16th Century Portrait

Inspired by the 2013 Walters Museum exhibition, “Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe”, and years of jumping in and out of the historical costuming community due to wavering inspiration, I’ve finally sat down to start my own version of this lovely lady.

“Portrait of an African Slave Woman”, ca. 1580s; attributed to Annibale Carracci (Italian, 1560 – 1609)

Noted in the exhibition book as a “fragment of a larger portrait”, I was struck by the clarity of this piece since most background characters are lost to…display dust and grime from age. Separated from the primary sitter (who is clearly missing an entire arm), I am delighted to bring her to the forefront and give her the focus that she deserves.