‘Rubens To Dumas: Black Is Beautiful’ Exhibit Opens In Amsterdam

“Rubens To Dumas: Black Is Beautiful,” an exhibition of 135 paintings, drawings, and manuscripts focusing on the changing role of black people in Dutch art and culture over seven centuries, opened this weekend at De Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam.

The exhibit takes a look at the “fascination” many artists have had with black people, presenting works by Dutch and international artists, including Rembrandt, Rubens, and Dumas.

Reflecting the exaltation and victimization of blacks through the years, the show is divided into three sections: The Old World, where the Moors of Europe, “The Black King” and the Aethiopes or Ethiopians of classical mythology are explored; the New World, where the African continent and blacks as victims of slavery come into play; and the Modern World, where new art movements like Cubism, and Surrealism explore the jazz culture that swept through Europe.

The exhibition was curated by art historian Esther Schreuder.

PHOTO: “Sibylle Agrippina” by Jan van der Hoecke; “On The Terrace” by Nola Hatterman