Renaissance art is imagined by an Afro-Cuban artist with Black people at its core

Renaissance Think of the well-known “Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo, “The Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli, or “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci.Grand visual. Narratives of the origins of mankind in Western art, with all of its triumphs, beauty, tragedies, and meaning, are probably quite White.

This is due to the fact that these themes have long been govern by the creative traditions of the European Renaissance. According to Britannica, it during the 15th and 16th centuries that “art came to seen as a branch of knowledge,” useful in and of itself and able to provide men images of God and his creations as well as insights into man’s place in the cosmos.


Harmonia Rosales, an Afro-Cuban American artist, is one of those attempting to fundamentally alter this standardization of Western ideology. The exhibition “Harmonia Rosales: Master Narrative” at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art in Atlanta is now showing some of her work in this style. (A version of the exhibition debuted last year at the University of California, Santa Barbara’s AD&A Museum.)

20 oil paintings and a sizable sculptural installation make up Rosales’ body of work, which implores visitors to perceive the universality of creation through the lens of the Black diaspora.

As Rosales weaves together the figures, ideas, and tales of the Yorùbá religion with the creative techniques and hegemonies of European Old Masters, with a concentration on Christianity and Greco-Roman mythology, the exhibition represents seven years’ worth of work.

According to the Yorùbá faith system, the universe and humanity are collectively rule by a supreme creator name Olodumare and a hierarchy of several hundred deities call orishas. The religion, which has its roots in Western Africa at least a few thousand years ago, was outlawed among slaves because many White slave owners saw it as evil and a danger to the subservience they desired.

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