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

Portrait of the African Woman from Atlantic to Mississippi: A New Topography of the Art of Enlightenment
24 January 2018, 5.30pm - 7.30pm
Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AB

Speaker: Professor Anne Lafont, Directrice d’études, EHESS, l'Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris

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.

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

The Bilderfahrzeuge Project

The research project ‘Bilderfahrzeuge. Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology’ sets out to explore the migration of images, objects, commodities, and texts, in short: the migration of ideas in a broad historical and geographical context. It is funded by the German Ministry of Higher Education and Research, realised in cooperation with the Max Weber Stiftung, and situated at the Warburg Institute, London, as well as at the Deutsche Forum für Kunstgeschichte (Paris), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Kunsthistorische Institut (Florence), and Warburg Haus (Hamburg). Each institution is represented by one of the five Professors who also direct the research project: Andreas Beyer (Basel/Paris) who is also functioning as the research centre’s speaker, Horst Bredekamp (Berlin), Uwe Fleckner (Hamburg), David Freedberg (London), and Gerhard Wolf (Florence). For more information on the Bilderfahrzeuge Project please visit our website at https://iconology.hypotheses.org



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