Nicholas de Larmessin I Portrait of Emperor Yohannes French (c. 1680s) 216 x 121 mm Engraving; Print on paper Portrait of an Ethiopian Emperor: Black man bust-length, turned to the right, wearing crown, pearl necklace and embroidered cape, and holding sceptre in right hand; in oval frame with ribbon tied in the upper part, and coat of arms in the lower part. “Emperor Yohann” is probably Prester John.
Prester John Il prete Ianni, Re d'Ethiopia. Priest John (Prester John) continued for centuries what still capture the imagination throughout Europe. Until the eighteenth century in Europe you find Heroic portraits of him.
The time when “EVERYONE” in Europe was White does not exist. They knew what people with brown skin looked like because they were there. They knew what “Africans” looked like because they were there, and they weren’t “they”, they were us, or you. | People of Color in European Art History