Monday, May 14, 2012

Dom Miguel de Castro

According to inscriptions on the back of the three paintings depicting the Congo's ambassador, Don Miguel de Castro and his servant, Pedro Sunda and Diego Bemba.

All three are dressed after the Portuguese fashion, and the waiters presenting gifts they have or have received.

Sent by the ruler of Sonho--In 1643 or 1644 they arrived with a delegation sent by the ruler of Sonho, a province of Congo, via Brazil to the Netherlands. The purpose of the trip was partly to resolve an internal conflict in the Congo.

Exhibited in the King's Kunstkammer--The three portraits might be painted in Brazil by Albert Eckhout, who performed a series of paintings with motifs from Brazil to the Dutch Governor Johann Moritz of Nassau. In 1654 Johann Moritz gave the paintings to the Danish king Frederik 3 They were exhibited in the King's Kunstkammer along with other paintings and objects related to the colonies.


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