zaterdag 21 mei 2011

PERSONAL DESCRIPTIONS




[William I of Orange (1533-1584): 'More brown then white' and \ Brown of complexion and the beard'(Beresteyn 1933:1)].




PERSONAL DESCRIPTIONS

The Blue Blood is Black Blood (1500-1789) Theory (2005) is primarily based on biographical, personal descriptions of members of the European elite that say they were brown or black of complexion.

Next there are portraits, mostly engravings, which do show the black and brown complexions. This theory offers a deconstruction of racism against Blacks by stating that Europe was once ruled by a Black identified, Black and coloured noble and royal elite, and scientific racism should be regarded as a liberation ideology to wean oppressed whites away from their fascination with their Black and brown oppressors. Part of the liberation ideology was also the revision of history to turn all the Great Men into white men. Human Races were invented to raise whites to the level of humans, and put whites at the top of a fictional evolutional hierarchy, with Blacks at the bottom, nearest to apes. While The Declaration of Human Rights should rightly be understood for the whites Europeans, serfs, to gain equal rights, to be respected as humans by their black and coloured noble and royal masters.

Racism was invented around 1760, according to Appiah (1975), when nations were hence identified by skin colour. The French Revolution (1789-1795) was the first wave of the ideological war for liberation of whites. Before this there were Farmer Revolts in the 15th and 16th centuries against the nobility and the church that were bloodily put down. Due to restorations whites were only finally emancipated after the revolutions from 1848. As these Black nobles had issued fashionable and propagandistic, whitened portraits; these pieces were next used for revisionism; to hide this bitter and traumatic historical episode. Black portraits were repressed or over painted or copied as white portraits. Some authentic black portraits are still languishing in secret family faults. Whites seem to still be vehemently reacting to these acrimonious happenings, and still fear Black domination; even if most of them do not know that the European elite was Black.

There has to be a factor in the raising of white children to make around 10% hard-line racists, who are able to intimidate non-racist whites as well as Blacks. Still it can be noticed that the historical Black portraits are until today consciously neglected or overexposed to appear lighter in reproduction. There have to be people in the know. Like when they talk about Black Caucasians or African Caucasians, to explain away Black European royalty. Or people are told that blue blood refers to blue veins, or black refers to black hair or even that portraits do not show ethnicity, which some less able people repeat over and over. Claims are made that fungi altered ‘woodcuts’ or that paper is oxidised to make whites appear like Blacks. This fungi or oxidation only seems to attack the faces and hands and leaves the white lace collars, white. Yet the biggest group that permits this revisionism to continue are Blacks themselves, with their intellectual leaders still selling their people for personal gain, career purposes and safety. Or that Black persons are taken aback by the liberating idea that Blacks are not the eternal victims of whites. This gives whites, who were only emancipated after 1848, too much credit and power.

These personal descriptions are found in biographies; even the first pages. Next the Blue blood theory asks why then are they described as brown or black yet portrayed as whites. But there are indeed also drawings and prints to be found, which show their dark complexions. Some even show ethnic facial traits. The personal descriptions are also called pen portraits, and they can be autobiographical as well. Isabelle de Charrière (1740-1805), known also as baroness Belle van Zuylen, wrote about her self in ‘Portrait of Zélide’(1767) to James Boswell: ‘She does not have the white hands, she knows this and even jokes about it; but it’s not a joking matter.’ (CP.Courtney 1996)Yet all her known portraits show a white woman with dark hair. A portrait of her grandmother, Maria Jacoba van Goor (1687-1737) however shows a rich, regent class woman with marked African facial traits, yet with white skin. The white skin is at variance with her granddaughter writing: I don’t have the white hands. Van Goor’s mother, Elizabeth Schrijvers, was a niece of Rembrandt’s.

Boswell, a Scottish noble and a candidate for marriage to De Charrière, and who is a descendent of king John Bruce, calls himself ‘black’ as he jokes about his yet unborn natural child, that should be called ‘The Black Prince,’ as both his parents are ‘black.’ He writes in his journal about his niece: ‘Mrs Maasdam black as chimney.’ And about her husband: ‘Her husband chimney sweeper.’ She was Anna Margaretha van Aerssen, a granddaughter of the Surinam governor Cornelis van Aerssen van Sommelsdijk(1637-1688). Lady van Aerssen married baron Aarnoud Joost van der Duyn van Maasdam (1715-1785) a member of the oldest noble families. De Charrière wrote a poem about the barons complexion: ‘A son teint noir et basané.’(1767) (About his brown black complexion) The Van Aerssens Family was the richest family in the 17 century and owned a third part of Surinam. The governor’s grandmother, Petronella Borre (1578-1653) shows frizzled hair. Baron van Maasdam’s sister married a ‘friend’ of King William III: Aarnout Joost Keppel. An engraved portrait of heir grandson, George Keppel, Earl of Albemarle shows the famous dark complexion of this family. In a letter to her lover Constant D’Hermenches de Rebeque, De Charrière writes that the Van der Duyn family was famed for their swarthiness. But his famous portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds shows a white man.

