Friday, October 21, 2016

Tho Jefferson's 1801 Ideas on Civility for Congress

Thomas Jefferson by Thaddeus Kosciuszko

I abhor the lack of civility in our recent political activities. I remember that Thomas Jefferson was concerned about decorum and process in our Congress, most especially the Senate, over which he presided as Vice President. Sure enough, the Senate website had the story.

February 27, 1801

On a quiet December morning in 1800, a well-dressed gentleman knocked on the door at the Capitol Hill residence of publisher Samuel Smith.  When the publisher’s wife, Margaret Bayard Smith, greeted him, she had no idea who he was.  But, she liked him at once, “So kind and conciliating were his looks and manners.”  Then her husband arrived and introduced her to the vice president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson had come to deliver a manuscript for publication.  Mrs. Smith admiringly noted the vice president’s “neat, plain, but elegant handwriting.”  Weeks later, on February 27, 1801, Jefferson returned to receive a copy of his newly printed book.  It bore the title, A Manual of Parliamentary Practice for the Use of the Senate of the United States.

Three years earlier, in 1797, Jefferson had approached his single vice-presidential duty of presiding over the Senate with feelings of inadequacy.  John Adams, who had held the job since the Senate’s founding in 1789, knew a great deal about Senate procedure and—of equal importance—about British parliamentary operations.  Yet, despite Adams’ knowledge, senators routinely criticized him for his arbitrary and inconsistent parliamentary rulings.

In his first days as vice president, Jefferson decided to compile a manual of legislative procedure as a guide for himself and future presiding officers.  He believed that such an authority, distilled largely from ancient books of parliamentary procedure used in the British House of Commons, would minimize senators’ criticism of presiding officers’ rulings, which in those days were not subject to reversal by the full Senate.

Jefferson arranged his manual in fifty-three topical sections, running alphabetically from “Absence” to "Treaties.”  He began the section entitled “Order in Debate” with a warning to members based on his own observation of legislative behavior.  Even today, his admonition might suitably appear on the wall of any elementary school classroom.  “No one is to disturb another [person who is speaking] by hissing, coughing, spitting, speaking or whispering to another.”

Although Jefferson’s original manuscript has long since disappeared, a personal printed copy, with notes in his own handwriting, survives at the Library of Congress.

Jefferson’s Manual, with its emphasis on order and decorum, changed the way the Senate of his day operated.  Years later, acknowledging Jefferson’s brilliance as a parliamentary scholar, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted his Senate Manual as a partial guide to its own proceedings.

Madonnas attributed to Benozzo Gozzoli (1421-1497)

Attributed to Benozzo Gozzoli (Italian early Renaissance painter,  c 1421–1497) Madonna and Child

Attributed to Benozzo Gozzoli Benozzo Gozzoli (Italian early Renaissance painter,  c 1421–1497)  Madonna and Child, Parish Church, Calci

Attributed to Benozzo Gozzoli Benozzo Gozzoli (Italian early Renaissance painter,  c 1421–1497) Madonna and Child between Saints Andre and Prosper

Attributed to Benozzo Gozzoli Benozzo Gozzoli (Italian early Renaissance painter,  c 1421–1497) Madonna and Child between Saints Francis and Bernardine of Siena, San Fortunato, Montefalco

Attributed to Benozzo Gozzoli Benozzo Gozzoli (Italian early Renaissance painter,  c 1421–1497) Madonna and Child Giving Blessings, Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome

Attributed to Benozzo Gozzoli Benozzo Gozzoli (Italian early Renaissance painter,  c 1421–1497) Madonna and Child with Saints Francis and Bernardine and Fra Jacopo, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Attributed to Benozzo Gozzoli Benozzo Gozzoli (Italian early Renaissance painter,  c 1421–1497) Madonna and Child with Saints John the Baptist, Peter, Jerome, and Paul, Galleria Nazionale dell Umbria, Perugia

Attributed to Benozzo Gozzoli Benozzo Gozzoli (Italian early Renaissance painter,  c 1421–1497) Madonna and Child, San Fortunato, Montefalco 1450

Attributed to Benozzo Gozzoli Benozzo Gozzoli (Italian early Renaissance painter,  c 1421–1497) Madonna Della Acintola, Pinacoteca, Vatican

Attributed to Benozzo Gozzoli Benozzo Gozzoli (Italian early Renaissance painter,  c 1421–1497) The Madonna and Child with Saint Anne and Donors, National Museum of Saint Matthew, Pisa.

Attributed to Benozzo Gozzoli Benozzo Gozzoli (Italian early Renaissance painter,  c 1421–1497) Virgin and Child Entroned among Angels and Saints

In this blog, I try to begin each day with a painting of the Madonna & Child. It centers me; connects me to the past; & encourages me to post some of the religious paintings which were a large part of the core of early Western art.  In the 4C, as the Christian population was rapidly growing & was now supported by the state, Christian art evolved & became grander to suit new, enlarged public spaces & the tastes of elite private clients.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Earliest known portraits of a practicing American Muslim

1822 James Alexander Simpson (American artist & teacher) Yarrow Mount. Peabody Room, Georgetown Public Library

Georgetown artist James Alexander Simpson, a sometime painter & instructor at Georgetown College, painted this portrait of Yarrow Mamout in 1822. The Simpson portrait appears to have been painted from life & is not a copy of the much better known 1819 portrait (done when Mamout was about 83 years old) by the celebrated American painter, Charles Willson Peale. The Simpson painting was probably done in 1822 (the date on the label next to the painting), about two years before Yarrow's death.

Yarrow Mamout was born in Africa around 1736 and was a teenager when enslaved & brought to America, apparently no later than 1752. Yarrow (Mamout was his first name) was born & educated in Guinea, West Africa. Recent research shows that Yarrow probably was of Fulani heritage (in which the name Yaro still is used) & was literate in Arabic.

At about age 14 he was captured by slave traders & shipped to the United States, where Samuel Beall of Maryland purchased him. Beall bequeathed Yarrow to his son, Brooke Beall, who had Yarrow make bricks for a house he was building in Georgetown. After Brooke Beall's death his widow freed Yarrow in 1796. Yarrow saved the money he earned as a laborer & after 4 years was able to purchase a house & other property in Georgetown.

According to James H. Johnston’s 2006 Washington Post article, Yarrow himself was a survivor, having amassed a hundred-dollar nest egg for his retirement. Twice, merchants who held the money for him lost it when their businesses failed. Yarrow scraped & saved a third time, putting aside two hundred dollars, which he used to buy shares in Georgetown’s Columbia Bank, finally allowing him to support himself in retirement with the interest from his investment.

Yarrow, who followed the Muslim faith at a time when few Americans did, was immortalized by these two white artists near the end of his life. Yarrow reportedly was buried in his yard; research is ongoing into whether his remains are still there & whether any part of the house at 3324, 3330-3332, Dent Place NW in Georgetown could have been Yarrow's.

1819 Charles Willson Peale (American painter, 1741-1827). Yarrow Mamout is believed to be the earliest known portrait of a practicing American Muslim.

"In 1819, Charles Willson Peale headed down to Washington DC to paint portraits of President James Monroe, Henry Clay, and other dignitaries for exhibition in the famed Peale museum located in Independence Hall.

"But there was another sitter the painter wanted to snare on his trip. "I heard of a Negro who is living in Georgetown said to be 140 years of age," Peale wrote in his diary. "He is comfortable in his Situation having Bank stock and lives in his own house." Peale speculated that "the good temper of the man has contributed considerably to longevity." He wrote, "I retouched his Portrait the morning after his first setting to mark what wrinkles & lines to characterize better his Portrait."

"The man was Yarrow Mamout, a free African, a Muslim who indeed held bank stock, purchased with great effort to secure a comfortable old age - after a life of abduction and bondage. (He was, however, most likely only in his 80s.) Mamout, known throughout Georgetown as affable and chatty, sat for Peale for at least two days, talking about his life.

"The finished portrait - the earliest known rendering of an American Muslim and an extremely rare early portrayal of a free African - has been purchased by the Philadelphia Museum of Art from the Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent. Mamout told at least some of his  story to Peale (who was 78 years old at the time), fascinating the painter and inspiring him to fill his diary with Yarrow Mamout anecdotes..."Yarrow owns a house & lotts and is known by most of the Inhabitants of Georgetown & particularly by the Boys who are often teazing him which he takes in good humour," Peale confided in his diary. "The acquaintance of him often banter him about eating Bacon and drinking Whiskey - but Yarrow says it is no good to eat Hog - & drink whiskey is very bad."

"After completing the portrait, Peale brought it back to Philadelphia and hung it in his museum...Exhibited with Peale renderings of the nation's eminent statesmen, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, Yarrow Mamout was a magnet for visitors.

"In 1854, long after Peale's death, his museum's holdings were liquidated, and Yarrow Mamout was purchased by a prominent Philadelphia Quaker and businessman, Charles S. Ogden. Ogden also purchased the Peale portrait of Washington painted at Mount Vernon in 1772, believed to be the first portrait of the future general and president. Ogden apparently thought the two paintings were closely related because when he donated both to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in 1892..."

Philadelphia Inquirer - Stephan Salisbury - ‎October, 23, 2011‎

Additional Sources:
Valerie Babb, Carroll Gibbs, & Kathleen Lesko, Black Georgetown Remembered (Washington: Georgetown University Press, 1991), 11-12.

Thomas J. Carrier, Historic Georgetown: A Walking Tour, Images of America Series (Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 1999).

Kenneth C. Haley, “A Nineteenth Century Portraitist & More: James Alexander Simpson,” Maryland Historical Magazine 72-3 (fall 1977): 410-411.

Yarrow Mamout, Vertical Files, Peabody Room, Georgetown Public Library

James H. Johnston, "The Man in the Knit Cap," Washington Post Magazine, Feb. 5, 2006.

Humanities Magazine, November/December 2008 Volume 29, Number 6

Madonnas attributed to Stephano da Verona 1379-1438

Stephano da Verona (1379-1438) Madonna of the Rosary surrounded by angels in a hortus conclusus (enclosed garden) 1409. Actually this is in the form of a Madonna of Humility seated on the ground - to indicate her humility - against a backdrop of berries & wildflowers within a sheltering wall. 

Stephano da Verona (1379-1438) The Virgin and Child  in a hortus conclusus (enclosed garden) with Angels, c 1430. This is also is in the form of a Madonna of Humility seated on the ground  - to indicate her humility - against a backdrop of berries & wildflowers within a sheltering hedge of roses. 

Stephano da Verona (1379-1438)  Adoration of the Magi

Stephano da Verona (1379-1438) Madonna and Child seated on a throne.

Stephano da Verona (1379-1438) Madonna and Child seated on a throne with Angels

In this blog, I try to begin each day with a painting of the Madonna & Child. It centers me; connects me to the past; & encourages me to post some of the religious paintings which were a large part of the core of early Western art.  In the 4C, as the Christian population was rapidly growing & was now supported by the state, Christian art evolved & became grander to suit new, enlarged public spaces & the tastes of elite private clients.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Lady Washington - Martha 1731-1802

1771-81 Lady Washington Attributed to Samuel Blyth (English, 1744-1795)

As some of the British referred to her, Lady Washington - Martha Dandridge Custis Washington was born at Chestnut Grove in New Kent County, Virginia, June 2, 1731. Her father, John Dandridge (1700/1701 — 1756), emigrated to Virginia from England with his older brother William when John was 13 or 14 years old. He settled in New Kent County and became county clerk in 1730, the year he married Martha's mother, Frances Jones (1710 — 1785) of York County.

Frances Jones Dandridge's widowed mother lived in Williamsburg with her second husband, watchmaker John Flournoy. Her grandfather Rowland Jones (Martha's great-grandfather) was the first rector of the newly formed Bruton Parish Church from 1674 until his death in 1688.

Martha was the eldest of three brothers and five sisters, the youngest of whom was born when Martha was 25 and already had four children of her own. She married Colonel Daniel Parke Custis in 1750 and lived in his Pumunkey River mansion, White House. Custis managed the large New Kent County plantation of his father, Councillor John Custis, who lived at the brick house known as Custis Square in Williamsburg.

Martha and Daniel Custis had four children: Daniel, born in 1751; Frances, born in 1753; John (Jacky) born in 1755; and Martha (Patsy), born in 1756 or 1757. Daniel died at the age of three, and Frances died at four years of age. July 26, 1757, when Martha Custis was only 26 years old, her husband died suddenly.

Martha married Colonel George Washington (1732 — 1799) January 6, 1759. Washington had been commander of the First Virginia Regiment in the French and Indian War and had been elected a burgess representing Frederick County in 1758. He had acquired Mount Vernon by lease from the widow of his half-brother Lawrence in 1754. (He inherited the plantation upon her death in 1761.) Before his marriage, Washington had increased the size of Mount Vernon from the original one-and-one-half-story dwelling to a two-and-one-half story home. George and Martha Washington and her children Jacky and Patsy moved to Mount Vernon in April 1759.

Mount Vernon remained George and Martha's home until their respective deaths, although they spent much time elsewhere during the war and presidential years. June 19, 1773, Martha's teenage daughter Patsy died at Mount Vernon. The following year, Martha's son John Parke Custis married Eleanor Calvert at her home, Mount Airy, in Prince George County, Maryland. George Washington attended the wedding, but Martha was so grief-stricken over Patsy's death, she was unable to make the trip. John and Eleanor had five children before his death from "camp fever" (probably typhoid fever) November 5, 1781.

Although Martha remained at Mount Vernon when George went to Philadelphia as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress, she often accompanied him to his headquarters during the war years. She spent the winter of 1775 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in the spring of 1776, she followed him to New York. In the spring of 1777, she arrived at his headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey, but she returned to Mount Vernon for the summer. The next winter she joined her husband at Valley Forge, and later she stayed with him during campaigns in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

Martha and George Washington raised two of their grandchildren, Eleanor Parke Custis (Nelly) and George Washington Parke Custis (called "Wash" or "Tub") at Mount Vernon. When Martha's son's widow Eleanor remarried Dr. David Stuart in 1783, she and her two eldest daughters lived at the Stuart home in Abingdon, while the two youngest children continued to live at Mount Vernon. In 1784, Martha's 15-year-old niece, Frances Basset, came to live at Mount Vernon. She married George's nephew, Major George Augustine Washington, in 1785.

George Washington was inaugurated president on April 30, 1789. As the wife of the president, Martha lived with her husband and grandchildren Nelly and Wash in Philadelphia until they returned to Mount Vernon March 15, 1797. George Washington died at Mount Vernon December 14, 1799. Martha was widowed for two and one-half years until she, too, died at Mount Vernon May 22, 1802.

