There is a black presence in many of the works in the National Gallery’s collection. That presence takes many different forms; blacks are depicted as kings, as slaves, as servants, as saints and sometime just as people. The Black Presence is most cases explicit though not immediately so, through my research, speaking and writing I seek to make that presence known to a wider public.
In the Black Presence National Gallery Tours each piece is considered from two distinct view points. First as work of art in its own right in the national collection, beginning by looking at its genre, its artist and their technique and how they together inform the composition. Then secondly revealing the black presence and what it meant at the time the picture was painted. Each tour will be one hour thirty minutes.
ONE Introduction to Black Presence in National Gallery
TWO Origin and Presence of The Black Magi
THREE Slaves and Servants in the National Gallery
The tours are given by Michael Ohajuru, a Fellow of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies with honours degrees in Physics (Leeds,1974) and Art History (Open University, 2008). He regularly speaks and writes on the Black presence in Renaissance Europe. He is currently working on a symposium to celebrate John Blanke – the black trumpeter to the courts of Henry VII and Henry VIII.
You can find out more about Michael and his writings here:
Black Presence in Renaissance Europe
Henrys VII & VIII Black Trumpeter
Download Michael's CV here.