There is no portrait issued of Mrs. Maasdam, but of her husband there is portrait by De Spinny, which shows a white man, with light eyes. Their daughter Anne van der Duyn (1747-1798) looks dark, and granddaughter Sophie Countess of Bylandt (1778-1841) shows remarkable Classical African facial traits. From his features, mentioned in the poem, we can conclude that the portrait actually shows baron Maasdam. He has probably ordered the whitened portrait himself. Which leads to the next question as why did the brown and black elite have themselves portrayed as whites? An engraving of his cousin George Keppel, of Albemarle, shows the very dark colouring. A portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1761) of his sister, Elizabeth Keppel, the Marquise of Tavistock, shows a white woman aided by a Black woman; a Moorress. The Moorress is not a real person, but symbolises ‘blue blood,’ and inform us of the high birth of the Marquise. Moor is the name for the Classical Africans we find in European art and heraldry. The Marquise of Tavistock is an ancestor of The Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles.

A later lover of De Charrière was Benjamin Constant, a nephew of D’Hermenches de Rebeque, and is described as having: ‘very bad complexion.’  (Dennis Wood) Like his lover Germaine baroness de Staël-Holstein (1766-1817), wife of the Swedish ambassador to the French King: ‘an amplitude of form, good features, bad complexion’ and she was ‘too swarthy.’ Her marriage contract was co-signed by Louis XIV and his wife Marie Antoinette. The French Queen was a daughter of Empress Maria Theresa of Habsburg, the granddaughter of Leopold I Habsburg (1640-1705), Emperor of The Holy Roman Empire. He was described as ‘a short, hale black man.’ Portraits and coins show a very prognastic man, with extremely thick lips. Another famous Hapsburg, Emperor Charles V’s mummy is described as ‘black’ and shows very Black and very prognastic on a 19th century photograph. Louis XIV mummy was viewed in the 18th century and was deemed well preserved and ‘black as ink.’ His cousin Charles II Stuart (1630-1685) was named The Black Boy and described by a wanted poster as ‘a tall black man.’ Several prints show a very dark skinned man. As does his mother, Henrietta Maria de Bourbon, a daughter of Maria de Medici and Henri IV de Bourbon. Louis XIV, The Sun King who was followed by his great-grandson Louis XV, and was the great-great grandfather of King Louis XVI. All royals intermarried with other royal families and all were blue blooded. The wives of Louis XIV and Leopold I were sisters, and daughters of Filip III of Spain.

By the above method we can identify many other relatives as brown or black of complexion. The description mentions skin colour, which mattered, as it was proof of blue blood. Their complexion and facial traits showed them to be descendents of Blacks. As does the little Moors, which depiction can also be regarded as mythical forefathers or forefather spirits. We also notice that the same person is shown in many different ways, to the point that portraits do not match. This can be understood as; every painter imposing his own sense of beauty on persons who might not have classical good looks. Many regarded the Greek ideal as the standard of beauty: a small facial angle. The Greek gods had a facial angle of 0, a feature seldom met in real people. Yet there also seems a need to play up the Classical African traits, from which we can conclude they were valued as proof of pure blue blood. The Habsburg took pride in their own marked subnasal prognathism. The Classical African features were thus highly prized as further proof of blue blood in the family bloodlines, when not every member showed these facial traits. The whitened portrait seems to be propagandistic, as they ruled whites and wanted to legitimise their rule by looking white. In real life this was often achieved with white face paint and bleach, together with blond wigs. But this make up was also part of their aesthetics, like whites today do not seem to like their natural milky colour and tan on exotic beaches, use self-browning crèmes and have themselves sprayed brown. But this does not mean they want to be Blacks or marry Blacks. It’s a status symbol and makes the person look rich and sporting, to be able to travel to sunny beaches. This also goes for hair structure or hair colour, which individuals are forever changing according to whim or fashion.

