Twice I re ent times I have read that image of the Black King has its origins in slavery both times from leading white Western institutions who appear to have only one lens for the observation of Black history - slavery. All Black history leads back to slavery in their eyes. This is wrong. The Black King in Adoration images does not have its roots in slavery, The image has a rich and complex history which rooted in bible study, courtly practice and artistic tradition.
The emergence of a realistically portrayed black character in Renaissance art reflected ….. a seismic shift in global events as European ships, led by Portugal and Spain, explored the Atlantic and established trading – and slaving – outposts on the African coast.
Myrrh mystery: how did Balthasar, one of the three kings, become black? https://t.co/Uar9QsuYVu #JonathanJones @guardianartbot @guardian— Michael Ohajuru (@michael1952) December 22, 2020
A miss-informed article - Portugal, Spain & slavery had no part in the origins of image of the Black Magus - follow thread for actual story
[I]t would take nearly 1,000 years for European artists to begin representing Balthazar, the youngest of the three kings, as a black man. Why? The explanation can be found through a closer look at the history of this period—specifically, in the rise of the African slave trade in mid-1400s.