Friday, 27 September 2013

What Colour Was the Queen of Sheba - Black or White?

The Queen of Sheba as depicted ca. 1405 in a Prague manuscript

The visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon
A white queen with a black  entourage
Canterbury cathedral 1170-1180
Window n.XV panel 27

I do not have a ready answer as to why she appears black in one depiction - Pargue c1405 - while in another - Canterbury 1170 - she is white. More research is required, which I plan to do over the comming months meanwhile I leave you with those two arresting and diametrcially apposed images of the Queen.

The above was posted 27th September 2013, today is 18th March 2017 , three and half years later. I've still not done the research but have come across an equivalent image to the Canterbury Cathedral Sheba. 

Claude Lorrain (1604 -1682) in his Seaport with the Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba (1648)

Detail from Claude's Seaport with the Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba
A white queen with black attendants

In Claude's depiction we have the white Queen of Sheba attended to by two black maidservants  - perhaps a referencing that Sheba was believed to be in Africa. Almost 500 years separate the two images both have essentially the same representation. More research still needed.....

Friday, 6 September 2013


I wrote a piece on the Black Magus for - is a not for profit, web-based free content reference centre that is dedicated primarily to the understanding of African American history and the history of people of African ancestry and was honoured to have it accepted , it gets better as I have now been invited to join their speaker bureau!