maandag 19 augustus 2013

BLACK AFRICANS IN RENAISSANCE EUROPE

 

 
Review: The Bookcover
 


 
Alessandro de Medici


Pope Clement VII, his father?

 
Maria Salviati and a Black girl, symbolising blackness. Whitened faces

 
Lorenzo I, also named as Alesandro's possible father.
If one takes a look at all the other De Medici's one finds many, more or less, classical African types.

 
Dido Elisabeth Langsay, Jane Austen based Fanny Price from Mansfield Park on her life.


 
JF van der Werff, a Suriname elite member,
showing strong classical african facial traits.
Whitened portrait.

 
Jamnitzer Moorhead, drinking vessel, from Moritzburg

 
King Balthasar



                                              Djimoun Hounsou, the rare, ultra black skinned Black.
                              The Blacks discussed in this book are still around. We can still study them.

 
Manhead, Venice, Renaissance

 


 
Review;

BLACK AFRICANS IN RENAISSANCE EUROPE

 

Dear T.F.Earle and KJP Lowe,

 
When your ancestors, the European whites, the third estate, who were emancipated serfs and villains gained universal suffrage during the Final Revolutions in 1848, they started a process to completely eradicate their former brown and black noble and bourgeoisie masters from history. You are attempting to finish the job, but you will not succeed.

 
This process is still going strong and your scholarly book is extremely racist in its purpose to show that the only Blacks in Europe were slaves, or second-generation slaves. Even as freedmen, they were kept poor and segregated, and were hated by the whites, you claim. As the Europeans in this study can only be whites in your minds, even the European soil and the air seems hostile to Blacks. They are invariably referred to as just ‘black Africans,’ and not Guineans, Congolese, Ghanaians as this study addresses also Tartars, Circassians, Greeks and Indians who were also enslaved in Renaissance Europe. Blacks are identified by their colour alone, not geography like supposedly other white slaves, which comes off as superficial:. While in fact you inform us it was well known and recorded, where from Africa they came from. In Suriname, it was possible to tell their nation till 1848, because they were sought out for specific skills, employed in different professions and were also recognizable from their body markings and ornaments.  It seemed that for the makers of this book there was a need to denigrate Blacks and turn them into one amorphous black mass, to make them less human, and incapable of living in an organized state. The hatred against these Black Africans was according to this book mostly their colour, but the colour was also linked to bad behaviour, sexual licentiousness, violence, laziness etc. The few Africans who managed to learn to write and could sign with their own names are presented in this book as miracles, the same like we would look and be astonished at an ape who can write his own name. Their speak is reduced to gibberish, and they seem unable to learn an European language. While English, French and Spanish today is widely spoken by Africans, Caribbean’s and Asians. This book is to stamp out all ideas that the Renaissance was brought on by European Blacks. It’s like the misogynistic 19th century books, like the one by Dr. White who claims that white women are actually Blacks for having large areas of brown skin and have a pregnancy mask, and turn brown in the face. Or those by Otto Weininger, Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, Kant, and Hegel recognized as anti-women. These ‘scientific’ studies proofed by sound use of the ‘scientific method ‘ that women were inherently, inescapable inferior to men. So you have proofed blacks were not in European in a position of power, did not contribute to the civilization, and were universally hated and scorned. As Black today should be scorned by all whites.


 In my own research I have found slavery of Blacks just the last 500 years of the Black civilization that already lasts 10.000 years. Blacks should better discuss the pyramids if they want to derive some benefit or inspiration from the toils of their ancestors. Slavery just demoralizes and saddens Blacks, and is used by whites to intimidate Blacks in telling them they are slaves, they were always slaves and will always be slaves. That’s also the intention of this book, like all books by whites about Blacks. Black History Museums, except my own Suriname Blue Blood Is Black Blood Museum at The Hague, are always about the slavery era and about descendents of slaves, the only group that according to whites can legitimately be identified as Blacks. These Museums are funded by the states and by whites who want to keep Blacks indoctrinated  that they are slaves. The exploits and accomplishments of these Blacks are always presented in the light of slavery, also their failings and problems. The solution offered is to wait till whites will give them equality, to become like whites. And the Black leaders and scientists, which are acceptable to whites, the black fat cats, always argue from a position of victimhood. And the deliverance of Blacks will only come when they get reparations. But they should not be involved in activism of any sort. Blacks in my view have themselves to thank for any wrong they suffered as all of history is about Blacks. They are sold out, by their so-called leaders and intellectuals who are on the take. Slavery and reparations should be about back pay, like I have worked for you for 350 years and you never paid me, but made millions that your descendants now still enjoy. How much will we agree upon to be a fair back pay to give back to communities? Blacks should not change or accept any condition to get this money back.



All history is about Blacks as slavery of Africans in Europe and the Americas was invented while the brown and black complexioned Europeans ruled (1100-1848). The colonial slave masters were members of the European bourgeoisie and were brown or black complexioned. Often fairer in looks then their slaves, but also as black of skin as some of their slaves. They looked down on Africans not because of looks, but as heathens and uncivilized peoples. Jane Austen (1775-1817), a member of the brown and black complexioned gentry wrote about slavery and was herself described as ‘a brunette of complexion.’ In ‘Mansfield Park’ Fanny Price is based on real life Dido Elizabeth Longsay, who is portrayed by A.Ramsay as a dark mulatto type. Dido is the  favourite niece of Lord Mansfield, who lived with his family. She was the child of his cousin and a former enslaved woman. Fanny Price is a favourite house slave in the noble Bertram household of her mother’s sister: yet as a half-black she has a lower status. When visitors call, she cannot eat with the family. This is how in reality the house slaves were often children, brothers, sisters and kin of the masters. This accounts for their preferential status, and after manumission could inherit and marry an European. Austen shows how Blacks misuse their own brethren and teach others how to mistreat and look down on Blacks, and offers this as a cause for the downfall of Blacks by their own follies.

 
Interesting is the front cover showing African Man by Jan Mostaert, considered by me a true portrait of Emperor Charles V Hapsburg. By all accounts, he had thick lips or at least a protruding chin, that we call sub nasal prognathism, which is regarded as crucial to identify a person as Black. His mummy was photographed in the 19th century, even turned in a postcard, was described as ‘black with massive prognathism.’ Comparably, Le Notre described Louis XIV mummy in the 18th century as ‘well preserved and black as ink.’ His cousin Charles II Stuart, was called The Black Boy, and described as ‘a tall black man’ in a wanted poster. A miniature of princess Dorothea of Denmark, wife of the Palatine Elector shows a Black woman. There should be personal descriptions of the Emperor, but these are never mentioned. Even when they are discussing the Mostaert portrait in the Rijksmuseum Bulletin, deciding the image has all the features of a Habsburg gentleman: except in complexion. But they put in front that he cannot be Charles V, just a bodyguard who wears the Habsburg colours and a golden medal of the Black Madonna of Halle, making him a distinguished rather then casual, and a rich visitor of the shrine.

 

[Lorenzo I, also cited as father of Alessandro. Maria Salviati. This portrait for a long time did not show the little Black girls as she symbolised the blackness of the Medici family. So she was covered and only emerged during a restoration. They wanted to make her into Cosimo I, to sell the painting at a higher price, but it’s a girl.]

 
The books offer interesting details of slave life’s, slave trade, and the arrival of the first Africans in 1444. How some owners treated their slaves well while others did not. Most illuminating was an African foundation that aided in the redemption of slaves who wanted to be free. In Suriname historiography there was a 19th century Muslim community, with a mosque near New Amsterdam in the Commewijne District, dedicated to buying Muslims slaves free. From the Maria Suzanne Du Plessis research emerges an accusation that she had forcibly relocated her manumitted slave to an Caribbean island. She might have been the mother of her nephew or nieces, as it is stated that Du Plessis kept the children. This book hardly condemns slavery and the hardship suffered by slaves, as if slavery is really something due to Blacks. It also seems to teach whites to be harsh on Blacks no matter what. Whites in general do not seem to have a strong notion of freedom, because after emancipation their white leaders kept them un-free and ignorant through obscurantism. In their thinking, they remain close to their serf ancestors. Even their sassing and posturing against Black individuals today, owes more to a powerless, poor white serfs remonstrating with his Black noble masters. It is this 165 year old event, of whites gaining their long fought equality and freedom, that is kept alive by whites as racism, while they should move on, like Blacks have moved on.

 

Exceptional is the chapter about Alessandro de Medici and the Moorhead drinking vessel by Jamnitzer. There is a longish list of personal description of Alessandro, and they are compared to a few depictions that confirm he was the face type we call Black today. Its however automatically assumed he got his looks from his mother, a servant woman from peasant stock, Simonette from a village Colle Vechio. Many portraits of the Medici family show classical African facial traits, as the family was Black. Non of his enemies attacked his blackness, but only his low birth from a servant mother. This is remarked but not worked upon, as to find out why? Mainly because they were brown and black themselves, while the elite self-identified with heraldic images of Moors, as Black. Simonette was married, and asked him by letter for money, meaning he was not close to his mother and might have disavowed her, and his half-siblings. I was surprised about these details that I had not encountered before. It was Charles V who ennobled De Medici and made him Duke of Florence. After which he was married off to a natural daughter of Charles V, Marguerite of Parma. She was also a daughter of another servant, in Bruges. Yet her half-brother Philips II made her governor of the Netherlands. She also had her bastardness thrown at her. Some 19th century historians disputed his blackness, one suggested he just ‘looked’ Black, as his mother was ‘Eastern.’ Blackness is often presented as a ‘strain’ an infection, a disease on whites who are presented as the norm, and the beginning of everything. As if the whites never overcame the shock of being regarded immigrants in Europe by the Black Europeans, already among the Greek Civilization, and want to proof their Europeanness by writing and painting the Blacks out of history.

