Horseman with Drum and Drumsticks in The Hague’s forest

DSC_3437 kleiner
Drawing by Paulus Contantin La Fargue, 1770,The Hague Municipal Archives Tekening door Paulus Constantin la Fargue, 1770, collectie Gemeente Archief Den Haag

This unknown African horseman pictured in The Hague’s forest was probably in the service of William V. Who he is, is as yet unknown. Drummer or tambour was one of the roles typically given to people of African descent in Europe.

The drawing was on show in the exhibition African servants at the court of The Hague in the Hague Historical Museum.

Drummers by Rembrandt and Drummer by Cornelis Troost.


Deze onbekende zwarte cavalerist in het Haagse bos was waarschijnlijk in dienst van Willem V. Wie hij is, is vooralsnog ongekend. Trommelaar of tamboer was een van de typische rollen die mensen met een Afrikaanse afkomst in Europa kregen.

De tekening was te zien op de tentoonstelling Afrikaanse bedienden aan het Haagse hof in het Haags Historisch Museum.

Zie ook de Drummers van Rembrandt en de Drummer van Cornelis Troost.

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.)

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.

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