"And the Jet Would Be Invaluable": Blackness, Bondage and The Beloved
In March 1865, Dante Gabriel Rossetti encountered a black child in London. One year later, a portrait of this child appeared as an attendant figure in his painting The Beloved (1865–66). The context of the artist’s engagements with black subjects and Victorian-era discourses of abolition, race, minstrelsy, sexuality, and labor illuminates his search for this child, as well as the treatment of his portrait. Rossetti strategically attempted a figuration of blackness independent of political implication and, by proxy, as a way to escape the charged moral discourses about slavery and race he felt surrounded him.
Rarey, Matthew. 2020. "'And the Jet Would Be Invaluable': Blackness, Bondage, and The Beloved." The Art Bulletin 102(3): 28-53.
College Art Association (CAA)
The Art Bulletin