CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

The Rijksmuseum Bulletin, Vol. 72 No. 1 (2024) Published

A new issue of The Rijksmuseum Bulletin has appeared.

The issue includes an article that focuses on the representation of Black women in the Rijksmuseum collection. Curators of History Stephanie Archangel and Maria Holtrop mined the museum’s database using the search term ‘woman’ in combination with ‘African’ or ‘black’. The success of such a quest depends on the words used in the descriptions of the works in the collection. Black individuals depicted in these images are not always mentioned. For instance, descriptions of portraits give the name of the sitters, but very seldom that of the Black servants who are also pictured. Although people of color are present, their presence often goes unnoticed. Five years ago, the museum started to add the subject ‘people of African descent’ to descriptions in order to facilitate research like this. Archangel and Holtrop focus on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and present a variety of pictures of the Black woman as an allegory, Bible figure or character head, as well as a few portrayals made from life. These last depictions clearly reveal how much the other renditions served to support a world view in which Europe and Europeans were thought to be superior to other continents and other peoples.

The issue also contains an interesting short notice by Bram de Klerck in which he writes about viewer participation in Gerbrand van den Eeckhout’s Last Supper of 1664.

Contents of The Rijksmuseum Bulletin Vol. 74 No. 1 (2024)


The Horse Aquamanile in the Rijksmuseum
Joanna Olchawa

Black Women in the Rijksmuseum’s Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Collection
Stephanie Archangel and Maria Holtrop

Short notices

The Provenance of the Visitation Panel by Francisco Niculoso: From the Royal Realm to a Public Representation
Vera Mariz

A Trip to Jerusalem: Viewer Participation in Gerbrand van den Eeckhout’s Last Supper of 1664
Bram de Klerck


Fine and Applied Arts
Jonathan Bikker, Mattie Boom, Maartje Brattinga, Alexander Dencher, Mels Evers, Josephina de Fouw, Tess Graafland, Ludo van Halem, Mayken Jonkman, Friso Lammertse, Suzanne van Leeuwen, Frits Scholten and Matthias Ubl

The Bulletin is available in an open access format on