 

The many splendid, opulent and priceless images of Blacks, and the use of splendidly turned out Black musicians or courtiers during royal processions is never questioned as antithetical to their supposedly low, foreign status, their supposed ugliness and who are hated by the Europeans. Why would a royal person antagonise the majority of his subjects by showing such outright preference for Blacks? Why would they employ them among white servants or give them leading positions in their households? Why display golden Black imagery like the Moritzburg Cup? Why call a place Moritzburg? Why use so many Moors as heraldic Symbols for families, cities and nations? If they are so low and animalistic, why such an obsession with blackness among the supposedly white European nobility? Why give them leading rolls in plays set among the royalty?

 

After study I found that the heraldic Moors symbolised blue blood, and Black Supremacy. These symbols are not real persons, but are regularly, without any base, identified as slaves or servants. The European elite who brought the Renaissance were the first Europeans who came from Africa and remained brown and black complexioned because of intermarriage. They were called blue men in the medieval period (500-1500), and some of their descendants elevated themselves into a nobility called Blue Bloods. They saw themselves as true Europeans, from the soil, while whites came from Central Asia, and became their serfs. They even traded in the skin of these whites to line church door, bind books, make clothing and shoes for the elite. The non-noble Blacks became the bourgeoisie and were also looked down upon. This why the bourgeoisie philosophers started the Enlightenment and conspired to make the French Revolution to topple the nobility, together with the white majority

 

The launch of the Modern nobility in 1100-1200 coincided with the introduction of King Balthasar and Black Madonna’s, and Black saints like St. Maurice. They were to present the Black identified king as a good Christian. As Christianity was forced by this elite on the Europeans, who had kept their native religions well after the medieval period. The French Revolution caused many of these symbols of Black superiority to be destroyed, but many were recreated, and are still visible in many great European churches. Like how Isis was still worshipped during the Christian Era, the Black Madonna’s are still venerated, while the Black noble elite has disappeared. The only way to cope is to ignore these symbols, or assert they are blackened by candle soot. But only on the hands and the face of these statues, not on the body etc. This is how blackness is explained away, by putting the idea in front that there were no Blacks. And to identify a historical person as Black, it must be shown he had a Black great-grandfather. How does the King of Britain, Charles II Stuart, can have a slave ancestor to cause him to be so Black? if I read well all of Europe had only three Blacks of merit: Alessandro de Medici, Alexander Pushkin and Alexander Dumas. But then only half-blacks with as all the merit was only caused by their white DNA, that managed to over shadow the base, evil, stupid, animalistic African DNA. Even in our times a biographer of Pushkin tries to equate bad behaviour among the Hannibals as caused by their race. While there is no proof that his noble contemporaries shunned him, or condemned him because of his race. There must have been more like him, and he was seen as a noble man. From my study of Jane Austen (1775-1 817) I understand that the elite numbered 2-3%, that they were light brown, brown, very brown and black, and the 10% with classical African facial traits were regarded as ‘distinguished,’ ‘pure of blood,’ and ‘proof of noble blood.’

 

Othello is the most famous Black fictional character and misunderstood. The people of Venice could not have been racist if they would make a Moor their highest military leader. The objections against Othello are those of the bourgeoisie against the nobility. Othello marrying Desdemona is how the nobility married Bourgeois heiresses from trade, as nobles were forbidden to trade. Emma Woodhouse in Emma (1816), the Queen of Highbury wants to have Mr. Elton (‘Mr. Elton, black, spruce, and smiling’) marry her white friend Miss Harriet Smith. Displays Austen disdain for mix-marriages, as a folly by which Blacks lost their power. by diluting their pure blood with whites. The supposedly racist jokes are just mild stabbings at the nobility, but not against Black superiority. Shakespeare was a member of brown and black complexion of the gentry, and the many Blacks in his plays are heraldic Moors, who are symbols and persons, like Mr. Elton. The historical role of the nobility, the aspects of nobilitas and superiority, and its weaknesses and failings are argued.

 

Black is a face type, and colour is just skin deep, yet this superficial trait is used to distinguish Blacks from others, and to define them as hardly humans. There must be a reason for this obsessive, organized hatred, which is reflected in books like this, expositions and articles. To show Blacks as less, as unimportant, as permanent slaves: as if slavery is stamped on their DNA. The whites who were treated as shoe leather for 800 years or longer by these brown and black complexioned Europeans have an axe to grind.

But we still have a small window of opportunity to over throw their purpose to completely revise history and completely exercise Blacks from history. While all of history is about Blacks, with whites in the supporting roll of barbarians, plebeians, serfs, villains, the ordinary people, the greys (het grauw), the pinks, rapaille and canaille. The Early Modern nobility styled itself on the Greek nobility by claiming seniority to rule over late coming whites, as the true Europeans ‘of the soil.’ Subsequently the Greek and the Roman Civilizations were Black civilizations with all their rulers brown or black of complexion. Alexander the Great was described as ‘swarthy’, which means (zwart, schwartze) black in colour, and depicted by Apelles as black of complexion. The nobility knew the Greek civilization was Black. this civilization was whitened along with the whitening of European history in 1848.

 

They started with over painting the portraits in 1848 claiming the paint had darkened; yet at least confirming that the paintings showed dark people. Next they ignored personal description in fact or fiction, printing whitened portraits of the same person who in the same book is described as ‘more brown then white’ (William I of Orange 91533-1584)). In this book as well, as Alessandro de Medici is described as dark or very brown in colour, yet they still show the (half) whitened portraits, that still show the classical African facial traits. A strange internalised obscurantism to contradict oneself in this regard of images. The description does not match the image, and it does not lead to questions as its already pre-decided that a Black could never be a ruler, or a European person of merit. So this otherwise useful method, as it is to me as the blue blood theory is firmly based on personal descriptions: is used to their revisionist convenience. They not even understand that fair or even ‘blank’ does not necessarily mean white. The context shows that a person could not have been white, if married to a noble or seen as part of the elite. The social distance between elite and serf was too great. Africans came in all complexions, so some nobles were lighter in colour, but did not identify as whites, and were not looked on as whites, as those would not be tolerated among society. This is the truth they want to bury with this racist book.

 

Egmond Codfried

Curator Suriname Blue Blood Is Black Blood Museum

The Hague.

19 Augustus 2013.

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I'm also rereading Frank Snowden's Blacks in Antiquity, (1970) and he starts his book by saying that the Blacks he found in the antique world were immigrants in Europe. And he is discussing problems of Blacks in a white society. With all his knowledge and sources, and resources, he could not see that the brown and black complexioned Greeks were the elite. They were in looks between the white Scythians and the Blacks, the Ethiops or Nubians. Yet the classical African type, prevailed as symbol. as standard against the white barbarians. He was under pain to adapt to what the whites have done since 1848 when they were emancipated, is to turn all civilizations in Europe white. The nobles from the 18th century still knew Greece and Rome were ruled by people who were brown and black of sin, like them, and they all believed they came from Africa. So they used the classical African image to establish their identity, and superiority. If the deities are Black, the elite must be Black.


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Black Africans In Renaissance Europe, ed. K. J. P. Lowe, T. F. Earle

Cambridge University Press, 2010, 436 p.

 

“This highly original book opens up the much neglected area of the black African presence in Western Europe during the Renaissance. Covering history, literature, art history and anthropology, it investigates a whole range of black African experience and representation across Renaissance Europe, from various types of slavery to black musicians and dancers, from real and symbolic Africans at court to the view of the Catholic Church, and from writers of African descent to black African 'criminality'. The main purpose of the collection is to show the variety and complexity of black African life in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Europe, and how it was affected by firmly held preconceptions relating to the African continent and its inhabitants. Of enormous importance for both European and American history, this book mixes empirical material and theoretical approaches, and addresses such issues as stereotypes, changing black African identity, and cultural representation in art and literature.”


 

“Dazzling Scholarship, September 4, 2010

By D. G. Wright:

 This review is from: Black Africans in Renaissance Europe (Hardcover)

The collection of essays in Black Africans in Renaissance Europe epitomizes the best in scholarship and research. Sometimes heartbreaking, always fascinating, the writers discuss various aspects of the effects of slavery on Africans in Europe and on Europeans. The best of the essays -- for my interest -- are Paul Kaplan's "Isabella d'Este and black African women"; Debra Blumenthal's "'la Casa dels Negres': black African solidarity in late medieval Valencia"; and Nelson Minnich's "The Catholic Church and the pastoral care of black Africans in Renaissance Italy."

