Medieval POC is a neat blog featuring people of color in European (and sometimes Asian) art.
It’s easy to forget that people of color – Africans, Moors, Arabs, Asians, and many more – have lived in Europe since at least the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The Medieval POC blog reminds you every day! There is also a Tumblr.
Many of the artworks are portraits and self-portraits of real people, or characters from myth and literature, such as the Queen of Sheba and Balthazar, the Wise Man who is traditionally depicted as black. Sometimes the people don’t have names, or just show up in the background as part of crowds.
The author helpfully tags certain images with “Orientalism” to let us know when the artist has painted/drawn people from the Middle East, Northern Africa, and East Asia in idealized/sexualized ways, and that we can’t trust everything we see in such an image.
Below are some of my favorite artworks – click on them to go to the blog page: