One of the most beautiful ‘art’ histories that I encountered during my years of research into the imagination of “Black” in the Dutch / Flemish art, were the miniatures in manuscripts in which Africans can be seen. One surprising figure after another surfaced. Unfortunately, these works are rarely lent and we could show only a few examples in the exhibition Black is beautiful in 2008.
An interesting example is that in the period that the Burgundian Duke Philip the Good 1396 -1467 was in power, there was admiration for “Ethiopians”. This appreciation can be found in both in literature and in the arts and has hardly been investigated.
What lies behind these sometimes intriguing works? A first step of the research was then to find out what was going on historically in…
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