One of the many special objects at the exhibition in The Hague about African servants at the court in The Hague was the portrait of Jan Wicheridus. Wicheridus was not a servant.
In 1783, at the age of seven, Jan Wicheridus (1775-1802) came to the Netherlands with his father. His father was Jan Gerhard Wichers (1745-1808), gouvenor of the colony of Suirname from 1784-1790. His mother was a free woman of African descent. Adjuba van Hesterlust. The two were unmarried. Jan was born out of wedlock. The addition of ‘ides’ to the surname Wichers means ‘son of’ in Greek.
The extended family Wichers maintained close contacts and regularly visited the court of William V in The Hague. Here, for example, a visit was noted of a J Wichers in 1769.
In the Netherlands, young Wicheridus estabilished the Hofstede Amstelmond tanneries. He Married Hendrika Maria van Lutsenburg. The couple moved to Mijdrecht and had two sons and a daughter.
In the family are photos of Wicherides offspring
Wicherides died at 26 years of age. His widow commissioned the production of this medaillon, with a loch of the deceased’s hair on the reverse side.
His father Jan Gerard Wichers took at least one servant/enslaved boy with him from Suriname. This young man can be seen on a painting by Adriaan Lelie (1784). The work can be seen on the Great Suriname exhibition in De Nieuwe Kerk of Amsterdam.
Jean Jacques Vrij helped me, with succes, with the search for the medallion, with Wicherides. Vrij wrote about Wicherides in the past and is working on new publication.
J.J. Vrij, ‘Jan Elias Onna en het “politiek systhema” van de Surinaamse slaventijd, circa 1770-1820’, OSO, Tijdschriftvoor Surinaamse taalkunde, letterkunde, cultuur en geschiedenis 17 (1998) 2, p. 132, ill., Wi Rutu 2003 Genealogische notities over Jan Gerhard Wichers en Jan Wicherides, Jean Jacques Vrij.
About me EN:
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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