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Reviewer: Professor Francisco Bethencourt, King's College London, review of Black Africans in Renaissance Europe, (review no. 619), URL: http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/619

 ´This book might come as a surprise for non-specialists, since black Africans are identified with slave trade to the Americas, while the Renaissance is regarded as a purely European phenomenon, centred on a largely homogeneous ethnicity. Neither of these assertions is true, and this excellent book helps to deconstruct such historical stereotypes. Europe received black Africans regularly and in significant numbers from the mid-fifteenth century onwards. The Mediterranean was a cross-cultural and inter-ethnic space even before Classical Greece. The Renaissance reflected not only the rediscovery of classical culture, but also the influx of techniques and ideas brought by the Arabs. Intercontinental navigation revealed simultaneous processes of cultural renovation, which helped to reshape Europe.

 At the outset of the volume, Kate Lowe defines the editors’ key question: how were the main stereotypes concerning black people established in this period? She provides several examples relating to the main set of prejudices: the African was generally identified as a naked person who would mutilate his/her face and body with scarification, piercings, and tattoos; he/she would be considered as carefree and characterized by immoderate laughter, unaware of his/her condition, lazy and sexually promiscuous, physically strong, a good musician or dancer. Lowe recognizes the existence of noble or ennobled black men in European courts, but she stresses the role of black people as a necessary counter-image in the construction of European whiteness and ‘civilization’ (a notion coined in the eighteenth century). This is a necessary starting point, although some of the chapters develop a more nuanced vision of race relations in this period.

 Anne Marie Jordan, for instance, has a fine chapter on slaves in the Lisbon court of Queen Catherine of Austria, where mainly women and children of different ethnic origins were used as musicians, cooks, pastry chefs, housekeepers, pages, or servants in royal apothecaries, kitchens, gardens, and stables. Jordan points out how white Moorish slaves were favoured because of skin colour prejudices, but black slaves were considered trustworthy for religious reasons. The black slaves were a sign of social prestige and distinction in a cosmopolitan court: this feature explains why Catherine spent so much money clothing and offering them as exotic gifts to her favourite ladies and relatives in other European courts. The representation of small black slaves in the portraits of Iberian princesses, as in the painting of Juana de Austria by Cristóvão de Morais, reinforced their image as symbols of empire building.

 Jorge Fonseca presents the results of his research on sixteenth-century Southern Portugal, where he estimates a total of six to seven per cent of blacks in the population, mainly in urban areas, in contrast with the Northern region, where blacks were scarce. His analysis of the perceptions of black people by Nicholas Cleynaerts, a Flemish scholar who taught in Louvain, Paris, and Salamanca, spending several years in Portugal as tutor of infant Henry (the future cardinal and General Inquisitor), is less convincing. The scholar is presented as an ‘exotic visitor’, which is misplaced, since he belonged to the international Renaissance elite who circulated between different European countries. Cleynaerts bought young slaves and taught them as assistants. His observation that they were like ‘monkeys’ (meaning capable of imitating but not of creating) is considered by Fonseca as a sign of the contrast between two societies, the Flemish and the Portuguese, the first unaware of black people, the second used to them. It is disputable that Cleynaerts’ classification of the young slaves as ‘monkeys’ was his own, and not influenced by the Portuguese, but the implicit assumption that the Portuguese were less ‘racist’ than the Flemish is questionable.

 Didier Lahon proposes an interesting analysis of the mixed confraternity of Nossa Senhora do Rosário in Lisbon, which split into two branches of white and black members. The conflict that existed between them for more than one century, and the final victory of the white branch in 1646, is interpreted as a shift from a relatively tolerant society, open to manumission (one of the privileges of the confraternity) and to intervention against bad treatment of slaves, to a more rigid and intolerant society in the seventeenth century. The implementation of the obligatory baptism of slaves throughout the second half of the sixteenth century is also reconstituted in detail. The analysis of the impact of the notion of blood purity in Portugal is much less convincing, with a deficient chronology and huge gaps, while comprehensive studies are ignored. The idea that the Iberian Peninsula dealt with the presence of Moors, Jews, and New Christians as an anomaly from 1350 onwards is simply wrong, as Maria José Ferro Tavares and Maria Filomena Lopes de Barros have demonstrated.

 Thomas Earle focuses his study on the work of Afonso Álvares, a mulatto poet and playwright, cautiously alerting the reader to the lack of evidence to prove that they were one and the same person. Álvares is one of the few mixed-race intellectuals in Europe in the sixteenth century. He wrote satirical poems and four plays based on saints’ lives, commissioned by the Augustinian canons of São Vicente de Fora in Lisbon. Earle discusses the quality of the plays and convincingly refuses the historical devaluation of the writer, who has been seen as a minor disciple of Gil Vicente. A particularly interesting section concerns the polemic in satirical redondilhas between Afonso Álvares and another poet, António Ribeiro Chiado. Álvares accused Chiado of low birth and immorality. Chiado insulted Álvares in racist terms, accusing him of being a mulatto, son of a black woman, a slave freed by marriage. Álvares underlined the nobility of his father—whose identity was never disclosed; it might have been Dom Afonso de Portugal, bishop of Évora, in whose household Álvares was educated. In his plays, Álvares reflects the dominant anti-Semitic mood. There is sufficient material here for a deeper reflection on the racial prejudices of the Portuguese Renaissance society and on the conflicting mechanisms of social promotion among subaltern groups.

 Jeremy Lawrence presents a very good overview of the Black Africans in Spanish literature, identifying the main ideas: dehumanization of slaves as chattels, defined by bestiality, nakedness, lascivious vulgarity, burlesque behaviour, pidgin language. He focuses his study on the ‘habla de negros’ enlarging the already significant bibliography on the subject (the crucial study by Paul Teyssier on Gil Vicente could have been mentioned). The author selects less known texts and provides two excellent critical editions of pliegos in the appendix. The originality and subversive meaning of the poems is brought out clearly in this chapter, since they staged strong black characters with unconventional relations with white women. Baltasar Fra-Molinero is another author who has extensively written on blacks in Spanish literature, and has contributed to changing the field. He has shown how this marginal and neglected topic played an important role in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Here he concentrates on Juan Latino, the only black Latinist, scholar, and writer in the European Renaissance, who lived in Granada. He has previously pointed out how Juan Latino reflected on the black condition and refused a social hierarchy based on skin colour prejudices. Fra-Molinero analyses now the poem Austrias Carmen, dedicated by Juan Latino to Juan de Austria after his victory over Morisco insurrection in Granada, known as the War of the Alpujarras (1568–1572). In the text, Latino searched to establish the dignity of all black Africans, relating them to biblical Ethiopia and refusing the idea of natural slavery. He imagines white people subordinated in Ethiopia (a reversed irony) and exalts blackness in the final verses.

 Debra Blumenthal addresses a very interesting issue: the role of a black African confraternity in Valencia founded in 1472 by forty black freedmen that collected alms and negotiated contracts of manumission on behalf of their fellows in captivity. She knows the context of slave trade in Valencia well, the variety of the black community in the town, and the functions of the confraternity (‘casa dels negres’) as shelter, hospice, and hospital. She analyses two cases of manumission, concerning Ursola and Johana, in which all the financial, juridical, and social difficulties are analysed, as well as the subsequent barriers to full integration.

 Aurelia Marín Casares, who has written a very good book on slavery in Granada, presents here part of her enquiry into free and freed black Africans in the region. She has identified most of their occupations: men were stable workers, esparto workers, smelters and casters in foundries, carriers and vendors of water or firewood, bakers, butchers, hod carriers, builders, diggers, pavers; women were housewives, farmers, embroiders, maids, taverns and inns employees, sorceresses. The author details the confraternities created by blacks and mulattos in Granada. The notion of blackness and the different types of black people do not become clear in this article, however, since in many cases Moriscos were considered black by the Christian population.

 The ‘Italian section’ is one of the most interesting in the book. Paul Kaplan argues that Isabella d’Este and Andrea Mantegna created a new iconographic type: the black attendant to a white European protagonist. In his opinion, Judith’s servant was depicted as black for the first time by Mantegna in a drawing from 1492. As the author points out, this idea of displaying black servants to suggest the universal reach of imperial power had already been coined by Frederick II. Kaplan stresses the diffusion of this idea among European rulers, namely the Aragonese kings of Naples or the ruling houses of Ferrara, Mantua, and Milan, in which black servants were used as human accessories and depicted as such. The only problem in this stimulating chapter is the uniform definition of ‘blackness’, while in several paintings (see for example the Allegory of Virtue by Correggio) there is a gradation of skin colour from black to brown.

 John Brakett suggests that Alessandro de’ Medici, the first duke of Florence (1529–1537) was of mixed race, an illegitimate son of Lorenzo de’ Medici, duke of Nemours and ruler of Urbino (and a direct descendent of Lorenzo ‘il Magnifico’ and Cosimo ‘il Vecchio’) and a peasant woman, a freed slave, generally considered as a ‘Moor’, but now depicted as a Black African. The argument is based not on new documents but on the analysis of the set of images of Alessandro de’ Medici. The problem lies in the final conclusion: the author considers that there was no intellectual racism in the sixteenth century, since the duke was murdered under the accusation of being a tyrant, but his racial status was not used in political debate or in denigration of his memory, which proves the supremacy of the innate quality of princes. This is an open issue: as the author mentions in his text, the duke was nicknamed ‘the Moor’ and ‘the mule’ of the Medici in his lifetime, which suggests a more complicated picture.

