Lecture: Portrait of the African Woman from Atlantic to Mississippi: A New Topography of the Art of Enlightenment

Portrait d’une femme noire’ Marie-Guillemine Benoist © Musée du Louvre/A. Dequier – M. Bard

Professor Anne Lafont

Directrice d’études

EHESS, l’Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris

London, 24 January 2018, 5:30 pm

Warburg Institute
Woburn Square
London WC1H 0AB

Admission free; please register for this event through the Events section of the School of Advanced Study (SAS).

The figures of Africans in the early modern arts trouble the traditional chronology and geography of art history and sometimes disturb the hierarchical circulation of commodities between European metropolises and colonial territories. One cannot study art of colonial times and places with the exact same categories used to define the Italian Renaissance, the British Landscape and even the mobile case of El Greco. Authorship, centre versus periphery, the picture, the unicum… all these units need to be renegotiated in the imperial context. This lecture will focus on these issues through case studies based on the painting of female black figures in France and the French Americas at the end of the Eighteenth Century and in the first decades of the Nineteenth Century.

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