At the height of Britain’s trans – Atlantic trade in enslaved Africans, the streets of London, along with the opulent homes of its wealthy citizens had a Black presence. Two artists from this period, Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723- 1792), President of the Royal Academy, and William Hogarth (1697 – 1764), captured that presence in their works, albeit in varied tones and nuances.
The works of both artists during this period serve as a compelling and intriguing canvas, reflecting a society rife with complexities and contradictions. While Black figures were conspicuously present in their city and in their art, the roles these figures occupied within the compositions and the narratives they supported were multi – layered.
The talk will consider those layers revealing the rich commentary on the socio- cultural milieu of the timeeach artist was making about the Black presence and its implications in eighteenth century English society.
T his is an ONLINE event. Please check your junk mail for the Zoom link nearer to the time
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About the speaker
Michael I. Ohajuru FRSA https://about.me/michaelohajuru/ @Michael1952
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (2022), Senior Fellow of the Institute of Commonwealth
Studies (2017), Honours degrees in Physics (1974) and Art History (2008). Blogs, writes and speaks regularly on the Black presence in Renaissance Europe. He has spok en at the Metropolitan, New York and in London at the National Gallery, Tate Britain, British Library, National Archives and the Victoria Albert Museum. Founder of Image of the Black in London Galleries a series of gallery tours , the Project Director and Chief Evangelist of The John Blanke Project : an Art and Archive project celebrating John Blanke the Black trumpeter to courts of Henry VII and Henry VIII, now in T he National Portrait Gallery and The National Archive , co – convener of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies What’s Happening in Black British History series of workshops and founder member of the Black Presence in British Portraiture network