From the website of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Madonnas attributed to the Master of the Legend of Mary Magdalene (sometimes called the Master of the Magdalen Legend) German artist, fl 1480-1537

Master of the Legend of Mary Magdalene (sometimes called the Master of the Magdalen Legend) (German artist, fl 1480-1537) Madonna nursing the Christ Child

1520 Master of the Legend of Mary Magdalene (sometimes called the Master of the Magdalen Legend) (German artist, fl 1480-1537) Mary with Child

Master of the Legend of Mary Magdalene (sometimes called the Master of the Magdalen Legend) (German artist, fl 1480-1537) The Holy Family

Master of the Legend of Mary Magdalene (sometimes called the Master of the Magdalen Legend) (German artist, fl 1480-1537) Madonna with Child

In this blog, I try to begin each day with a painting of the Madonna & Child. It centers me; connects me to the past; & encourages me to post some of the religious paintings which were a large part of the core of early Western art.  In the 4C, as the Christian population was rapidly growing & was now supported by the state, Christian art evolved & became grander to suit new, enlarged public spaces & the changing contemporary tastes of elite private clients.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

American Biography - Jane Franklin Mecom 1712-1794 - Sister to Benjamin Franklin

Jane Franklin Mecom (1712-1794), favorite sister of Benjamin Franklin, was born in Boston, the youngest of the 17 children of Josiah Franklin, tallow chandler, and of the 10 children of his second wife, Abiah Folger.

From Poor Jane's Almanac 2011 The New York Times by Gregory Nemec

Her father had moved to Boston from Northamptonshire, England in 1683; her mother was born in Nantucket, the youngest child of one of the island’s first settlers. Nothing is known of Jane’s schooling, but it must have been limited at best. Six years younger than Benjamin (1706-1790), she was 11, when he ran away to Philadelphia. Although they saw each other only occasionally during the rest of their lives, their mutual affection transcended time and distance. Their surviving correspondence is more extensive than that between Franklin and almost any other private person.

On July 27, 1727, at the age of fifteen, Jane was married to Edward Mecom (1704-1765), a Boston saddler. He was poor in heath and in pocket. His major contribution to the family was the fathering of 12 children: Josiah, born in 1729, Edward, (1731), Benjamin (1732), Ebenezer (1735), Sarah (1737), Peter (1739), John (1741), a second Josiah (1743), Jane (1745), James (1746), Mary (1748), and Abiah (1751).

Until the outbreak of the Revolution, Jane Mecom’s life was almost wholly that of a housewife in a tradesman’s family of low income, preoccupied with the births, marriages, and deaths of children and grandchildren, with the struggle to provide food and clothing, and with her sons’ efforts to find careers. The family lived with or close to her parents, who owned a group of houses at Hanover and Union streets. Here she cared for her father and mother until they died, and here she continued to live for several years, taking in boarders to supplement her husband’s slender income.

Three of their children died in infancy; and others seem to have inherited, apparently from their father, physical and mental defects that brought their mother deep distress. Only 3 lived beyond their 33rd birthdays and 2 of these died insane. None of her sons was really successful in his trade, and her daughters were not much luckier in the men they married. “Sorrows roll upon me like the waves of the sea,” she wrote after the death of a daughter in 1767, but “God is sovereign, and I submit.”

When the siege of Boston began in the spring of 1775, Jane Mecom, for 10 years a widow, managed to leave the city with a few clothes and household effects and took refuge with friends in Rhode Island. That autumn her brother, returning from a mission to Washington’s army at Cambridge, escorted her to Philadelphia, where she remained in his home until the British advanced on the city in September 1777. Then she returned to Rhode Island and lived with a married granddaughter. In 1784, she re-established her home in Boston. There, until her death, she lived in a house her brother owned, sharing it with her one surviving daughter, Jane, and the latter’s husband, Peter Collas, a rather inept ship’s captain.

Through all these troubled years Benjamin Franklin had helped her financially, sometimes with money, sometimes with goods she and her daughters could turn into profit,. In her later years he settled on her an annual income, and in his will be bequeathed to her the Boston house and a life income of 50 pounds. She adored her brother, but stood a little in awe of him and of his fame. She never tried to understand all his scientific or political activities, but liked to read anything he had published. Like some other members of her family, she was sensitive to slights and criticisms -and sometimes was hurt at what he said about he behavior toward other relatives. Yet his conversation when they were together, his letters when they were apart, and his constant affection appeared to be the great joys in her life. And she in turn was the one member of his family to whom he could talk and write without restraint. Judging by their surviving letters, more than his mother, his wife Deborah Reed Franklin, or his daughter Sarah Franklin Bache, his sister Jane gave him the feminine intimacy and understanding of a family member, that his nature seemed to crave. Franklin's 1st known letter to his sister was upon her marriage...
Philadelphia, January 6, 1727
Dear Sister,
I am highly pleased with the account captain Freeman gives me of you. I always judged by your behavior when a child that you would make a good, agreeable woman, and you know you were ever my peculiar favorite.

I have been thinking what would be a suitable present for me to make, and for you to receive, as I hear you are grown a celebrated beauty. I had almost determined on a tea table, but when I considered that the character of a good housewife was far preferable to that of being only a pretty gentlewoman, I concluded to send you a spinning wheel, which I hope you will accept as a small token of my sincere love and affection.

Sister, farewell, and remember that modesty, as it makes the most homely virgin amiable and charming, so the want of it infallibly renders the most perfect beauty disagreeable and odious. But when that brightest of female virtues shines among other perfections of body and mind in the same person, it makes the woman more lovely than an angel. Excuse this freedom, and use the same with me.

I am, dear Jenny, your loving brother, B. Franklin

A few months after her brother's death, Jane wrote to his daughter Sarah Franklin Bache,
Dear Niece,

He while living was to me every enjoyment. Whatever other pleasures were, as they mostly took their rise from him, they passed like little streams from a beautiful fountain… To make society agreeable there must be a similarity of circumstances and sentiments, as well as age. I have no such near me; my dear brother supplied all...

We learn a bit more about Jane from the April 23, 2011 of The New York Times Opinion Pages, Poor Jane’s Almanac, written by Jill Leport, a professor of American history at Harvard.

"Franklin, who’s on the $100 bill, was the youngest of 10 sons. Nowhere on any legal tender is his sister Jane, the youngest of seven daughters; she never traveled the way to wealth. He was born in 1706, she in 1712. Their father was a Boston candle-maker, scraping by. Massachusetts’ Poor Law required teaching boys to write; the mandate for girls ended at reading. Benny went to school for just two years; Jenny never went at all. Their lives tell an 18th-century tale of two Americas. Against poverty & ignorance, Franklin prevailed; his sister did not.

"At 17, he ran away from home. At 15, she married: she was probably pregnant, as were, at the time, a third of all brides. She & her brother wrote to each other all their lives: they were each other’s dearest friends. (He wrote more letters to her than to anyone.) His letters are learned, warm, funny, delightful; hers are misspelled, fretful & full of sorrow. “Nothing but trroble can you her from me,” she warned. It’s extraordinary that she could write at all. “I have such a Poor Fackulty at making Leters,” she confessed. He would have none of it. “Is there not a little Affectation in your Apology for the Incorrectness of your Writing?” he teased. “Perhaps it is rather fishing for commendation. You write better, in my Opinion, than most American Women.” He was, sadly, right.

