I came across this interesting painting some time ago, years actually, and I have always wanted to make a blog post about it.
It is the theme of black people appearing in paintings of as heraldic symbols, or as reflecting the true nature or history of the subjects, their ancestors and even their benefactors.
It is a painting of young Joseph II (I think) of Austria, with a page girl in a blue robe. It could be Joseph I though. A young future emperor with a page girl? Didn't he have a page boy?
What did he get up to with his page girl? Exercise his imperial prerogatives?
The first thing I noticed about the girl was her blue robe, which brings to mind Empress Maria Theresa and her love for blue. Every other portrait of her features her in a blue dress (Ed - are they dresses or gowns?). The gold in the robe and the red background brings is also suggestive of some of her portraits.
Getting back to the girl, she displays a number of the notable Habsburg traits,the full lips, the flared nostrils and the high brow.
There is something of an asymmetry in her face, and a suggestive unusual flair of her right nostril.
The painting is suggestive of an unveiling, the unveiling of an evolution from black to white, from light to dark, from Negroid to Caucasoid, the proud mother unveiling her new whiter creation. She rises up to the dais, lifts the helmet of her son and steps down revealing him to the whole world, something expressed by the fact that although her head is at lower elevation the blue of her cloak is at a higher elevation that his shoulders.
There is also a suggestion of Maria Theresa's obese figure in the gold fold of her cloth where the leg should normally be. There is a suggestion of an obese knee and calf in the in the pattern the cloth makes, much too big for the leg of girl that small. Because it is curled inward the leg should be in front of if rather than behind, so instead of displaying a real leg, a pattern suggestive of how an obese knee might look is displayed.
Speaking of unveilings here is another one in the same style, featuring George of Denmark and his negro page. It is a poor black and white copy, so you will have to look closer.
Are we done yet? No. Two hundred odd years after the coupling of our Joseph and Mary, we have had a new coupling of another Joseph and Mary, a genuine bona fide Habsburg coupling. I am trying to locate the pic in which Mary wears blue, but this has to do in the mean time.
Don't you just love Mary's glowing melanin? Melanated!!. Who is the blogger with that chant? Is it Wahima?
It looks like the some Habsburgs want to reintroduce original melanin into the bloodline. Leopold is true to his instincts.