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Web of Art 15: African Interactions

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R. Negro Acrobat from a Fountain. R. Black Youth
1st c-3rd c Roman Roman Imperial Sculpture

ROMAN IMPERIAL Anonymous (c. 27 BCE - 284 CE) Primary
c. 1-300
1st c-3rd c
Roman Imperial
Fountain part
L. Rome. Near Villa Patrizi. Italy. R. France. Chalons-sur-Soane.
L. Rome. Museo Nazionale. R. Paris. Biblioteque Nationale.
Roman artists made numerous depictions of black Africans, two examples of which are shown here. On the left is an acrobat, that was part of a small fountain, quite possibly one that dispensed wine. Undoubtedly live acrobats entertained at the banquets where the wine flowed, and the feast might have been served by young black men like the one depicted in the statuette on the right. This elegant figure was found in France, where it was most likely taken by a Roman commander. The styles of both these figures are thought to go back to Alexandria, a great cosmopolitan center founded in Egypt by Alexander the Great, a place where scholars, artists and politicians gathered from all over the Hellenistic and later Roman worlds. These included Mennom, a famous black Ethiopian philosopher we have already seen , and undoubtedly included Nubian blacks.

Caption: ROMAN | R. Negro Acrobat from a Fountain. R. Black Youth | c. 1-99 | Ancient | Roman
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