 

Sergio Tognetti concentrates on the trade in black African slaves in fifteenth-century Florence. The percentage of East European slaves in North Italian cities was quite important by the end of the fourteenth century, mainly in Genoa (nearly ten per cent) 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 fifteenth century, replacing the previous trade. Networks also changed, from Arab merchants to Portuguese ones. This careful research, based on the account books of the Cambini bank, shows the value of slaves (proving also how whiter skin was more appreciated than darker skin) and the overwhelming control of the market from Lisbon, confirming the role of Bartolomeo Marchionni as the biggest slave trader in those days.

 The pastoral care of black Africans in Renaissance Italy is the subject of Nelson Minnich’s chapter. The zigzag policies of the Popes from Martin V to Paul III is well documented, with successive bulls prohibiting the African slave trade (1425) and black slavery (1462), then allowing the trade with captive people (1455, 1456, 1493), and finally condemning the enslavement of native American people (1537), while the citizens of Rome were authorized to hold slaves (1548). The creation of black confraternities in Naples, Palermo, and Messina was a result of the activity of different religious orders among slaves and freedmen. The access of black people (slaves and freedmen) to the sacraments of penance, communion, and marriage is well documented, while the ordination of black priests was very rare—one Ethiopian and one Congolese bishop, suggested by the Portuguese king in 1513, were exceptional cases.

 Anu Korhonen addresses the crucial proverb ‘washing the Ethiopian white’ in Renaissance England. It became a metaphor for everything considered useless, irrational, and impossible. It was widespread in England, although the relatively frequent literary references to black people in literature were brief and stereotyped. Africans were explicitly related to apes, defined by unruly sexuality, a lack of reason, violence, and ugliness (English is the only language in which the same term, fair, is used for beauty and blondness). Although Korhonen quotes an impressive range of sources, some of them from a very early period, it would have been interesting to establish the turning point of the process of construction and diffusion of the stereotype.

 Lorenz Seelig studies the fascinating case of the ‘Moor’s Head’ produced circa 1600 by the Nuremberg goldsmith Christoph Jamnitzer. It shows the features of a young African with full lips, broad nose, and curled hair, with a headband chased with eight ‘T’s. It as a heraldic work of art representing the armorial bearings of the Florentine Pucci family, coupled with the coat of arms of the Florentine Strozzi family. This splendid object, made of silver and rock crystal, is also a drinking vessel: the upper part of the head can be taken off, like a cover. Seelig relates the object to the German tradition of drinking vessels, the double sense of the word kopf and the practice of drinking from human skulls (relics of saints), which is documented until the late-eighteenth century. He points out that, outside of the ecclesiastical sphere, profane drinking vessels were considered signs of moral decadence such as in the tradition of fools’ head cups. Cups, jugs, or oil lamps were represented as black Africans (Seelig indicates an early example from the workshop of Andrea Ricci, circa 1500, with deformed face, open mouth, and protruding jaw to hold the wick). But on the other hand, Seelig points to the statues or cameos of the black Venus and black Diana, or the dignified sculptures of black prisoners and ambassadors (namely by Pietro Tacca, Pietro Francavilla, Francesco Bordoni, Nicolas Cordier, Francesco Caporale), relating to a notion of a rich Africa which contradicts the ideas of savagery and poverty. The only slippery moment in the article comes when Seelig points out a contradiction between the role of Roberto Pucci as commander of the order of Santo Stefano, responsible for chasing African pirates, and the attractive representation of the African head in his coat of arms. This is exactly the origin of the fashionable heraldry of African heads in many medieval coats of arms in Europe, following the crusades and the naval conflicts in Mediterranean.

 Jean-Michel Massing writes a fascinating article on the representation of lip-plated Africans in Pierre Descelier’s world map of 1550. In his typical manner of detective research (perhaps inspired by the paradigma indiziario founded by Giovanni Morelli), Massing shows the crucial meaning of two figures of black men with enlarged lips, placed in central Africa, sitting opposite each other, probably bartering a gold nugget for a flowery plant. He reconstitutes the first accounts of the enlarged lips found in different parts of Africa, namely by Isidore of Seville, Rabanus Maurus, Vincent of Beauvis, and Alvise da Mosto. He traces the original image of the bartering scene, a woodcut from a Strasbourg edition of Ptolemy’s Geography published in 1522. He rightly interprets the scene as an expression of the notion that ‘such people’ have no idea of the true value of things. But it is at the beginning of the article, when Massing defines the circle of cartographers in Dieppe and the powerful ship-owners like Jean Ango, who created huge friezes in his house and his chapel representing peoples of different continents, that the most interesting hypothesis of the book is produced. Massing sustains that Northern Europeans recorded in their drawings the features and material culture of other peoples of the world (Africans, Indians, or Americans) with greater care than the southern Europeans, namely the Italians, who were looking for aesthetic solutions and became relatively blind to the rich variety of non-European people. This hypothesis requires further enquiry, but it raises a very interesting issue, related to the idea of the art of describing studied by Svetlana Alpers for a later period, in seventeenth century Dutch Art.

 The only problem of this book is the unbalanced space dedicated to Southern and Northern Europe. We have thirteen chapters concerning Southern Europe (Portugal, Spain, and Italy), and three about the rest of Europe (England, France, and Germany). We already have a significant number of books and PhDs on black slaves and freedmen in Portugal and Spain (Saunders, Tinhorão, Lahon, Fonseca, Stella, Martín). We needed to have more information on Northern Europe to understand how black Africans circulated and stereotypes in this area developed. This would enable us to answer better the following questions: why was the theory of races born in Northern Europe from the 1730s to the 1850s (Linnæus, Camper, Cuvier, Gobineau)? What were the precedents of that theory, not only from a colonial point of view, but also through an internal European dynamic of contact with African people?

 But we have to be fair with the editors of the volume: the books published on black Africans in Portugal and Spain have not been translated into English and some of their main authors were invited to participate; the final result is a truly excellent, well illustrated set of chapters, which raise new issues and provide much information and analysis.

 December 2009 ...
====================================================================


[African man by Jan Mostaert][Dorothea of Denmark][Maurits van Saxen][Charles II Stuart]]Leopold I Habsburg]

 
concept:
The essence of a Renaissance Prince:

WHY THE AFRICAN MAN BY JAN MOSTAERT IS THE TRUE FACE OF EMPEROR CHARLES V HABSBURG

 

The articles by both…and van de Bogaart in Bulettin Rijksmuseum jaargang 58 nummer, page collide neatly with my ongoing research Blue Blood Is Black Blood (1100-1848), after the ethnicity of the European regent, noble and royal families. This article is a refutation, and follows the same methods to determine this unique portrait. The failure of these researchers to recognize this portrait as Charles V Habsburg (1500-1558) is due to the ongoing revisionism of history to actively exclude Blacks from history.

 

[Portretten van Charles V Habsburg]

[portretten van Alessandro de Medici.] [andere medici’s][dochter van alessandro][Maria Salvati met klein meisje]

 

The article by Boogaard cites ‘Sex and Race’ by J.A. Rogers and talks about the ‘outing’ of Alessandro de Medici as ‘Black’ by Rogers. Outing is usually used for gays and suggest a person hiding his identity from the public. A Black cannot hide his Blackness, which is also his colour of skin. Outing again suggest a Black does not want to be known as Black. And how this ‘outing’ again surfaced in… and in..2003, but ignored. Can a writer who has such an approach to Blacks give a credible approach to this portrait? In 2005 this book had to be imported by the Koninlijke Bibliotheek from the US as there was no copy in any Dutch collection. Today I face an expense of euro 50 to buy ‘Ancient and Modern Britons’ by D. McRitchie, who writes about Blacks in Briton, including the royal Stuart family. Again: because there is no copy in any Dutch collection. My own books based on these sources are classified by the KB as ‘race questions’ and not ‘Blacks’ as how some of my sources are classified. This book by McRitchie is not digitilized in google, and reviewed as ‘popular with afrocentrists,’ a euphemism for Black researchers. Native Blacks in Europe, Blacks among the nobility is not an accepted subject among white Dutch researchers and scientists. All Blacks are foreign or recently Africa derived. Black writers are thus branded as different and immediately as less, because they are pushing a thing that does not exists and give irritation to whites. The slavery connection is the only way Blacks can be included into European history, and all Blacks in Europe can only be depicted as slaves, as socially low, degraded, uneducated, doing medial work, making music, beggars and prostitutes. These articles in the Rijkmuseum Bulletin are an anomaly by even considering African Man by Mostaert as a person, and as an European noble. Their link to my research is claiming to have found beginnings of the forging an European African identity. And its just this identity I have found and named Blue Blood. Blackness is first an identity, next to a face type. Denying Blacks as Europeans is a denial of an identity to Blacks, while their historical role caused the present perception of Blacks worldwide. That’s why these articles use the outcome as the beginning, by already claiming that Blacks were hated in Europe. Should this hatred not have a cause, following the rule of cause and effect, and should we not look for this cause?

