Black African Christians in German Renaissance Art: Lecture by Paul Kaplan

Monday, February 13, 2012

This event is free and open to the public.

Kaplan ImageThe School of Art and the Women's Studies Program presents a lecture on Black African Christians in German Renaissance Art by Paul Kaplan on Wednesday, March 14th at noon, in the Jerri Jones Lecture Hall, Room 211 in Phillips Hall.

Paul Kaplan is a Professor of Art History in the School of Humanities at Purchase College, SUNY, and is currently a fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Researach at Harvard University.  He is a major contributor to the new edition of The Image of the Black in Western Art (Harvard University Press, 2010-2012).

The lecture will deal with a remarkable painting known as the Calenberg Altarpiece, made around 1515 in northern Germany.  It includes many black African characters: a large group of dark-skinned Roman soldiers who were also Christian martyrs, as well as a handsome and finely dressed young woman of color in the entourage of the Saxon duchess who commissioned the picture.  This talk will provide a historical context for understanding these unexpected figures, and associate the devotion to the African St. Maurice and his companions with the growing presence of black Africans at European aristocratic courts, and the striking interest of German artists like Albrecht Dürer in the representation of people of color.








Mary Whitney