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Web of Art 15: African Interactions

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L. Black Magus from Adoration. R. Black Magus from Mary Altar
16th c L. Netherlandish R. German L. Renaissance R. Gothic Painting

MASTER OF THE ADORATION OF UTRECHT (active 1st h 16th c - ) Primary
MASTER OF THE ADORATION OF UTRECHT (active 1st h 16th c - )
c. 1500-1550
16th c
L. Renaissance R. Gothic
L. Netherlands. R. Germany
L. Autun. Musée Rolin. R. Utrecht. Rijksmuseum.
It was during the 15th century that one of the three kings who came bearing gifts to the Christ Child came to be identified as African. Here we see both 15th and 16th century examples, both of which seem to have been painted after Africans. As we will see, the Portuguese were the first of the European Christians to visit sub-Saharan Africa, interested of course in obtaining gold, but also interested in converting the Africans to Christianity. In 1512 Emanuel I of Portugal called upon Manicongo Afonso, a Christian convert, to send a mission to Rome to make an act of obedience to the Pope. Pope Leo was in contact with Manicongo, calling him "our most beloved son," and in 1518 he named his son Henry, who had been educated in Lisbon, as the first bishop of Black Africa. It is interesting to speculate whether the images of the Black Magus carrying an offering of gold may have been influenced by wealthy young African princes like Henry.

Caption: L. MASTER OF THE ADORATION OF UTRECHT R. GERMAN GOTHIC L. Black Magus from Adoration . R. Black Magus from Mary Altar| L 1st half 16 c R. 13th c| L. Dutch R. German | L. Renaissance R. Gothic

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