 

[nicolaes van der meer][cornelia Vooght]

 

Portrait restoration and revisionism


 

Blacks today are demeaned, excluded, and threatened because the portraits of historical Blacks are fraudulently whitened. Portraits are part of our national heritage and icons of the national identity. The maintenance of public portrait collections is based in elaborate restorations, as moments to cleanse, view, research, determine, restore, and correct earlier artistic or mechanical, iconographical interventions. The physical maintenance of portraits is supposedly scientifically based, supervised by scientists, using scientific means like electronic microscopes, x- ray, irradiation, and different photographic methods in order to highlight and determine the painting technique, the mechanical construction and the chemical composition of all used materials. Every restoration entails an impromptu experimentation with cleaning solutions to remove varnish, safely. From the chemical research of used pigments on the Frans Hals portraits of Nicolaes van der Meer en his wife Cornelia Vooght, we know that some pigments on hands and faces were artificial pigments that were only available after 1720. The Frans Hals Museum states not to know what this means. This is an example of a major iconographic intervention, an over painting, a type of repainting to hide the true colour of the portrait complexion. To change the complexions and hair from brown or black to pink and beige, or the dark hair to blond. To turn a brown person in a white person. This is a major change in the narration offered by the original work.

 

[van mierevelts en ravesteyns familie van Aerssen-beyeren en schagen]

 

To ignore and maintain these common interventions is a type of scientific misconduct. The complexions are changed to arrive at a preconceived important conclusion that the European elite was white. Could only be white. This conclusion is closely linked with the purpose and outcome of the Enlightenment (….) to free Europe of the Ancient Regime. Firstly accomplished with the French Revolution (1789-1794) and next with the Final Revolutions of 1848. This year saw an important change in the Dutch constitution; ending the ‘privileges’ of the nobility. Presumably also the end of bondage of serfs and villains: lijfeigenen or horigen. The first slaves in the America’s were whites, the serfs, and the emancipation of slaves (1863) was also because many slaves resembled whites. The Suriname Blue Blood Is Black Blood Museum (June 2012) is dedicated to the study of this revisionism of declaring Europe a white, superior civilisation and shows the true looks of the elite that was described as brown and black of complexion. They were also depicted as such, but all these portraits that showed their true complexion have been mostly amended around 1880, but likely as late as 1947. This important fact can be easily verified by comparing photographs of exhibited portraits by Van Mierevelt and Ravesteyn in 1915 at the Gemeente Museum, in The Hague. And photographs of the Rembrandts exhibited in 1887 at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Some portraits of the Van Aerssen-Beyeren and Schagen family show a dark complexion; next to some also showing classical African facial traits. The Van Aerssens were the richest Dutch family in the 17th century and owned 1/3 of the colony of Surinam. Engravings and drawings after newly finished painted portraits inform us of the true intentin to paint a brown  or blak skinned elite person. The paint could not have darkened overnight.

 

[alessadro Medici.[familie Medici][anna van hannover.][charlotte van Mecklenburg-strelitz][stadhouder willem iv]

 

Identifying historical Blacks


 

Typical for eurocentric science is not providing clear answers, so we still are not sure if the writer agrees that Alessandro de Medici is Black. While at the same time offering us facial traits to identify Mostaerts anonymous portrait as Black. What more information is needed to view Alessandro de Medici, Duke of Florence as Black? A gold medal shows him as a heraldic Moor. What does the persons, or his relatives say about his looks? What do his grandparents, parents and children and grandchildren look like? The Medici family shows many Black types, and his natural daughter portrait was recognized as showing a Black woman. A little Black girl was rehabilitated on a portrait of Maria Salvati, the mother of Cosimo I de Medici, who succeeded the murdered Alessandro. Before the WWII their tombs were opened, the sculls stripped from flesh to be measured. Presumably to determine their ‘Race,’ which was apparently in doubt. A historian claimed they were not Black, alessandro just loked Black, but was of eastern extraction. Some persons claim  bewilderingly there is a difference between looking Black and being Black. Charlotte Sophie of Mecklenburg, the wife of George III is then regarded as just ‘looking’ Black. George III’s  sister was Princes Anna of Orange, the wife of Stadhouder William IV. Africa has many facial types, but only one has been consistently used through the ages to symbolise Africa. This type is called Moor, and is mostly used in European imagery for heraldic purposes. Starting in the Renaissance. But also common as such in Egypt, Greece and the Roam Empire. The heraldic Moor symbolises nobility but also Black Superiority.

 

[bruine en zwarte types]

 

Next we can state that any modern Dutch person is familiar with the looks of mulattoes, or that by constant admixture with whites a Black family can become white. The different stages can become fixed if care is taken to marry only other mulatto types. These people could resemble the Egyptians we see on tv. Some are very dark, some very light complexioned, but from one mixed gene pool. However, to call the brown and black complexioned Europeans who were the elite, a mullatto nation, some whites will say their merit is derived from the intermarriage with whites. the white DNA will domate their beastly Black DNA. So we need to maintain that the European nobility and the European civilization started with these brown and black Europeans. The blackness is not a 'strain' as Rogers will have it, making whites the beginning, the norm. Whited did not find the European civilizations. They never found any civilization. The concept of Human Races was rejected, after WWII because of the use the nazi's made of it, also as unscientific because looks were not a foolproof method to identify a person’s race. People from outside Europe see the resemblance between say mulatto Antilleans and North Africans, or Indians and Somalia’s, or South Moroccans and Pakistanis. Both ‘De Staalmeesters’ (The Syndic of the Clothes Makers Guild)(1662) and ‘De Nachtwacht’ (The Nightwatch) by Rembrandt show in old photo’s, persons with dark complexions. The central Staalmeester figure Johan de Neve, second from right, is the darkest and has the strongest classical African facial features, recalling genre paintings with a central Moor. The little, golden girl in the middle of De Nachtwacht, also identified as a ‘mascot,’ still looks white in spite of the yellowed varnish and supposedly darkened paints. That these paintings show only white persons today is the result of over painting, but this manipulation and serious amendment of historical and artistic data is carefully kept out of the restoration reports and articles in scientific publications by the same persons who have performed these changes. This is a crude type of scientific fraud, akin to making fake Egyptian antiquities to proof that Egyptians were blue eyed whites. Or scrubbing away brown or black paint layers of antiquities to show ancient Egyptians as whites. All of this was to hide the true complexion of the Ancient Regime. The blue blood research has arrived at a phase that for the benefit of Blacks, it narrows the problem of white supremacy and racism to the ongoing practice of over painting and maintenance of these fakes, thus revisionism by iconographic interventions. Once this type of scientific misconduct has been acknowledged racism will end as racism and concomitant white supremacy is based on fake portraits. Whites who favor integrity, and do not hate Blacks, will be aghast to find out how they are  being deceived by museums.

 

[Jane Austen][Moors]

 

Secondary sources deny Blackness


 

The Blue Blood theory is based on sources, which like these two articles about the African Man by Mostaert, are only of use when not directly addressing blackness. The sources, like all secondary sources about Jane Austen or Charlotte Brontë: misconstrue or deny blackness. Kate Lowe states that 'the portrait shows the very essence of a renaissance ruler or prince; except skin colour.' (2005:17-47). The second articles convinces as claiming a link to the House of Habsburg by identifying the costume colours as akin to that of a Habsburg bodyguard, also seen on a miniature of Charles V leaving Mearle Castle. ( ). The methodology of identifying Blacks by family names rooted in ‘Moor’ is useful up to a point. Not all Blacks were named like this. These names can be regarded as self-identifying as Black by a family name, which could also follow the family’s 'speaking crest' showing Moors. Family crests were the refuge of the nobility, later also used by non-nobles. Today often misconstrued as showing family interest in African slavery. Trade was disdained by the nobility and a cause for stripping of noble titles. They rather married an heiress from trade, like De Charrières mother who married Baron van Tyll van Zuilevelt. or Othello marrying Desdemona, a shipping heiress. But its more usefull to identify a person as black or Black by their personal description, nick name, and engraved portraits. If their kin is described as Black, they were Black too, as blacks did not marry whites, who had very low status. The historical Declaration of Rights of Man seems to suggest whites were not considered humans. They were shoe leather. Whites had the right to fight against these Black oppressors, but chould this controversy be carried on after 165 years. Should whites not move on?