"She had one child after another; her husband, a saddler named Edward Mecom, grew ill, & may have lost his mind, as, most certainly, did two of her sons. She struggled, & failed, to keep them out of debtors’ prison, the almshouse, asylums. She took in boarders; she sewed bonnets. She had not a moment’s rest. And still, she thirsted for knowledge. “I Read as much as I Dare,” she confided to her brother. She once asked him for a copy of “all the Political pieces” he had ever written. “I could as easily make a collection for you of all the past parings of my nails,” he joked. He sent her what he could; she read it all. But there was no way out.

"They left very different paper trails. He wrote the story of his life, stirring & wry — the most important autobiography ever written. She wrote 14 pages of what she called her “Book of Ages.” It isn’t an autobiography; it is, instead, a litany of grief, a history, in brief, of a life lived rags to rags. It begins: “Josiah Mecom their first Born on Wednesday June the 4: 1729 & Died May the 18-1730.” Each page records another heartbreak. “Died my Dear & Beloved Daughter Polly Mecom,” she wrote one dreadful day, adding, “The Lord giveth & the Lord taketh away oh may I never be so Rebelious as to Refuse Acquesing & saying from my hart Blessed be the Name of the Lord.” Jane Mecom had 12 children; she buried 11. And then, she put down her pen...

"On July 4, 1786, when Jane Mecom was 74, she thought about the path to prosperity. It was the nation’s 10th birthday. She had been reading a book by the Englishman Richard Price. “Dr Price,” she wrote to her brother, “thinks Thousands of Boyles Clarks & Newtons have Probably been lost to the world, & lived & died in Ignorance & meanness, merely for want of being Placed in favourable Situations, & Injoying Proper Advantages.” And then she reminded her brother, gently, of something that he knew, & she knew, about the world in which they lived: “Very few is able to beat thro all Impedements & Arive to any Grat Degre of superiority in Understanding.”

"That world was changing. In 1789, Boston for the first time, allowed girls to attend public schools. The fertility rate began declining. The American Revolution made possible a new world, a world of fewer obstacles, a world with a promise of equality. That required — and still requires — sympathy. Benjamin Franklin died in Philadelphia in 1790, at the age of 84. In his will, he left Jane the house in which she lived. And then he made another bequest, more lasting: he gave one hundred pounds to the public schools of Boston. Jane Mecom died in that house in 1794. Later, during a political moment much like this one, when American politics was animated by self-serving invocations of the founders, her house was demolished to make room for a memorial to Paul Revere."

Parts of this posting based on information from Notable American Women edited by Edward T James, Janet Wilson James, Paul S Boyer, The Belknap Press of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1971

Madonnas attributed to Francisco de Zurbaran (Spanish painter, 1598–1664)

Attributed to Francisco de Zurbarán (Spanish painter, 1598–1664) Virgin of the Rosary Detail

Attributed to Francisco de Zurbarán (Spanish painter, 1598–1664) Flight into Egypt

Attributed to Francisco de Zurbaran (Spanish painter, 1598–1664) The Holy Family

Attributed to Francisco de Zurbaran (Spanish painter, 1598–1664) The Virgin with the Infant Christ

Attributed to Francisco de Zurbaran (Spanish artist, 1598–1664) Virgin Mary with Child and Young John the Baptist

Attributed to Francisco de Zurbarán (Spanish painter, 1598–1664) Virgin and Child

Attributed to Francisco de Zurbarán (Spanish painter, 1598–1664) Adoration of the Magi

In this blog, I try to begin each day with a painting of the Madonna & Child. It centers me; connects me to the past; & encourages me to post some of the religious paintings which were a large part of the core of early Western art.  In the 4C, as the Christian population was rapidly growing & was now supported by the state, Christian art evolved & became grander to suit new, enlarged public spaces & the changing contemporary tastes of elite private clients.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Out of the Shadows - 16C-18C Young Servants & Slaves Hidden in Portraits of Elites

1523 Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) (Italian artist, c. 1485-1576) Portrait of Laura de'Dianti. She is surely controlling the young slave who reflects her wealth & position in the cosmopolitan society of Venice.

Perhaps "Where did they come from?" is the 1st question to ask about the African children in these 16C - 18C paintings?  Slavery had existed in Europe for centuries & did not end with the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476.  Slaves remained common in Southern Europe from the 5C to the 15C . However, slavery became increasingly uncommon in Northern Europe &, by the 11C & 12C, slavery had been nearly abolished in the North.

In Southern & Eastern Europe, slavery remained a normal part of everyday life as part of the general economy & as a symbol of status & prestige.  Slave trade across the Mediterranean & along the Atlantic seaboard brought African slaves to Italy, Spain, Southern France, & Portugal well before the formal "discovery" of the New World by the Europeans in 1492. 

From about the 8C onwards, an Arab-run slave trade also flourished, with much of this activity taking place in East Africa, Arabia, & the Indian Ocean. And many African societies themselves had forms of slavery, although these differed both from each other & from the European & Arabic models. The European form of chattel slavery, in which slaves are commodities to be bought & sold, became the most common form of slavery in the modern Western world.

1530s Paris Bordone (Italian painter, 1500-1571) Portrait of a Man in Armor with Two Pages. This moody portrait fits into a long tradition of military men in armor.  The inclusion of an African page could refer to the exotic travels of the high ranking officer.

1530s 1 Paris Bordone (Italian painter, 1500-1571) Portrait of a Man in Armor with Two Pages Detail

1441: Regular European slave trading in Africa begins, as Portuguese captains Antão Gonçalves & Nuno Tristão capture 12 Africans in Cabo Branco (modern Mauritania) taking them to Portugal as slaves.

1444: Lançarote de Freitas, a tax-collector from the Portuguese town of Lagos, forms a company to trade with Africa, & brings 235 kidnapped Africans into Lagos, the 1st large group of African slaves brought to Europe.

1618 Gonzales Coques (1618-1684) Equestrian Couple

1452: Start of the sugar-slave system.  Sugar is first planted on the Portuguese island of Madeira & African slaves are put to work on the sugar plantations.

1454: Pope Nicholas V issues Romanus Pontifex, a bull granting the Portuguese a perpetual monopoly in trade with Africa. But, soon Spanish traders begin to bring slaves from Africa to Spain.

1462: The Portuguese colony on the Cape Verde Islands is founded, and becomes an important way-station in the slave trade.

1462: Portuguese slave traders start to sell their captives in Seville, Spain.

1470s: Despite Papal opposition, Spanish merchants begin to trade in large numbers of slaves.

1600s Unknown Artist. German.  Courtly Lady with Moor boy

It is impossible to know if the young Blacks in these paintings are enslaved. But as a member of an aristocrat's household staff, most young slaves & servants probably would have received instruction in social graces, fine clothing & food, & most likely would have a marriage arranged at some point. In England, a page was basically an apprentice footman. The footmen would have everyday contact with the family.  When they were not out & about with family members, they would have been serving at the first table under the butler & under-butler, carrying, & serving beverages.

1640 Gilbert Jackson (English artist, active 1621-1642) Daughter of Florence Poulette & Thomas Smyth.  This is the earliest English painting of an African child page I could find.  Florence Smyth, b.1634, daughter of Thomas & Florence Smyth of Ashton Court, with her black page, around 1640.  The portrait reportedly once hung at Ashton Court Mansion. The Smyths were a prominent local merchant family from the 16C. Thomas Smyth played a small part at the beginning of the war on the royalist side. The Smyth household was a bustling one - they had 3 sons & 6 daughters, & 29 servants including a jester. The little girl is accompanied by an African slave page who holds a nest of robins. It was fashionable to have African house servants in the 17C & 18C, and children were sometimes given their own African playmate. This is an early, important image of an African presence in Bristol.  The figures are painted to contrast sharply visually, perhaps to illustrate the contrast the exotic native life of the slave as the antithesis of the cultured life of the child.

