Representing the Black Female Subject in Western Art

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-06-08
  • Publisher: Routledge

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This book offers the first concentrated examination of the representation of the black female subject in Western art through the lenses of race/color and sex/gender. Charmaine Nelson poses critical questions about the contexts of production, the problems of representation, the pathways of circulation and the consequences of consumption. She analyzes not only how, where, why and by whom black female subjects have been represented, but also what the social and cultural impacts of the colonial legacy of racialized western representation have been. Nelson also explores and problematizes the issue of the historically privileged white artistic access to black female bodies and the limits of representation for these subjects. This book not only reshapes our understanding of the black female representation in Western Art, but also furthers our knowledge about race and how and why it is (re)defined and (re)mobilized at specific times and places throughout history.

Table of Contents

List of Figuresp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
From Girls to Women: Locating Black Female Subjects in Western Art
Through An-Other's Eyes: White Canadian Artists-Black Female Subjectsp. 19
Racing Childhood: Representations of Black Girls in Canadian Artp. 37
Slavery and Portraiture: Agency, Resistance and Art as Colonial Discourse
Slavery, Portraiture and the Colonial Limits of Canadian Art Historyp. 63
The Fruits of Resistance: Reading Potrait of a Negro Slave on the Slyp. 76
Tying the Knot: Black Female Slave Dress in Canadap. 88
The Nude and the Naked: Black Women, White Ideals and the Racialization of Sexuality
Coloured Nude: Fetishization, Disguise, Dichotomyp. 105
The "Hottentot Venus" in Canada: Modernism, Censorship and the Racial Limits of Female Sexualityp. 122
From White Marble to Coloured Stone: Aesthetics, Materiality and Degrees of Blackness
White Marble, Black Bodies and the Fear of the Invisible Negro: Signifying Blackness in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Neoclassical Sculpturep. 139
Vénus Africaine: Race, Beauty and African-nessp. 158
Allegory, Race and the Four Continents: Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux's Les quatre parties du monde soutenant la sphere célestep. 170
Conclusion: Whiteness as Collective Narcissism, Towards a New Visionp. 179
Notesp. 183
Bibliographyp. 225
Indexp. 237
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