki some time in the early 19th century.
(If any readers can expand on her life, I’d be very grateful. The Wikipedia article is devoted almost entirely to the circumstances of he father’s exile, and spend only a handful of sentences on her life. There is, however, a photo of her, and she looks pretty confident and badass, if you ask me.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kusumoto_Ine

    dukeofriven submitted to medievalpoc:

    I don’t know much about Kusumoto Ine save the relatively brief brief of Wikipedia, but she was the first female doctor of Western Medicine in Japan and was herself the daughter of an exiled German father and a courtesan Japanese mother. Hr life seems super interesting, and I wish there was more there.

    The painting here shows her (as a baby) and her parents observing the arrival of a Dutch trading ship in Nagasaki some time in the early 19th century.

    (If any readers can expand on her life, I’d be very grateful. The Wikipedia article is devoted almost entirely to the circumstances of he father’s exile, and spend only a handful of sentences on her life. There is, however, a photo of her, and she looks pretty confident and badass, if you ask me.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kusumoto_Ine

  5. 1800s Week!
aseantoo submitted to medievalpoc:

Auguste Bartholdi
Watercolor representing the proposed statuary project, Egypt Bringing Light to Asia
France (1869)
Musée Bartholdi, Colmar.
[x]
After visiting Egypt in 1855, the French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi was deeply inspired by the ancient monumental statues that he saw. In 1869, he visited  Isma’il Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, with a proposal for a new statue of his own: a lighthouse in the shape of an ancient Egyptian female fellah or peasant, holding a torch at the northern entrance to the Suez Canal in Port Said.
The project never materialised, so he recycled the plans for the Statue of Liberty instead.

Auguste Bartholdi
Maquettes for Liberty Bringing Light to the World
France (1870 and 1875)
[x]

    1800s Week!

    aseantoo submitted to medievalpoc:

    Auguste Bartholdi

    Watercolor representing the proposed statuary project, Egypt Bringing Light to Asia

    France (1869)

    Musée Bartholdi, Colmar.

    [x]

    After visiting Egypt in 1855, the French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi was deeply inspired by the ancient monumental statues that he saw. In 1869, he visited  Isma’il Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, with a proposal for a new statue of his own: a lighthouse in the shape of an ancient Egyptian female fellah or peasant, holding a torch at the northern entrance to the Suez Canal in Port Said.

    The project never materialised, so he recycled the plans for the Statue of Liberty instead.

    Auguste Bartholdi

    Maquettes for Liberty Bringing Light to the World

    France (1870 and 1875)

    [x]

  6. 1800s Week!
skemono submitted to medievalpoc:

Guillaume Guillon Lethière
Serment des Ancêtres (Oath of the Ancestors)
France/Haiti (1822)
Oil on canvas, 228x334 cm
Lethière painted this in 1822 from France, but it was never intended to display there. His son Lucien delivered the painting to Haiti in 1823. The scene commemorates the Haitian Revolution, depicting Jean-Jacques Dessalines (right), an ex-slave who led the revolution after Louverture’s arrest and crowned himself the first emperor of Haiti; and Alexandre Pétion (left), a free man of color who defected from Leclerc’s forces and became the first president of the Haitian Republic after Dessalines’ assassination.
The painting was damaged by the 2010 earthquake, and was temporarily moved to France for restoration. After it was fixed, it was displayed in the Louvre briefly before being returned to Haiti.
[X] [X] [X]

    1800s Week!

    skemono submitted to medievalpoc:

    Guillaume Guillon Lethière

    Serment des Ancêtres (Oath of the Ancestors)

    France/Haiti (1822)

    Oil on canvas, 228x334 cm

    Lethière painted this in 1822 from France, but it was never intended to display there. His son Lucien delivered the painting to Haiti in 1823. The scene commemorates the Haitian Revolution, depicting Jean-Jacques Dessalines (right), an ex-slave who led the revolution after Louverture’s arrest and crowned himself the first emperor of Haiti; and Alexandre Pétion (left), a free man of color who defected from Leclerc’s forces and became the first president of the Haitian Republic after Dessalines’ assassination.

    The painting was damaged by the 2010 earthquake, and was temporarily moved to France for restoration. After it was fixed, it was displayed in the Louvre briefly before being returned to Haiti.

    [X] [X] [X]

  7. 1800s Week!
Jean Discart
The Curiosity Dealer
France (c. 1880s)
Oil on Canvas, 65 x 47 cm.
[x] [x] [x]
Orientalism

    1800s Week!

    Jean Discart

    The Curiosity Dealer

    France (c. 1880s)

    Oil on Canvas, 65 x 47 cm.

