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    Titled "The Negro Page" by 17th century Dutch landscape painter Aelbert Cuyp

Were Those Black 'Servants' In Dutch Old Master Paintings Actually Slaves?

And there was a "black page" (according to the museum sign) wrangling a horse in the background of Jan Mijtens' 1650s portrait of prominent lawyer "Willem van den Kerckhoven and His Family." The painting's "considerable size, his family's fine clothing, and the presence of a black page in the middle ground all signal the man's prosperity," the sign informed. Again that curious formulation of the sentence--the man's wealth is signaled by his fancy possessions--and a black man. Was the black page one more of van den Kerckhoven's possessions? Was he, were all these black "servants," actually slaves? It was a mystery that this MFA exhibit about "class distinctions" didn't answer. I set out to find out.

Dutch involvement in the transatlantic slave trade and abolition | African Studies Leiden |

Visiting Amsterdam: Dark side of the Dutch Golden Age

by Oui on Sun Mar 14th, 2021 at 10:15:08 AM EST

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