1476: Carlos de Valera of Castille in Spain brings back 400 slaves from Africa.

1481: A Portuguese embassy delegation to the court of King Edward IV of England concludes with the English government agreeing not to enter the slave trade, against the wishes of many English traders.

1486: Portuguese settle the West African island of São Tomé. This uninhabited West African island is planted with sugar & populated by African slaves by the Portuguese. The settlement thus extended the sugar-slave complex that had been initiated in Madeira.

1492: Granada surrenders to the Spanish forces of the Catholic Kings, Ferdinand & Isabella, marking the end of La Reconquista, the war between Moors & Spaniards in the Iberian peninsular. Both sides retain many slaves taken during the course of the war.

1492: Christopher Columbus becomes the 1st known European since the Viking era to "discover" the New World, setting foot on an island he named San Salvador (modern Bahamas).

1493: On his 2nd voyage, Columbus again reaches the New World (modern Dominica). On this voyage he initiates the first transatlantic slave voyage, a shipment of several hundred Taino people sent from Hispaniola to Spain.

1493: Columbus founds the first European colony in the New World: La Isabela on the island of Hispaniola (modern Dominican Republic).

1496: Columbus returns from his 2nd voyage, carrying around 30 Native American slaves. 

1499: More than 200 slaves taken from the northern coast of South America by Amerigo Vespucci & Alonso de Hojeda are sold in Cádiz.

1623 Anthony van Dyke (1599-1641)  Marchesa Elena Grimaldi

During the first half of the 1500s, Africa became a focus of European attention. The European thirst for new markets in the mid 1400s drove the Portuguese (& subsequently the English & Dutch) to explore the establishment of new trading routes down the west coast of Africa &, by the turn of the new century, into the Indian Ocean. At the same time, the expansion of the Ottoman Empire in North Africa brought the Turks into military & political conflict with European interests. These elements, along with the importation of captured Africans as slaves, primarily from West Africa, increasingly supplanting the trade of slaves of Slavic origin, resulted in a growing African presence in Europe.  Before 1700, the Dutch were establishing their power on the West African coast, & slaves were replacing gold as the major Dutch commodity.  The slave became the new symbol of power & prestige.

1633 Anthony van Dyke (1599-1641) William Feilding, 1st Earl of Denbigh (1582-1643).

1633 Anthony van Dyke (1599-1641) William Feilding, 1st Earl of Denbigh (1582-1643). Detail

1502: Juan de Córdoba of Seville becomes the 1st identified merchant to send an African slave to the New World. 

1505: First record of sugar cane being grown in the New World, in Santo Domingo (modern Dominican Republic).

1510: The systematic transportation of African slaves to the New World begins as King Ferdinand of Spain authorizes a shipment of 50 African slaves to Santo Domingo.

1516: the governor of Cuba, Diego Velázquez, authorises slave-raiding expeditions to Central America. One group of slaves aboard a Spanish caravel rebel & kill the Spanish crew before sailing home.

1518: Charles V grants his Flemish courtier Lorenzo de Gorrevod permission to import 4000 African slaves into New Spain. From this time onwards thousands of slaves are sent to the New World each year.

1522: A major slave rebellion breaks out on the island of Hispaniola. This is the first significant uprising of African slaves. After this, slave resistance becomes widespread & uprisings common.

1524: 300 African slaves taken to Cuba to work in the gold mines.

1640s Nicholas van Helt (Dutch artist, 1614-1669) Portrait of two Children as Hunters In a Garden

Portraits of aristocrats began including black servants to suggest the universal reach of imperial power. Africans became powerless shadow adjuncts in the margins of the portraits of the aristocrats. Sometimes they symbolized the life journey of the sitter, who may have actually been to Africa.  Or, they could be seen as exotic decoration replacing the usual dog or flower or bird or monkey.  Or they could be seen as a symbol of power in European paintings.  The slave had become the new symbol of prestige & wealth in society.

1648 Frans Hals. Belgium Family Group in a Landscape

1648 Frans Hals. Belgium Family Group in a Landscape. Detail

1526: Hieronymous Seiler and Heinrich Ehinger of Konstanz become the first Germans known involved in the slave trade.

1527: The earliest records of sugar production in Jamaica, later a major sugar producing region of the British Empire. Sugar production is rapidly expanding throughout the Caribbean region - with the mills almost exclusivly worked by African slaves.

1530: Juan de la Barrera, a Seville merchant, begins transporting slaves directly from Africa to the New World (before this, slaves had normally passed through Europe 1st). 

1532: Martim Afonso de Souza founds the 1st Portuguese colony in Brazil at São Vicente. Sugar production begins almost immediately.

1555: A small group of Africans from Shama (modern Ghana) described as slaves are brought to London by John Lok, a London merchant eager to break into the African trade.

1556: The Italian city of Genoa tries to prevent trading in slaves - not for any humanitarian reasons - but in an attempt to reduce the numbers of Africans in the city.

1562: John Hawkins of Plymouth becomes the first known English sailor to have obtained African slaves - approximately 300 of them in Sierra Leone - for sale in the West Indies.

1571: The Parlement of Bordeaux sets all slaves - "blacks and moors" - in the town free, declaring slavery illegal in France.

1650 Unknown English artist, Young Girl with Basket of Fruit

There is record of the trade in black African slaves in 15C Florence. The percentage of East European slaves in North Italian cities was quite significant by the end of the 14C, mainly in Genoa (nearly 10%) due to the Genoese trading communities in the Black Sea, but the fall of Contantinople in 1453 ended this commercial exchange. The slave trade in black Africans spread throughout the 15C, replacing the previous trade. Networks also changed, from Arab merchants to Portuguese ones. In Italy, the changing policies of the Popes from Martin V to Paul III was confusing to the Italians, with successive bulls prohibiting the African slave trade (1425) & black slavery (1462), then allowing the trade with captive people (1455, 1456, 1493), & finally condemning the enslavement of native American people (1537), while the citizens of Rome were authorized to hold slaves (1548).

Africans are described in Tudor parish records in England from 1558 (when most official records began) until well into the 17th century by terms such as “Blackamoores”, “Neygers”, “Aethiopians” and “Negroes." These Africans were baptised, buried & recorded in parish records in London, Plymouth, Southampton, Barnstaple, Bristol, Leicester, Northampton & other communities across England.

1660-65 Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Lady Elizabeth Noel Wriothesley

1575: Paulo Dias de Novães founds the Portuguese colony of São Paulo de Luanda in Africa (modern Angola). The colony soon became a major slave-trading port supplying the vast Brazilian market.

1579: Union of Utrecht, the northern provinces of the Low Countries unite to create a Calvinist republic free from Spanish rule. The United Provinces (modern Netherlands) soon becomes an important slave-trading nation.

1580: Following the death of King Henry of Portugal, Spain & Portugal are united under Philip II of Spain. Spain thus becomes the most important colonial power & the largest participant in the slave trade.

1592: Bernard Ericks becomes the 1st  known Dutch slave trader.

1594: L'Espérance of La Rochelle becomes the first identified French ship positively identified as participating in the slave trade. However, French merchants may have been involved in small scale slave trading since the 1540s.

1595: Philip II of Spain grants Pedro Gomes Reinal, a Portuguese merchant, a near monopoly in the slave trade. Reinal agrees to provide Spanish America with 4250 African slaves annually, with an additional 1000 slaves being provided by agreements with other merchants.