The European Black noble and royal elite were presumably descendents of the first Europeans who were Africans. They did not suddenly became whites 6000 years ago, but were forcibly assimilated in the late 19th century, yet some managed to remain Black far into the twentieth century. Queen Alexandra of Britain, wife of Edward VII, a great-grandson of Charlotte of Mecklenburg, was still painting herself pink by 1910. From the start there was admixture with whites and Asians, thus they can be defined as ‘an intermarrying, fixed mulatto race, with some looking more African, Asian or white.’ In their aesthetics some followed the classical Greek ideal, which favoured a small facial angle and white skin. Yet in real life they intermarried and considered Black individuals as of pure blood and more noble. The Black Europeans considered themselves the true Europeans, and ruled and oppressed the white majority, who were migrants from Asia. Other Blacks who were not noble were favoured in a system that can be described as Reversed Apartheid. This practice explains why the not noble and intellectual elite was also Black and brown in looks. There seems to be a need with some parts of the nobility for using the skins of their white subjects, serfs, as leather for bookbinding’s, clothing and shoes. This explains some of the fury of the French Revolution.

MORE DESCRIPTIONS

Edward of Woodstock: The Black Prince. He has, just like his mother, Marguerite de Hainaut, Asian facial traits; perhaps derived from their Mongol ancestors.

Charlotte Sophie of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of King George III and mother of George IV. She was Queen Victoria’s grandmother: ‘a true mulatto face, brown, yellow.’ Her portraits often show her classical African features with frizzled hair. It is claimed that she shows Vandal facial traits. Presumably Blacks were part of all the peoples that inhabited Europe: Saxons, Franks, Sueven, Goth’s, Vandals; but only around 1100-1200 assumed the position of nobles and kings among their fellow white nationals.

William of Orange (1533-1584), founder of the Dutch dynasty: ‘more brown then white, brown of complexion and the beard.’ Some prints show strong prognathism and curly hair. His brother Count Johan of Nassau shows strong subnasal prognathism and dark complexion as well.

Ludwig von Beethoven: The Black Spaniard. Several paintings testify to his black complexion.

Bernd Hayden: the little Blackamoor. An oil portrait shows his black skin.

Anna Boleyn: very dark, with black eyes and dark hair.

Elizabeth I: dark. She was famous for painting her face white.

James Boswell: dark and swarthy, with black eyes.

Lorenzo the Medici: dark and swarthy, with a flattened nose. A Vasari portrait shows his blackness.

Pierre-Alexander Du Peyrou: son teint noir et basane, his dark brown complexion.

Jean Paul Bernadotte: semitic origins.

Thomas Fairfax: nicknamed ‘Black Tom.’

Jean-Jacques Rousseau: a gentle black man in an Armenian coat.

Elizabeth Barett Browning: very brown complexion.

Johan van Sandick: self described as ‘brown, with brown hair.’

Jane Austen: rich brown, not pink

Eliza de Feuillide: the native brown of my complexion heightened with a tan.

BLACK PORTRAITS

Next there are very black engravings, but no description found, yet.

Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector: an equestrian portrait shows a truly black man.

John Deveraux was a descendent of Anna Boleys sister Mary, and became Elizabeth I’s lover: looks extremely black of complexion.

François de la Noué: Huguenot leader looks very black with strong subnasal prognathism.

Henri IV; black prints and a painting. His son Duc D’Anjou described as swarthy. His grandson Charles II Stuart was The Black Boy.

Catharine de Medici: a black print by Clouet.

Anthony van Leeuwenhoek: very black drawings.

Jan Vos: described as “ugly’ because with very Classical African with Black skin.

Shakespeare looks Black. His plays have many black characters: Othello, Hamlet

Bredero: looks black.

Fillips II Habsburg: a very black engraving, prognastic. His father, Charles V’s mummy was black and very prognastic.

Martin Luther: a black drawing

Alessandro de Medici: looks like a true mulatto

Gustaaf IV Adolf: African features

Gustaaf X of Sweden: dark, prognastic.

Voltaire: several black drawings.

David Hume: classical African looks on Ramsay portrait, dark skin on engraving.

Immanuel Kant: several dark drawings

Mary of Scots: very dark. Her great-grandson was Charles II Stuart and named The Black Boy

Baron Onno Zwier van Haren; has Indonesian looks, just like his daughter baroness Caroline van Haren, who married J. van Sandick, and their son: Onno Zwier van Sandick.

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