Darstellungen von Afrikanern im Württemberg des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts. Zum Gedächtnis an Memphis Minnie (1896-1973)
Portraits of Africans in 17th and 18th century Wurttemberg. In the memory of Memphis Minnie (1896-1973)
Firla includes two- and three-dimensional portraits of Africans, showing them as participants in processions and ballets at the Wurttemberg court, as 'accessories' in portraits of Wurttemberg rulers, and in sculptures. Fourteen depictions have been described in detail. As the purpose of these pictures the authoress identifies (a need for) exotism as well as status reasons: the demonstration of 'internationality', i.e. worldwide contacts, and thus, the importance of the Wurttemberg court. While the image of Africans had been idealized during the first period under consideration, their image has become more negative in the bourgeois era with its increasing economic relations and slavery.
Keywords: Africans in Wurttemberg (1600-1800), exotism, slavery, noble savage, status, Wurttemberg court