 

[Charles II stuart][Louis XIV]

 

Some royal rulers had nicknames as 'The Moor' or 'The Black' like Edward of Woodstock who was called 'The Black Prince' or Charles II Stuart who was called 'The Black Boy.' Charles II was described in a wanted poster issued by parliament as ‘A tall Black man.’ James Boswell called him ‘The Swarthy Stuart,’ and many prints show a very black skinned person. James Boswell, a Scottish noble by birth, self-identifies as ‘black’ by stating that his yet unborn natural child should be named 'The Black Prince,' as both its father and mother are ‘black.’ The well preserved mummy of Charles II’s cousin Louis XIV was described as ‘black as ink.’ Elisabeth I called…her ‘little black husband.’ It’s only when eurocentrist researchers are attempting to explain these nick names, they are driven by the thought that ‘There were no Blacks.’ These types of faulty explanations are fixed in the mind of the lay people too and sound infantile on cursory inspection. Black means black hair to them, while Boswell was described as: ‘Dark, with black eyes and dark hair.’ Pieterbaas is a heraldic Moor, which was added to the Sinterklaas celebration in 1848 to turn these celebrations into a hysterical, national racist initiation to make little white children aware of their whiteness. In order to fix: the hatred of Blacks as the true essence of whiteness. This prevents rational intercourse with civilized and learned white, Dutch persons.

 

[Anil Ramdas]

 

Today noticeably exacerbated by the prevailing anti-allochtonen rhetoric; reinforced by anti-allochtonen political measures, and laws leading to social segregation. Bloodthirsty nationalism; but at the same time denied being nationalism. Yet this mood and propaganda is akin to that against the Dutch Jews in 1933-1945. To be a good Dutch means to be against allochtonen. To be Dutch is to be deaf for petitions or complaints of allochtonen who are also denied a voice in the media. Only blue eyed, white and blond citizens are presented as true Dutch. Blut and botem. A nation should be one race, one religion, one identity. To challenge the veracity of icons as De Nachtwacht is akin to challenge the Dutch identity. The Dutch live in a primitive feudal hierarchy, where every one knows his place. And foreigners come way down, and should not sas the white just above them, who is already straining under the pressure. The whites live this hierarchy, its not a debate, and an allochtonous person should just understand his place. They cannot argue this, or name this, but transgressions will be stamped out harshly. For some time some workers at the Royal Library sopied on my research and bookwriting and practiced open sabotage. Yet complaining to the 'good' others did not result in an end to the terror. The many European Holocausts are a reset and a means to stop lawlessness and the degradation of a civilisation, by mass murder, slave labour, stealing property, mass ejection of population, and murdering seniors and handicapped dependents of the state, not honouring insurances paid over many decades, while afterwards preventing persons to claim goods and rights. Today we are facing a new Euthansia religion, and we have 31 Ambulat Euthanasia teams running rampant. The suicide rate has risen, as they 'help' 60 persons a month. the aspect of consent has been taken out of the law. So the Dutch are preparing another Holocaust. Sources like I.Lipschits and D. Hondius show the Dutch state taking anti-Jewish measures before and after the German occupation. Heinz Lippmann wrote ‘Het Vaderland’ already in 1933, a novel set in a concentration camp, showing all the violence and killings we are familiar with. He was prosecuted, after complaints by the German government, for insulting a foreign head of state. Even though Europe knows a long history of anti-Semitism and pogroms, as well as mass fleeing of Jewish citizens, the Dutch still claim 'not to have known what faith awaited the Jews' they deported to the German Nazi’s. And identified and helped to be deported to Germany. The French government has conceded, like the Brussels government that they, without any German pressure; identified and rounded up their own Jewish citizens, and delivered them to the Germans for extermination. Some defend this by claiming that the Vichy government was not the French government. Surinam Dutch author Anil Ramdas, like Thomas Mann, fell from grace when he asked if Holland was preparing a Holocaust. The inability of the Dutch to address these fears feeds my notion that Europe and Holland is preparing its next Holocaust against the brown, black and Muslim citizens. This indoctrination prevents all white Dutch researchers from having a rational discourse about their own civilisation and identity. Holocaust are part of what Europeans understand civilisation to be.

 

[Maria Jacoba van Goor][Belle van Zuylen][aarnout joost van der Duyn van Maasdam] George Keppel van Albemarle][Elisabeth Keppel][Apollo van Belvedère] [Wetenschappelijk racisme]

 

 

“She would have been beautiful if her throat was whiter”

 

Pieterbaas’ black complexion is explained as coming from chimney soot. But the soot does not explain his frizzled hair, or his red lips. Nor how he maintained the whiteness of his lace collar, of the cleanliness of his gloves and costume. So the black faces on old portraits were also explained away by claiming yellowed varnish and darkened paint by the scientists. Yet at least this confirms the figures looked dark. The yellowing and changes in colour are legitimate, natural phenomena but exaggerated to justify often crude over painting as an iconographic intervention to make the faces white. There is a precedent as the Ancien Regime saw itself as the inheritors of the classical civilization and its aesthetic ideals. Those favoured a white complexion and a Greek profile. Artists were bound to create beauty. But its not sure how binding this was. I'm sure some Greek/Roman mural paintings were whitened afterwards. Next to the black portraits with their true complexions, some also ordered portraits that in conception showed them as whites, or as Greek gods, or as Shepherds. Marie Antoinette dressed as a rustic and played at her farm, Le Hameau de la Reine, on the grounds of Versaille.  She and like many other dark complexioned nobles and royals; painted up white and bleached with lead white laced creams. Persuasion (1 8 ..) by Jane Austen (1775-1817) names Gowlands, a famous facial bleach since 1760, and how it was to be used in spring for maximum effect. The vocabulary by Austen, Isabelle de Charrière and Charlotte Brontë reserves the word 'beauty' for white or light coloured complexion. Others are only 'good-looking,' 'handsome' or 'pretty.' Cecile is described by her doting mother as brown and the colour of a red sweet-pea, and she writes that Cecile ‘would have been beautiful if her throat was whiter.’  The novel Jane Eyre (1847) presents Saint John as white, and compares him to the Apollo of Belvedere. De Charrière writes a poem ‘About his black brown complexion’ (1774) praising Baron Maasdam’s complexion, comparing him to the dark complexioned war god Mars and his rival Apollo, who was blond. Both suitors to Aphrodite who is also called Venus, and Cythère. A sour Surinam fruit is named Pommes de Cythère. White skin was thus revered by a civilisation that identified as Black by the use of heraldic Moors, and Black Madonna’s, that both also symbolised Black as superior over white. Some black complexioned painted portraits prevail in the guise of engravings made after them. The shading depicts a dark complexion, and is reinforced by descriptions of a person as brown or black. Most persons understand that a dark person has dark parents and dark children. So even if we have collected only 25 personal descriptions, they can be used as a standard to compare other engravings, and identify them as depicting a brown or black complexion.

 

[The Philosophers at supper by Jean Huber]

 

Such a group drawing by Jean Hubert of The Philosophers At Supper shows only brown or black complexioned Europeans. Jean Jacques Rousseau (17..) was described by James Boswell as ‘A genteel black man in an Armenian coat.’ The great coat was employed to hide a catheter. Portraits of De Ronde D'Alembert, who was an aristocratic foundling left on the stars of the De Ronde church, and shows classical African facial traits. This leads to the final conclusion that both the noble elite and regent class or bourgeoisie elite was brown or black of complexion. After his visit to Holland Boswell writes that his niece baroness Maasdam is ‘ Mrs. Maasdam, black as chimney.’ She was married to Baron Aarnout Joost van der Duyn van Maasdam, of old nobility stock. He was described by Boswell as ‘her husband chimney sweeper.’ The same baron described as 'black brown' by De Charrière. Boswell was a suitor to De Charrière.

 

[nobles and kings as apes]

 

De Charriere self-described herself in a pen portrait as ‘She does not have the white hands, she knows this and even jokes about it, but this [skin colour] is not a joking matter. This self-identification is misconstrued to claim she had ugly hands. Even having a researcher claim she ‘artfully’ hided her hands on a certain portrait because they were ugly. Not realising that portraits with visible hands were more expensive, like those with pearls, which called for greater painting skills. De Charrière wrote on the eve of the French Revolution, after human races were invented and a hierarchy between races was invented. She has many brown and black complexioned persons in her novels. All writers of the Enlightenment compared Blacks to apes, seeing apes as degenerated humans. Human degenerated because of their moral degradation. The question should be, why were human races, an unscientific concept ever invented? The different writers could not agree on how many human races there were and what they were. Some claiming Arabs and others Native Americans as a human race. Scientist like Blumenthal saw the Caucasian Race as a scull type, and not a complexion, lumping black skinned and white, blonds in one white race. The final conclusion is, after realising the philosophers were targeting the problem of noble oppression. Nobles identified as superior with heraldic Moors. So racism against Blacks should be understood as a liberation ideology, to free Europe from noble domination. Some 17th century paintings by Tenier and Ferrand already depicted nobles and the King and Queen as apes in a kitchen or a tavern, sometimes magnificently dressed in the fashions wore by the nobility. These depictions should be understood in the prevailing context of the high bourgeoisie opposing the nobility, as anti noble propaganda, and early examples of comparing the Black nobility to apes.

