Balthazar: A Black African King in Medieval and Renaissance Art


by Kristen Collins (Editor), Bryan C. Keene (Editor), Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Introduction), Andrea Achi (Contributor), Tyree Boyd-Pates (Contributor), Hussein Fancy (Contributor), Cécile Fromont (Contributor), Geraldine Heng (Contributor)

In this book, experts in the fields of Ethiopian, West African, Nubian, and Western European art explore the representation of Balthazar as a Black African king. They examine exceptional art that portrays the European fantasy of the Black magus while offering clues about the very real Africans who may have inspired these images. Along the way, the authors chronicle the Black presence in premodern Europe, where free and enslaved Black people moved through public spaces and courtly circles. The volume’s lavish illustrations include selected works by contemporary artists who creatively challenge traditional depictions of Black history.

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