1596: Queen Elizabeth I of England sends a letter complaining that "there are of late divers blackmoores brought into this realme, of which kinde of people there are allready here to manie ... Her Majesty's pleasure therefore ys that those kinde of people should be sent forth of the lande". Accordingly, a group of slaves were rounded up & given to a German slave trader, Caspar van Senden, in "payment" for duties he had performed.

And yet, Elizabeth I also had at least one African in her personal entourage – “a Blackamoore boy,” who is mentioned in a warrant dated 14 April 1574. The warrant states that the queen ordered the clothes-maker Henry Henre to make the African boy a “garcon coat… of white taphata cutt and lyned… striped with gold and silver with buckeram bayes… knitted stockings [and] white shoes,” This boy was employed until at least the following April, when a further warrant granted this “littel black a More” another set of fine clothing.  

1651 Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Elizabeth Murray, Lady Tollemache

1651a Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Elizabeth Murray, Lady Tollemache. Detail

1601: The Jesuits build their 1st sugar mill in Brazil.

1612: The 1st permanent British colony is founded in Bermuda.

1617: First records of slaves in Bermuda.

1621: Dutch West India Company chartered granting a monopoly to trade in the Caribbean. (Dutch slave traders had been operating with varying degrees of success since about 1600.)

1625: Foundation of the Danish West India Company.

1647: Foundation of the Swedish African Company.

1658 Unknown artist of the Anglo Dutch School

1660: The newly restored King Charles II of England charters the 'Royal Adventurers into Africa,' the 1st English state-sponsored slave trading company.

Mary, The Princess Royal (1631-1660). She was the daughter of King Charles I of England, Scots, and Ireland & his wife, Henriette Marie, Daughter of France. She was Sovereign Princess of Orange (1647-1650) as the wife of Willem II, Sovereign Prince of Orange. Her only child was Willem III, Sovereign Prince of Orange (Later King William III & II of England, Scotland, & Ireland).

1664: The French Company of the Isles of America is replaced by the Compagnie des Indes Occidentales (West India Company). 

1672: The Royal Adventurers into Africa, founded in 1660, is restructured & given a new charter as The Royal African Company. The company remains England's major slave-trading organization into the 1730s.

1673: The French West India Company is replaced by the Compagnie du Sénégal (Senegal Company). Under various name changes, this remains the main French slave trading company into the 1720s.

1660 Gaspar Smits - portrait of a boy ca.1660 - possibly John Arundell 2nd Baron Arundell of Trerice

1606: The First Charter of the British American colony of Virginia with settlement at Jamestown a year later.

1619: Twenty Africans, 17 men & 3 women, are brought by a Dutch ship to Jamestown for sale as indentured servants, marking the beginning of slavery in colonial British America.

1628: Slavery is introduced into Manhattan by the Dutch. 

1636: The British American colony of Massachusettes launches the 1st American-built slave carrier, Desire.

1665 Jan Johannes Mijtens (1614-1670) Portret van Maria, prinses van Oranje (1642-1688)

1639: The first law to exclude "Negroes" from normal protections by the British American colony of Virginia government was enacted. 

1640: New Netherlands forbids residents from harboring or feeding runaway slaves.

1641: The British American colony of Massachusettes legalizes slavery

1643: The British American New England Confederation of Plymouth, Massachusetts, Connecticut, & New Haven adopt a fugitive slave law.

1675  Pieter Nason (Dutch artist, c 1612-1688-90) Johan Maurits  Count of Nassau-Siegen (1604-1679); known as "the Brazilian" 1604-1679  He was appointed as the governor of the Dutch possessions in Brazil in 1636, by the Dutch West India Company, whose business was African slaves. In 1621, the Dutch West India Company chartered granting a monopoly to trade in the Caribbean. Dutch slave traders had been operating with varying degrees of success since about 1600.  In 1664, he came back to Holland; when war broke out with an England, he was appointed commander-in-chief of the Dutch States Army.

1675  Pieter Nason (Dutch artist, c 1612-1688-90) Johan Maurits  Count of Nassau-Siegen (1604-1679); known as "the Brazilian" 1604-1679  Detail

1644: A group of 11 enslaved people in New Amsterdam (modern-day New York) successfully petition the government there for what is the first group manumission in a North American colony.

1650: Slave Francis Payne of the British American colony of  Northampton County, Virginia, paid for his freedom by purchasing 3 white servants for his master's use. 

1652: The British American colony of Rhode Island enacts the first law restricting slavery in the colonies declaring slavery illegal for more than 10 years. 

1652: The British American colony of Massachusettes requires all black & Indian male servants to receive military training

1654: The British American colony of  Virginia court allows African Americans to hold slaves.

1668 Jan Johannes Mijtens (1614-1670) Portrait of Margaretha van Raephorst

1655: Elizabeth Key, daughter of a slave, sues for her freedom and wins in the British American colony of Virginia. 

1657: The British American colony of Virginia passes a fugitive slave law 

Jan Johannes Mijtens (1614-1670)  Family Portrait, 1652

1658: Charles II, King of England, orders the Council of Foreign Plantations to devise strategies for converting slaves & servants to Christianity.

Gonzales Coques (Flemish Baroque Era Painter, ca.1615-1684) Family in Garden Landscape

1660s: The 1st native Africans brought to the British American colony of Virginia in 1619. They were hired, with rights of contract, for work on large plantations of tobacco, rice, & indigo. By the 1660s, plantation owners change the laws & revoke contracts, so that African men, women, & children cannot earn their freedom.

1668 Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Lady Charlotte Fitzroy with Indian page

1662: The British American colony of Virginia General Assembly declares children of enslaved women to be slaves.

1662: The British American colony of Massachusetts reverses a ruling dating back to 1652, which allowed blacks to train in arms. New York, Connecticut, & New Hampshire pass similar laws restricting the bearing of arms.

1663: In the British American colony of Gloucester County, Virginia, the 1st documented slave rebellion in the colonies takes place.

1633: The British American colony of Maryland legalizes slavery.

1670s Jan Verkolje (I) (1650-1693) Portrait of Johan de la Faille

1678 Georg Adam Eberhard Portrait of Franziska Sibylla Augusta von Sachsen-Lauenburg

1664: The British American colony of Maryland is the 1st colony to take legal action against marriages between white women & black men. The 1st colonial "anti-amalgamation" law is enacted (amalgamation referred to "race-mixing"). Other colonies soon followed Maryland's example.

1664: The British American colony of  Maryland mandates lifelong servitude for all black slaves. New York, New Jersey, the Carolinas, & Virginia all pass similar laws

1665: Legislation in several states tightens the bonds of slavery. English law provides that slaves may be freed if they convert to Christianity & establish legal residence, but the British American colony of Maryland, New York, New Jersey, the Carolinas, & Virginia pass laws allowing conversion & residence without freeing any slaves.

1680 Francois de Troy (1645-1730) Lieselotte von der Pfalz

1666: The British American colony of Maryland passes a fugitive slave law.

1667: The British American colony of Virginia declares that Christian baptism will not alter a man or a woman's status as a slave. Christian baptisms would no longer affect the bondage of blacks or Indians, preventing enslaved workers from improving their legal status by changing their religion. 

 1678-1693 French Fashion plate Recueil des modes de la cour de France, 'Dame de la Cour'

1678-1693 French Fashion plate Recueil des modes de la cour de France, 'Dame'

1667: The British American colony of New Jersey passes a fugitive slave law.

