Wayward Lives
Scipio Moorhead, Phillis Wheatley, 1773











Caravaggio, David with Head of Goliath, c. 1600
Artemisia Gentileschi, David and Bathsheba, 1645 - 1650











Neoclassicism = a revival of the many styles and spirit of classic antiquity inspired directly from the classical period, which coincided and reflected the ideals of the Age of Enlightenment, and was initially a reaction against the excesses of the preceding Rococo style. The Neoclassic style can be traced to the establishment of formal archaeology, and is associated with the writings of Johann Winckelmann who praised the simple idealism of Greek art.


Romanticism =  a 19th century artistic trend that chronologically overlapped with Neoclassicism but tended to be intuitive rather than rational, subjective rather than objective, and passionate rather than unemotional. Romanticism was partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific rationalization of nature—all components of modernity.


Raft of the Medusa
Jacques-Louis David, Oath of the Horatii, 1784 - 1785.
Theodore Gericault, Raft of the Medusa, 1818 - 1819.











Federalist = Neoclassic

David Drake "Dave the Potter" for Lewis Miles Pottery, Storage Jar, c. 1860.
Thomas Day, Bedstead, 1853
Inscribed "When you fill this jar with pork or beef / Scot will be there to get a piece - Dave" Edgefield County, South Carolina.












"True art is the development of the sentiments and principles of the human soul–natural objects being the medium of illustration"


Robert S. Duncanson, Landscape Mural, 1850 - 1852, The Belmont (now Taft Museum of Art), Cincinnati.
Robert S. Duncanson, Uncle Tom and Little Eva, 1853
Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1852











The Image of the Black in Western Art

Dominique de Menil began a research project and photo archive called The Image of the Black in Western Art in the 1960s.

  • Now located at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard, the archive has more than 26,000 images of black people in Western art
Black in Western Art video











"It is something of a shock to discover that since classical antiquity, men and women of African descent have been a constant presence in European works of art. Just as startling, black people have often been depicted much more sympathetically than the historical relationship between sub-Saharan Africa and Europe would suggest" (Henry Louis Gates Jr., https://www.npr.org/2010/12/21/132229965/the-root-the-black-presence-in-western-art).

  • Now located at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard, the archive has more than 26,000 images of black people in Western art
Balthazar: A Black African King in Medieval and Renaissance Art
St. Maurice, 1240, Magdeburg Cathedral in Germany










Artist unknown, The Magi Approaching Herod, from an illustrated Life of Christ with devotional supplements (text in Latin and English), East Anglia (possibly Norfolk), England, about 1190 – 1200 and about 1480 – 1490.

Artist unknown, Initial Q: A Woman with Bread Loaves; Initial S: The Baptism of a Muslim, from Feudal Customs of Aragon (text in Navarro-Aragonese), Huesca, Spain, about 1290 – 1310; author, Vidal de Canellas.











Andrea Mantengna, Detail of the ceiling of the Camera degli Sposi, 1465 - 1474.

Andrea Mantegna, The Adoration of the Magi, Mantua, Italy, c. 1495 – 1505, distemper on linen.











Garden of Earthly Delights

Hieronymus Bosch, Garden of Earthly Delights, c. 1505 - 1515.











Feast in the House of Levi

Veronese, Feast in the House of Levi, 1573. Oil on canvas approx, 18' 6" X 42' 6".











Annibale Caracci, Portrait of an African woman holding a clock, fragment of larger painting, c. 1585

Jacob Jordaens, Moses and his Ethiopian wife Sephora, c. 1650











John Trumbull, The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker’s Hill, June 17, 1775, 1786.











Portrait of a Negresse

Marie-Guillemine Benoist, Portrait of a Negrese, 1800.
Slavery was outlawed in France in 1794. Benoist's piece became a symbol for equality, albeit problematic.
Britain would outlaw slavery in 1807, in partial response to the popularity of the Equiano's autobiography,
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, 1789











Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Odalisque with a Slave, 1839 - 1840.
Eugene Delacroix, Women of Algiers, 1834.











The Slave Ship

Joseph Mallard William Turner, The Slave Ship, 1840.