Westerman/Blakely 2

I understand Blakely’s framework for understanding this image from their secular viewpoint. In Blakely shows that secular theme are pronounced in Dutch art as they represent black people. Often times, a depiction of a naked black women combined with darkness or shadows was symbolize Africa as a country or trade with Africa. I thought it was interesting that a the naked black women were used to symbolize blackness in secular terms as I thought it overtly romanticized and misrepresented reality. This reminded me of Jennifer Tosch’s virtual tour when she showed how sculptures would act as words as many people were illiterate. Moreover, this shows art as history by creating a primary or secondary source lens through which Dutch artists depicted the world, specifically, black people.

Contrastingly, Westerman shows how Dutch artists created a pictorial culture through representing themselves and creating reproducible prints. This lends a very different light on the history of Dutch art as it completely ignores the black narrative perhaps because dutch artists were white and thus, aimed to represent their white narrative.


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