    [x] [x] [x]

    Orientalism

  8. 1800s Week!
maryrobinette submitted to medievalpoc:

Anti-slavery woolwork picture - wool on canvas, about 1820
"The central image depicts a kneeling African in black and gray. Although produced in domestic context, not for distribution, it shows how widespread abolitionist imagery had become in Britain in the early 19th century. The iconic motif of an enslaved African begging for freedom was originally an abolitionist design for ceramics by Josiah Wedgewood and his craftsmen, but soon appeared in all sorts of other forms."
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

    1800s Week!

    maryrobinette submitted to medievalpoc:

    Anti-slavery woolwork picture - wool on canvas, about 1820

    "The central image depicts a kneeling African in black and gray. Although produced in domestic context, not for distribution, it shows how widespread abolitionist imagery had become in Britain in the early 19th century. The iconic motif of an enslaved African begging for freedom was originally an abolitionist design for ceramics by Josiah Wedgewood and his craftsmen, but soon appeared in all sorts of other forms."

    National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

  9. 1800s Week!
aseantoo submitted to medievalpoc:

Utagawa Yoshitora / 歌川 芳虎
French Man with Geisha*
Japan (1861)
[x]

* The woman depicted may actually be an Oiran, as noted here and here.

    1800s Week!

    aseantoo submitted to medievalpoc:

    Utagawa Yoshitora / 歌川 芳虎

    French Man with Geisha*

    Japan (1861)

    [x]

    * The woman depicted may actually be an Oiran, as noted here and here.

  10. 1800s Week!
aseantoo submitted to medievalpoc:
Georges Seurat
An Indian Man
Graphite.
France (c. 1878–79)
The J. Paul Getty Museum
[x]
The Getty Blog says:

Another question now demanded to be answered: where could Seurat have met such an unusual figure in 1878 Paris?
In 1878, the Universal Exposition was in full swing in Paris. Here people from all around the world gathered to display and see new technologies, arts, and sciences. Researching 19th-century world’s fairs, such as the 1878 Universal Exposition, took me down a dark road of colonial exploitation and imperial domination. It was quite common for colonial peoples, alongside goods and technologies, to be displayed in the pavilions. Some countries went as far as to create human zoos filled with “attractions” such as African Pygmies, Native Americans, and Indian yogis. In the 1878 Universal Exposition, Seurat’s brother-in-law (whose wife, Seurat’s sister, was once the owner of An Indian Man) had a booth dedicated to his glass-making business. Seurat could have encountered his model at the Exposition, given the high concentration of foreign peoples in Paris for the fair.

Interior of the Indian Palace on the Champ-de-Mars, Universal Exposition
Engraving after drawing by J. Mirma.
Original drawing: Groupe de recherche Achac, Paris.
France,  Paris (1889).
Given the demeaning treatment of non-Europeans at the Exposition, Seurat’s dignified depiction of an Indian man becomes even more extraordinary. The soft fall of light on the man’s chest, the delicate rendering of his beard and wrinkles, and the use of negative space create a calm, serene atmosphere that celebrates the sitter’s body rather than exoticizing it.
An Indian Man remains a mysterious drawing in Seurat’s body of work. We may never know the true origins and background of the man in the drawing, but it is this very mystery that makes An Indian Man such a mesmerizing object. Come see it for yourself through August 24, 2014, in the Getty Center’s West Pavilion.

    1800s Week!

    aseantoo submitted to medievalpoc:

    Georges Seurat

    An Indian Man

    Graphite.

    France (c. 1878–79)

    The J. Paul Getty Museum

    [x]

    The Getty Blog says:

    Another question now demanded to be answered: where could Seurat have met such an unusual figure in 1878 Paris?

    In 1878, the Universal Exposition was in full swing in Paris. Here people from all around the world gathered to display and see new technologies, arts, and sciences. Researching 19th-century world’s fairs, such as the 1878 Universal Exposition, took me down a dark road of colonial exploitation and imperial domination. It was quite common for colonial peoples, alongside goods and technologies, to be displayed in the pavilions. Some countries went as far as to create human zoos filled with “attractions” such as African Pygmies, Native Americans, and Indian yogis. In the 1878 Universal Exposition, Seurat’s brother-in-law (whose wife, Seurat’s sister, was once the owner of An Indian Man) had a booth dedicated to his glass-making business. Seurat could have encountered his model at the Exposition, given the high concentration of foreign peoples in Paris for the fair.

    Interior of the Indian Palace on the Champ-de-Mars, Universal Exposition

    Engraving after drawing by J. Mirma.

    Original drawing: Groupe de recherche Achac, Paris.

    France,  Paris (1889).

    Given the demeaning treatment of non-Europeans at the Exposition, Seurat’s dignified depiction of an Indian man becomes even more extraordinary. The soft fall of light on the man’s chest, the delicate rendering of his beard and wrinkles, and the use of negative space create a calm, serene atmosphere that celebrates the sitter’s body rather than exoticizing it.

    An Indian Man remains a mysterious drawing in Seurat’s body of work. We may never know the true origins and background of the man in the drawing, but it is this very mystery that makes An Indian Man such a mesmerizing object. Come see it for yourself through August 24, 2014, in the Getty Center’s West Pavilion.