Abraham Lambertsz. van den Tempel (Dutch painter, c 1622-1672) Portrait of Jan van Amstel (1618-1669) and Anna Boxhoorn (1642-1726).

1670: The British American colony of  Virginia prohibits free blacks & Indians from keeping Christian (i.e. white) servants.

1682 Pierre Mignard (French artist, 1612- 1695) Louise de Kéroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth (1649-1734), Mistress of Charles II. This portrait was painted in Paris during a visit by the duchess in the first half of 1682. The servant child holding coral & a shell filled with pearls is unidentified.

1685-95 The Indian Queen (Anne Bracegirdle) by William Vincent, published by John Smith

1674: New York declares that blacks who convert to Christianity after their enslavement will not be freed.

1680: The British American colony of  Virginia forbids free blacks & slaves from bearing arms; prohibits blacks from congregating in large numbers; & mandates harsh punishment for slaves who assault Christians or attempt escape.

1682: The British American colony of Virginia declares all imported African American servants to be slaves for life.  A law establishing the racial distinction between indentured servants & slaves was enacted. 

1687 Anton Domenico Gabbiani Italian Portrait of three Musicians of the Medici Court

1687a Anton Domenico Gabbiani Italian Portrait of three Musicians of the Medici Court. Detail

1684: New York makes it illegal for slaves to sell goods.

1688: Quakers in the British American colony of Pennsylvania issue a formal resolution against slavery of men & women in America.

1688: The Germantown Protest, The German Mennonite Resolution against Slavery, the 1st formal protest against slavery in the British American colonies, is delivered in Pennsylvania.

1690s Philippe Vignon (1638-1701)Francoise-Marie de Bourbon, Duchesse d'Orléans, 2nde Mademoiselle de Blois (1677-1749) and Sister

1691 Frances Coningsby (née Jones), Lady Coningsby Lady Catherine Jones by John Smith, published by Edward Cooper, after Jan van der Vaart, after William Wissing

1691: The British American colony of South Carolina passes the first comprehensive slave codes

1691: The British American colony of Virginia passes the first anti-miscegenation law, forbidding marriages between whites & blacks or whites & Native Americans. And Virginia prohibits the manumission of slaves within its borders. Manumitted slaves are forced to leave the colony.  The law declared that any white man or woman who married a "Negro, mulatto, or Indian" would be banished from the colony forever. 

1694: Rice cultivation is introduced into Carolina. Slave importation increases dramatically. 

1696: The Royal African Trade Company loses its slave trade monopoly, spurring colonists in The British American colonies of New England to engage in trading male & female slaves for profit.

1697 Jan Weenix (1640-1719) Portrait of Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans

1700: The British American colony of Pennsylvania legalizes slavery. 

1702: The British American colony of New York passes An Act for Regulating Slaves prohibiting more than 3 slaves from meeting together; slaves from testifying in court; & trading by slaves.

1703: The British American colony of Connecticut assigns the punishment of whipping to any slaves who disturb the peace or assault whites.

1703: The British American colony of Rhode Island makes it illegal for blacks & Indians to walk at night without passes.

1700s Johann Conrad Eichler (1688-1748) Portrait of Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1671-1735)

1705: The British American colony of Virginia Slave Code codifies slave status, declaring all non-Christian servants entering the colony to be slaves. It defines all slaves as real estate; acquits masters who kill slaves during punishment; forbids slaves & free blacks from physically assaulting white persons: & denies slaves the right to bear arms or move abroad without written permission.

1705: The British American colony of New York, passes a law against runaway slaves assigns the death penalty for those caught over 40 miles north of Albany.

1705: The British American colony of Massachusetts declares marriage between African Americans & whites illegal.

1706: The British American colony of Connecticut requires that Indians, mulattos, & black servants gain permission from their masters to engage in trade.

1697 Pierre Gobert (1662-1744) Portrait of Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans as Venus about to bind the wings of Cupid.

1700 Sir Charles Napier, 2nd Bt by and published by John Smith, after J. Sommer

1702 Mary (Somerset), Duchess of Ormonde by and published by John Smith, after Sir Godfrey Kneller

1708 Dutch Girl with a Dog and Page Boy (with Collar) by Dutch artist Philip Vilain

1702-10 Queen Anne by and published by Jacob Gole, after Unknown artist

1700s Johann Salomon Wahl (1689-1765) Portrait of Princess Charlotte Amalie af Danmark (1706-1782)

Portraits of Black Servants in colonial British America

Early in the 18C, the 1st master & slave portrait appeared in the British American colonies.  It is presently assumed, that the 1710 Justus Engelhardt Kuhn (fl 1707-1717) painting of Henry Darnall III is the first.  For years when I worked at the Maryland Historical Society, I would walk by the Kuhn portrait of Henry which hung next to Kuhn's painting of his sister.  She was standing in front of fantasy gardens with Catholic references, but she was posed with a dog. Why was she with a dog, and he with another person, a young slave? 

1710 Justus Engelhardt Kuhn fl 1707-1717 Eleanor Darnall 1704-1796

The following portrait of Henry is symbolic of the new colony of America, where the acquisition of money, land, & power would no longer depend on traditional European family ties.  It is a portrait of two young men, not of established aristocrats.  It is a portrait of two males, the power-makers of the new colony. They are engaged in hunting for food, the most basic aspect of maintaining life.  It is not a depiction of an ornamental slave, but an image of a partner who will help shape the New World.  Fifty years later in 1760, John Hesselius (1728-1778) would create the 2nd portrait of a slave & his young partner-master Charles Calvert.

1710 Justus Engelhardt Kuhn (Colonial American artist, fl 1707-1717) Henry Darnall III

Of course, in both colonial British American paintings of a young slave & his master in 18C America, the child slave is presented as an inferior, obedient partner & protector rather than as the antithesis of the cultured life of the child of the established landed gentry.  The viewer of the Kuhn portrait is reminded of the slave's status by the silver collar on the boy's neck.  But these young slaves are not shown in the reality of the majority of their colonial American kin, in dehumanizing field labor.  The slave in these colonial portraits is not just a decorative ornament, he is the means to the aspirations of the family that appear in the garden background. These American landowners would have to create their own self-made aristocracy & power social status, & they would need slave labor to do that.  The gardens point to the Darnell family's aspiration for the grandeur of European culture & estates.

1760 John Hesselius (Colonial American artist, 1728-1778). Charles Calvert, Eldest Son Of Benedict Swingate Calvert

Returning to portraits of black servants & slaves in 18C Europe...

These paintings include British paintings from throughout the 18C.  After 1772, slavery in Britain became less popular. This change in attitude was spurred by a 1772 court case, in which Somerset, a fugitive enslaved African, brought suit against his owner who was attempting to force him to return to the West Indies. Lord Justice Mansfield ruled, that it would be illegal to remove the slave Somerset from the country against his wishes. This case began to extend the rights of enslaved Africans in Britain & including such servants in family portraits became less socially acceptable.

1700 John Baptiste de Medina (1659 –1710) James Drummond 2nd Duke of Perth

1700 Unknown artist, Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici holding a miniature of her husband the Elector Palatine

1700-05 Unknown artist, Portrait of  John Chardin (1643-1713) Chardin, the son of a wealthy merchant jeweller, was born in Paris, where he followed in his father's trade. The young African page holding the world map probably refers to Chardin's world travels, which included sailing around Africa's Cape of Good Hope. In 1664-70, Chardin traveled as a jewel merchant through Turkey to Persia & India and, on his return to Paris, published an account of his experiences as the jewel agent of Solyman III. Chardin made his 2nd visit to the East in 1671; and, 6 years later, returned to Europe by way of the Cape of Good Hope. He went on to publish 3 volumes detailing his experiences. In 1681, Chardin moved to London in order to escape the persecution of Protestants in France & was soon after appointed court jeweler. This portrait of him is likely to have been painted in London.

