Looking for: painting by Jean Humbert

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.

Deel I Hoofdstuk 1 afb 2 1763 Stadhouderlijk kwartier schilderij van Humbert Sideron NA DSC_2682
Collectie Nationaal Archief Den Haag

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.

Sideron or Cupid by La Fargue collection Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Sideron by La Fargue collection Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

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.

Hendrik Pothoven detail Haagse kermis
Detail: Hendrik Pothoven, Kermis op het buitenhof 1781. Sideron en Cupido in het gevolg van Stadhouder Willem V

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

Cupido en Sideron Cover 30-8-2017


Haags Historisch

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.

About me:

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.

Black beautiful Rubens to Dumas cover
Black beautiful Rubens to Dumas cover

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.)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is the-image-of-the-black-in-western-art.jpg

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)

Cupido en Sideron Cover 30-8-2017

All photos on this site are not intended for any commercial purpose. I have tried to trace all the rules and rights of all images. As far as I know, these images can be used in this way. If you ar a copyright holder and would like a piece of your work removed or the creditline changed then please do not hesitate to contact me.



  1. Beste Esther, Helaas kan ik je niet verder helpen, maar ik houd de ogen en oren wel open. Groetjes, Lucia ________________________________

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