CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Christianity and Slavery

Exhibition: 29 June - 22 September 2024

Through historical sources, contemporary reflections, underexposed perspectives and evocative art, the exhibition offers insight into the often undiscussed relationship between Christianity and the Dutch history of slavery. Christianity had a decisive influence on the way people thought about slavery. Both arguments for and against slavery were based on the Bible. These narratives continue to this day.

Circle of Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691), VOC Senior Merchant with his Wife and an Enslaved Servant, ca. 1650-55
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Christianity and Slavery sheds new light on a complex and troubled history. The exhibition covers all areas where the Netherlands was active in its colonial past. It spans the period from 1596 – the moment a ship carrying enslaved people docked in Middelburg – to the present day.

In addition to historical objects, contemporary art plays an important role in the exhibition.