Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Don Miguel

Here's a picture I like.

This is Don Miguel de Castro and his picture was painted by Albert Eckhout, a Dutch artist. Eckout was among the first European artists to paint scenes from the New World. In 1636 Eckout traveled to Dutch Brazil, by invitation of count John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen. He stayed there until 1644. In 1643 or so, Don Miguel, who was an emissary from the Kongo, traveled to Brazil on his way to the Netherlands. I'm guessing that he was on a Dutch ship that was running a triangle route of Netherlands - Africa - Hew World/Brazil - than back to Netherlands. Triangle routes were big for countries involved in trade in the slave trade.

So anyway, while Don Miguel was in Brazil, Eckout painted his picture and that of his two servants. I'd seen a picture of Don Miguel before, but I didn't know his backstory. Who knew the Kongo was sending emissaries to Brazil in the early 17th century? And why doesn't Don Miguel* have his own wikipedia page?

The painting is now in the National Gallery of Denmark

* Of course there is a wikipedia page for Don Miguel. But it is not this Don Miguel, it is that Don Miguel. Well actually it is this Don Miguel...

No comments:

Post a Comment