Who knows where I can find a painting by Jean Humbert, on it the portrait of Guan Anthony Sideron?
Guan Sideron is one of the black children at the court of Stadtholder William V of the Dutch republic. He, born in Curaçao (West Indies) , came mid-1763 at the stadtholders court in The Hague. On arrival he was 7 years old.
Jean Humbert, was commissioned to portray him shortly after his arrival (also called: Citron, Cedron and Sieleron). The painting was intended for the court in The Hague and possibly taken, after the invasion in 1795 of the French, to France.
The seven-year-old black Sideron is probably depicted in his precious red and blue livery with a ‘more cap’ with plumes in the Dutch tricolor, red white blue, on his head.
Later on Sideron and his younger colleague Cupido, are captured several other times in works of Art. Including a few years later by La Farque in 1767 and 1781 by Hendrik Pothoven.
I was looking for this painting for a study about their lives that is published in a book by publisher Balans in Amsterdam in 2017. The Prince Bernhard Culture Fund, VSB fund, Gravin van Bylandt stichting and Mondriaan Fund supported part of the research.
Publication date 21-9-2017
African servants at The Hague court
21 September 2017 to 28 January 2018
In its exhibition African servants at The Hague court the Historical Museum of The Hague will showcase the lives of the children Cupido and Sideron. Originally from Curaçao and Guinea, as boys in slavery they were presented to stadholder William V as a gift. They went on to spend much of their lives as well-paid servants at the Court in The Hague. Whereas exhibitions about court life generally omit references to servants with a non-European background, this exhibition specifically focuses on servants of African descent. By doing so, the Historical Museum of The Hague is highlighting an aspect of Dutch history that remains relatively unknown.
In 2008 I was guest curator of the exhibition Black is beautiful. Rubens to Dumas. Important advisors Elizabeth McGrath (Rubens and colleagues, Warburg institute Image of the Black in Western Art collection), Carl Haarnack (slavery in books), Elmer Kolfin (slavery in prints and paintings) en Adi Martis (contemporary art). Gary Schwartz made his research for The Image of the Black in Western Art available to me.
In 2014 my essay ‘Painted Blacks and Radical Imagery in the Netherlands (1900-1940)’ was published in The Image of the Black in Western Art Volume V (I). (ed. David Bindman, Henry Louis Gates jr.)
In 2017 I published a book about the black servants at the Court of the Royal Van Oranje family. More than a thousand documents have been found about their lives. (only in Dutch)
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