 

[Zwarte Grieken en Romeinen]

 xxxx

Scientific misconduct as crime


 

The Blue Bllod research approaches sources as how the police use statements of a suspected criminal that reveal deep and pertinent knowledge to the crime. He might know how or where or details of a crime, without this knowledge been made common knowledge. A criminal is also identified by motive, access and means. His motive is to benefit from a crime, to correct or prevent an undesired outcome, as in cases of inheritance or professional competition. A criminal must be shown to have access, means or assistance to have committed the crime to be successfully convicted. A criminal might be discovered to have taken steps to cover his track, by destroying evidence, bribing or intimidating or killing witnesses. Scientific misconduct is criminally persecuted by means of concomitant crimes as perjury, obstruction of justice, valsheid in geschrifte and financial fraud for personal gain. Blue blood links sources and the phrase is then derived from blue men as how Black Europeans were called. We find Blacks in almost all medieval miniatures, even as menacing warriors or church grandees. But even earlier as Greeks and Romans. The usual approach is that Greeks and Romans were all whites who looked at Blacks as outsiders, slaves or barbarians. And that artists and the person who employed these artists were whites. Instead we can see the depicted persons as the Black clients, and we may assume they requested ornaments showing blackness. The Greek elite saw itself as derived from the Greek earth, thus rightfully dominating the barbarian newcomers who came later. The same rationale governed the European nobility founded between 1100-1200, against the white newcomers. The nobility, de adel, was ‘edel’ thus true Europeans with superior rights. Their reign was heralded with a Black Maurice (1120) and Balthazar, the Black King at the birth of Jesus, to show the Black King as a good Christian. Christianity was the European identity, and Christian Blacks were contrasted to Black heathens and Muslims. A Black European identity was forged as Blue Blood, and depicted as heraldic Moors, Black Saints, Balthazar, Black Madonna’s and Black images of divinity.

 

[Dido Elizabeth Langsay][Shakespeare]

 

Moors were also part of literature where there was a close connection between nobility and noble looks. The Black knight in Parsifal…eisen.was praised as ‘his breeding excelled all breeding.’ He was the central Moor informing us about the noble credentials of the company. Jane Austen used the same concept by offering us the black Mr. Elton and Mr. Crawford. They were both heraldic, central Moors, both a symbol as well as a character. She writes: ‘Mr. Elton, black, spruce and smiling.’ Or how Mr. Crawford was perceived by the noble Bertram ladies as : ‘Absolutely plain, black and plain, but still the gentleman.’ Yet Mr. Eltons blackness is denied by eurocentrists claiming ‘black’ refers to his ministerial clothes. Yet Crawford was definitely not a clergyman. Austen dedicated Mansfield Park also to theatre and Shakespeare as the quintessential Englishmen, like Mr. Crawford. Regarding the play Othello, the Moor of Venice, we should understand he self-identified as a descent from a line of royal men. He thus outranked all the other characters as a noble man among the regent class rulers of Venice. The objection against Othello, coached in seemingly racist invective, was actually mild, humorous anti nobility banter by Shakespeare. His plays were performed before royalty and nobles, who subsidised him, but also for non-nobles who were the bulks of his audience and whose political views ought to be acknowledged. Though not necessarily embraced. Both Shakespeare and Austen belonged to the gentry, traditionally against the noble oppression but regarded as superior over whites and white serfs. Austen is equally critical of the nobility striving for nobility based on merit and accomplishment. This is also echoed by De Charrière who belonged to the old nobility in a letter to her young cousin, in discussing a new role for the nobility that is not only based on name and the privilege of high birth. All the sources rightly understood are about the Black domination of Europe.

 

Personal descriptions and depictions compared


 

Members of these groups were described and depicted as brown and black of complexion. Those with classical African facial traits, like Jane Austen, were considered as pure of blood. They resembled the heraldic Moor that was a symbol of blue blood and Black Superiority in Europe. This knowledge is suppressed by state racism through portrait restoration practices by immoral scientists that we should view as scientific misconduct to ignore data to arrive at a preconceived conclusion that the European elite could only be white.

 

[Zwarte Madonna van Halle][Medaille]

 

With the medal of the Black Madonna Of Halle on his cap he identifies as Black. Black divinity was another symbol of Black superiority, next to images of Moors. The statues of the Black Madonna’s are found all over Europe. The Black Madonna logically symbolised a Black God as Black People were superior, created after gods own image. The birth dates of both the painter and Emperor Charles V, and the date of his pilgrimage to Halle make this conclusion feasible. Recently a miniature appeared on the web of Dorothea of Denmark. She was a daughter of Margarita of Austria, a sister of Charles V of Habsburg. The miniature shows a Black woman with the same type of protruding, bulging eyes as the Mostaert Portrait. She is also depicted as a fully white woman. The Habsburgs were known for their subnasal prognatism, yet this telltale feature was later twisted into a ‘hereditary disease’ of a pernicious prognatism due to inbreeding. Charles V natural daughter was married to Alessandro the Medici who was Black and was the Duke of Florence.

 

[Anna Boleyn][Catharine of Aragon][Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabelle de Castilie][Mary of Scots]

 

There are many portraits of Charles V and all show a completely different face, but most agree on the prognathism. But the portrait by Cranach the Elder shows the same tilt of the head as that of this Mostaert piece. Another one by … shows the same bejewelled bag as the Mostaert Portrait. A photo of Charles V’s mummy at the Escorial shows a photo of a black coloured mummy, which was described as with a black beard, and massive prognathism. Portraits and statues and statuettes of his son Philips II show the same prognathism and frizzled hair. Philips first wife was a daughter of Catharine de Medici. Her son Henry was described and depicted as ‘swarthy.’ Ferdinand of Aragon was Charles V grandfather and although a whitened image, he shows thick protruding lips. A half-whitened portrait of his daughter Catharine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII Tudor, shows prognathism. Henry’s second wife Anna Boleyn was described as ‘very dark, with black eyes and dark hair.’ Her daughter Elizabeth I was famous for painting up white, and was seen as ‘dark.’

 

 

[Was Jane Austen Black?][John Donne]Dr. Johnson][Madame de Staël]

 

Was Jane Austen Black?


 

The blue blood research has spawned a Museum dedicated to the true looks of the European elite. They were described as brown, black, swarthy, The Black Prince (Edward of Rosewood), The Black Boy (Charles II Stuart), black as chimney, chimney sweeper, not the white hands, basanè or brown black, and ugly (Jan Vos) in the 19th century. Jane Austen (1775-1817), was described as ‘a brunette of complexion’ and ‘a brown, not a pink colour.’ All her personages were ‘light brown or sallow, brown, very brown and black.’ Her brother Henry quoted poet John Donne when he described his sister as ‘The eloquence of her blood showed in her humble cheeks.’ An JASA portrait, which surfaced in 2000, conforms with all her personal descriptions and shows dark colouring, and a broad mouth. The fact that there is no authenticated portrait of the most famous writer in the world might be due to her Black looks.

 

An analysis of her books and letters shows a dedication to Black native Europeans and their fate, as well to Africans enslaved by their fellow European Blacks. Yet her minister father George Austen was also a trusty for an Antigua plantation owned by a Mr. Nibbs, Austens godfather. Her Fanny Price is based on Dido Elisabeth Langsay, a beloved niece of Lord Mansfield. She was a mulatto, called after a famous African Queen. But due to her lower status as a daughter of a freed slave, she ate with the family, but had to leave the table when there were guests. But with Austen whites are the ‘lower orders’. She writes in Northanger Abbey: ‘The Tilneys were brown and superior.’ In the highly allegorical Emma (1817), Emma Woodhouse is based on Queen Elizabeth I (Heartland, Hartland), Mary of Scots and King James (Miss Harriet, Carr) who was gay. The first descriptions of Emma and Harriet seem to describe a lesbian friendship, complete with sleepovers. From reactions by Mr. Knightley and Mr. Elton, to Emma’s plan to wed Harriet to him who she presents as ‘Mr. Elton, black, spruce and smiling,’ we can understand that Austen was against Blacks diluting their pure blood with whites and giving whites notions of equality. From Mansfield Park we further understand that Blacks lost power by giving positions to whites. She was writing against the lost of power by Blacks since 1760 when human races were invented, and the execution of Comte de Feuillide during the French Revolution might have motivated her to write. Emma is her version of a post revolutionary Britain, but still with the whites as servants, which she saw as ‘natural.’ Charlotte Brontë published Jane Eyre just in time for the final 1848 revolutions as an apology to whites. As a member of the gentry class Austen and Brontë were both against aristocratic domination. An early review brands Miss Brontë as ‘antichristian’ for questioning noble rule, it’s nature, symbolised by the very dark complexioned Mr…Her descriptions of the white Sint John are almost scientific, comparing him to the Apollo Belvedere. Europe at this period might be considered a continent dominated by two Black tribes, somewhat intertwined, equally oppressing the white serfs, but fighting for power.

 

[The Masque of Blackness]

 

The remarks against The Moor in Othello, are today wrongly seen as racist against all Blacks, but should be understood as relatively mild and humorous worded protests against the British nobility which identified with images of Moors. Other Blacks were never a threat. There were many plays during this time with central Moors, who like Mr. Elton, and Mr. Crawford, are a symbol and a character. If there really were such strong convictions against Blacks among the Venetian regents, how could Othello be the highest military in Venice. How could Blacks, or Mores be members of royal families in other plays? Othello says he comes from a line of royal men, from Africa. This idea is echoed in the play ‘The Masque of Blackness’ by Ben Johnson that was ordered by Catherine of Denmark, the wife of James I Stuart. The play says that Blacks came to Europe looking for a milder sun, and that black beauty does not fade. The Queen herself played the River Niger, a West African river, in blackened face. Which does not mean she was white of complexion. Blacks come in many shades, but the heraldic Moor was like Mostaerts African man, always the blackest and most prognastic type. Anna of Denmark was portrayed for an African dress design for her role, as a dark brown woman.

