Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe is an exhibition exploring the little known presence of Africans and their descendants in Europe from the late 1400s to the early 1600s. The exhibition will look at the roles these individuals played in society. During the European Renaissance, there was a new focus on the identity and perspective of the individual. Africans living or visiting Europe at this time included artists, aristocrats, saints, slaves and diplomats. The exhibition of vivid portraits created from life encourages face to face encounters with these individuals and poses questions about the challenges of color, class and stereotypes that a new diversity brought to Europe. Aspects of this material have been studied by scholars, but this is the first time the subject has been presented to a wider American public.
The exhibition features 73 paintings, sculptures, prints, manuscripts and printed books by great artists such as Rubens, Pontormo, Dürer, Veronese and Bronzino.