1700-20 Giuseppe Maria Crespi (Italian artist, 1665-1747) Count Fulvio Grati 1700-1720

1700s Antoine Pesne (1683-1757) Frederick the Great as a child with his sister Wilhelmine

1700s copy of Jean-Baptiste Andree Gautier-Dogoty (1740-1786) Portrait of Madame du Barry (1743-1793)

1700s Ivan Adolsky. Catherine I of Russia (1684-1727)

1700s Unknown artist, Portrait of King Christian VI

1705 Unknown artist, Portrait of Anna Konstancja Cosel (1680-1765)

1707 Gustav von Mardefeld Portrait of Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia (1672-1725)

1708 Elihu Yale the 2nd Duke of Devonshire,Lord James Cavendish, Mr Tunstal and a Page

1715 Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659-1743) Portrait of Friedrich August II of Saxony (1696-1763)

1716 Antoine Pesne (1683-1757)  Portrait of the crown prince Friedrich Ludwig of Württemberg and his wife Henriette Marie of Brandenburg-Schwedt

1720s Unknown Artist. Portrait of Tekla Róża Radziwiłł (1703–1747).

1720s workshop of Louis de Silvestre (1675-1760) Portrait of Augustus II the Strong.

1720-50s Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter after Unknown artist

1725 Bartholomew Dandridge (English artist, 1691-c.1754) A Young Girl with a Dog and a Page

1725 Johnathan Richardson the Younger (1694-1771) Portrait of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762)

1727-31Pierre Gobert (1662-1744)  Louise-Hippolyte Grimaldi when Duchess of Valentinois

1728 Johann Paul Luedden d 1739 Portrait of Princess Charlotte of Brunswick-Luneburg

1730 Unknown artist. Portrait of Marie Charlotte Sobieska, Duchess de Bouillon.

1730s Anna Rosina Lisiewska (1713-1783) Portrait of Johanna Charlotte of Anhalt-Dessau (1682-1750)

1730s Charles Philips Portrait of a Gentleman

1733 Jean-Marc Nattier (1685-1766) Mademoiselle de Clermont as a Sultana (1697-1741)

1733 Placido Costanzi (1702-1759) Portrait of George Keith, 10th Earl Marischal (1692-93-1778)

1735 Robert West (Irish artist, d 1770) Thomas Smith and his Family

1735  Anna Rosina Lisiewska (1713-1783) Portrait of Charles Frederick Albert, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt (1705-1762)

1735 Attr to Johann Philipp von der Schlichten (1681-1745) Portrait of Princess Maria Augusta of Thurn and Taxis (1706,1756), Duchess of Württemberg

1735 Georg Wencelaus von Knobelsdorff. Frederick II of Russia as Crown Prince

1737 John Vanderbanck (English artist, 1694-1739) Anne Howard, Lady Yonge

1740 John Giles Eccardt (British artist, 1720–1779) Lady Grace Carteret (1713–1755), Countess of Dysart with a Child (Lady Frances Tollemache, 1738–1807), + a Black Servant, Cockatoo & Spaniel

Card Players in a Drawing Room” by Pierre Louis Dumesnil the Younger (1698-1781)

1743 Georg Christoph Grooth (1716-1749) Equestrian portrait of Empress Elisabeth of Russia Detail

1744 Phillipe Mercier English The Sense of Taste (series on the senses)

1744 Phillipe Mercier English The Sense of Taste (series on the senses) Detail.

 1742 - 1744 Captain Lord George Graham in his Cabin by William Hogarth 

1744 The Honorable John Spencer & His Son, the 1st Earl Spencer with their Servant, Caesar Shaw by George Knapton 

1745 Francis Hayman (1708-1776) Unknown woman, formerly known as Margaret ('Peg') Woffington (1720-1760)

1746 Thomas Bardwell (English artist, 1704-1767)  Capt Robert Fenwick and his wife Isabella Orde and her sister Ann and a Black page

1746 Jacob Wessel (1710-1780) Portrait of Magdalena Radziwiłł nee Czapska.

Paul Henry Ouerry by Sir Joshua Reynolds c. 1748

1750  J A T Dresdner Schule. Allegory of Winter

1750 Antoine Pesne (1683-1757) Portrait of Karoline von Pfalz-Zweibrücken (1721-1774)

1750 Antoine Pesne (1683-1757) Portrait of the Actress Babette Cochois (c.1725-1780), later Marquise d’Argens

1750 Gennaro Basile (1722-1782) Adels von Gennaro Basile aus Schloss Hainfeld

1750s Josef Schmitz Francisca Christina of the Palatinate-Sulzbach, Princess-Abbess of Essen and Thorn (1696-1776)

1750s after Georg Christoph Grooth (1716-1749) Equestrian portrait of Empress Catherine I (1684-1727) Detail

1750s Unknown artist, Portrait of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1744-1818)

1754 Arthur Devis (English artist, 1712-1787) John Orde, His Wife Anne, and His Eldest Son William

1756 Anna Rosina Lisiewska (1713-1783) Prinzessin Anna Elisabeth Luise von Preußen

1761  Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) Lady Elizabeth Keppel

1763-65 Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) Portrait of John Manners, Marquess of Granby (1721-1770)

1764-67 Joshua Reynolds (1723-1767) Portrait of Frederick William Ernest, Count of Schaumburg-Lippe (1724-77)

1765 Johann Zoffany (1733-1810) The Third Duke of Richmond out shooting. Detail

1765 Stefano Torelli (1712-1784) Portrait of Grand Duke Pavel Petrovich

1770 Joseph Wright of Derby (1734-1797)Two Girls with their Black Servant

1770 Portrait of John Delaval (1756–1775) as an archer, painted by William Bell (1740-1804) in Van Dyck Costume with a Servant

1772 Georg David Matthieu. Herzogin Louise Friederike

1770s Unknown artist. Portrait of Seneca Inggersen (1715-1786)

1773 Lorenz Lonberg. Portrait of Heinrich Carl Schimmelmann with the portrait of his wife Caroline Tugendreich

1774 Joseph Wolfgang Hauwiller (c 1710-1787) Portrait of Landgravine Caroline Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt (1723-1783)

1780 Jean-Louis Voille (1744-1803) Portrait of Evdokiya Nikolayevna Chesmenskaya

1780 Watercolor of a Slave wearing a Silver Collar & his Mistress. 

1781 William Redmore Bigg English A Lady and Her Children Relieving a Cottager

1783 Louis-Auguste Brun (1758-1815) Marie-Antoinette hunting

1790s Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659-1743) Portrait of Louis, Prince of Condé (1668–1710),

For additional reading, see:

Allison Blakely, Blacks in the Dutch World: The Evolution of Racial Imagery in a Modern Society (Bloomington, Ind., 1993)

Simon Gikandi, Slavery and the Culture of Taste (Princeton, 2011)

Kim Hall, Things of Darkness: Economies of Race and Gender in Early Modern England (Ithaca, N.Y., 1995)

See Brycchan Carey's Slavery Timeline  Thanks for all of his research for the introduction to slavery as well.