 

Austen writes cryptically in a letter to her niece about ‘two and three families in a country town as just the thing she likes to work with,’ and we may assume she means that brown and blacks were 2-3%. With the true blue bloods who were the highest nobility, and did not have a need for noble charters and numbered around 1%. Blue bloods were descendents of blue men, black and brown Europeans who were even seen among the Vikings invading England, sometimes as leaders, and are described in old text. David McRitchie collected text and wrote about black and brown Europeans in Ancient Britons. We also know that nobles often painted white, and that the lead white acted as a skin bleach that indicate they had black or brown skin. This fashion was translated to some portrait painting as the painter in conception made his brown sitter white. Sometimes altering the facial traits to conform to studio standards of ideal facial measurement. One reason why different painters depicted persons very differently. And because of licensing and infringements laws every portraitist needed to present a very different image then those of his commercial rivals. According to the vague descriptions by Huygens, PC Hooft and Grotius we can understand that Van Mierevelt was one of the few that painted his clients ‘after nature.’ And his work ‘showed the softnes of the flesh’ and ‘sweet, dear colours.’ The reality of Black Supremacy was cautiously spoken of as it was also not something that could be debated, as noble rule was presented as willed by god. Starting in 1100 when the oldest noble genealogies start and ended with the final revolutions of 1848 when serfs were emancipated.

 

[Rousseau][Voltaire][D’Alambert de Ronde]

 

The position of white serfs as shoe leather


 

Presumably the trade in human skins and the life flaying in public was also abolished. The life flaying is the cruel and unusual punishment referred to by the Declaration of Human rights. These were white serfs asking their black noble masters for equality. This fact is twisted around to mean Blacks asking whites for equality. Who would then be these Blacks in Europe during this period? All writers of the Enlightenment supported the invention of human races (1760), that were invented to give serfs human status, and to construct a hierarchy among races with whites on top, and Blacks way down, just above apes. The ape was presented as a degenerated human. Even today some whites regard Black as apes, acting as if they still fear domination by Blacks. All the writers of the Enlightenment were depicted together by Jean Huber als black and brown persons, and individual portraits exists that show them as brown and white. Rousseau was described by James Boswell, who was a Scottish nobleman, as ‘a gentile black man in an Armenian coat.’ They were members of the bourgeoisie and because of their number we may conclude the whole elite was brown and black. The noble class tribe was opposed by the regent class tribe, which sided with majority white serfs to defeat the nobility. Racism was used as a liberation ideology; as also many Black Madonnas were destroyed. For a period human skins were used to line church doors, showing that god condoned this practice and the domination of whites. Jonathan Swift wrote about a young woman being publicly skinned alive and suggested that the children of the poor should be turned in gloves and shoes for fine ladies and gents.

 

[lynching]

 

Racism against Blacks is a liberation ideology


 

The blue blood theory attracts followers who are against white supremacy and oppose racism against Blacks and understand that they need to find the root of racism to end racism. Racism is an old liberation ideology to free societies of noble, minority rule. Yet today 1% of the population has all the money, wealth and political power, and they have to make sure that the other 99% does not unite. That’s why we have trade in women and prostitution, and woman are kept out of prestigious and religious positions to teach men that women are less and are different to men. This is to divide the two greatest categories. Next we have homo hatred to divide men and women among themselves. Art reflects the political reality, and today we have accomplished a total social segregation of allochtonen, like that of the European Jews in 1933-1945. Now every Dutch is an agent of the state and needs to ignore and denounce foreigners. And the Dutch have a new incentive to ignore over paints as they are resolved to fight foreigners who they are told are a threat to European safety and European civilisation. Any incident is blown out of proportion to show all allochtonen as evil, criminal and murderous and on a rampage. There people are completely at the mercy of the media, and nobody seems capable of independent and rational thinking.

 

History forms part of the means a state uses to foster nationalism, and to divide and oppress the people. Racism has become another mean to divide working class people, because a white worker and a Black worker suffer the same exploitation. Museums have become churches of the revisionism of history by showing white images of persons who are described as brown or black and also depicted as such. The majority of the portraits on display are whitened, over paints. Photographs of De Staalmeesters from 1880 show them as dark complexioned, which means they were altered as far as in 1929. The scene shows the Blackest one in the middle, to show Black Superemacy. The Gemeente Museum in The Hague showed in 1915 portraits of the Van Aerssen-Beyeren family collection, with a few who are not over painted and a few whitened copies. They were the richest people in the 17th century and owning one third of the Surinam colony. Cornelis van Aerssen van Sommelsdijck was a grandson of François van Aerssen, and his granddaugher was described by her cousin James Boswell as ‘black as chimney’ while her husband Baron Aarnout Joost van Der Duyn van Maasdam was ‘chimney sweeper.’ Baroness Belle van Zuylen wrote a poem ‘About his brown black colour’ and compared Maasdam to the war god Mars who was depicted as black. She wrote to her lover D’Hermenches that the family was famous for their ‘swarthy’ complexion. An engraving of George Keppel of Albemarle shows a very dark skinned person, and he was a full cousin of Baron Maasdam.

 

[Iconographic Interventions]

 

Iconograpic interventions by over paint of complexions


 

Blackness on paintings was explained away in the 19th century as ‘yellowed’ varnish and ‘darkened’ paint. So restoration became a means of revisionism and state racism. Restorers do not identify iconographic interventions that have changed the complexion from brown and black to pink and beige. They preserve the drastic iconographic interventions to colour the European elite white. Most portraits on display are in the possession of the state and are whitened. Thus white supremacy is based on fake, whitened portraits. The on and off labelling of Rembrandts as fake or authentic or fake seems to be linked to the fake top layers, but regarded as the hand of the master by the so-called specialists, while we are looking at a defacement. Often this was done expertly, but it seems that some of the employed artist wanted to leave their mark, or something of the spirit of 1880. A portrait of Peter de Groot by Delff shows pointillist paint strokes akin to portraits by Van Gogh. The heavy degradation of portraits might be attributed to the restoration with inferior materials or inferior practices, causing crumbling of paint layers, and the lost of paint layers so we can even see the brown and grey under painting. The Mauritshuis Catalogue talks about complete brown under paintings that are a detailed face. This feeds into the research of the Frans Hals Museum that on the works showing Nicolaes van der Meer and his wife Cornelia Vooght, the hands and faces were over painted with pigments invented after 1720. Both museums claim not to know what this means, as again it points to over painting. According to a restorer’s handbook it’s a type of repaint that should not be identified in the restoration file and be maintained as much as possible. This is a type of scientific misconduct to disregard and ignore data, and maintain fake layers to arrive at a preconceived conclusion that the European elite was white, and could only have been white.

 

Jan Mostaerts African man as exhibit A?


 

The African Man by Mostaert is described in the articles as if a copy because it was made with long, flowing strokes, not the short, searching strokes of an painter finding a good depiction. It also looks unfinished as both the red garment as the blue green background seems to want more paint. Reading the articles it seems to have all the right properties to be regarded as a portrait of a ruler, but that rulers were never, could never be Blacks according to revisionist, racist scientists. Would an Emperor joining his men in battle identify and expose himself to the enemy in opulent clothes or rather blend among the men who fight with him. William of Orange was educated at the Habsburg court. He was described as ‘more brown then white,’ and ‘brown of complexion and the beard’(Jhr. Beresteyn 1933: 1). Some of his portraits show subnasal prognatism and frizzled hair. Races were invented in 1760 and his looks would be today described as Black: a Negro. The present negative image of Blacks came after 1848 when history was painted white, but is due to the fact that Blacks ruled, civilized and christianised whites that liberated themselves from oppression by 1848. The Dutch Royal family was brown and black complexioned, some with classical facial traits, which by the 19th century was regarded as ugly. The reasoning around the African Man today is the verbal equivalent of the approach and the restoration practices to maintain a preconceived conclusion, a practice very much in the media today as scientific misconduct.

 

Egmond Codfried

Curator Suriname Blue Blood Is Black Blood

The Hague

 

Sources:

Christophle le More Boogaard, Rijks Museum, jaargang

JA Rogers, Sex and Race

Beresteyn, Portretten van de Prins van Oranje(1933: 1)

Enamelling

Portretten van Hugo de Groot

Mijn Leven, Huygens.

De Portretfabriek van Mierevelt.

Belle van Zuylens oma; Maria Jacoba van Goor (1687-1737); een beknopte studie of zwarten in Nederland en Europa door de eeuwen heen.(2005)

Frank Snowdon, Blacks in Antiquity, 1971

Blacks in the Dutch World.

Kim..Things of Blackness

English Kings

David McRitchie, Ancient Britons

 

 

 

 

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