Black Portraiture


7.15pm, Thursday 19 October – British Library


Join Peter Brathwaite for a journey through representations of Black subjects in Western art.

This event takes place in the British Library.  

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, artist, broadcaster, baritone and writer Peter Brathwaite thoughtfully researched and reimagined more than 100 artworks featuring portraits of Black sitters. It became a social media sensation and led to his critically-acclaimed book, Rediscovering Black Portraiture.  

Join Peter for a special evening as he delves into art history and shares his passion for Black portraiture. This event offers a nuanced look at the complexities and challenges of building identity within the African diaspora and how such forces have informed Black portraits over time – from The Adoration of the Magi by Georges Trubert to the Portrait of an Unknown Man by Jan Mostaert, and many more.

Peter’s work into Black portraiture has been described as ‘an urgent and compelling exploration of embodiment, representation, and agency’ and serves to remind us that Black subjects have been portrayed in art for nearly a millennium and that their stories demand to be told.  The event is chaired by curator and founder of Black Blossoms, Bolonle Tajudeen.

Peter Brathwaite is an acclaimed baritone who performs in operas and concerts throughout Europe. He is a presenter on BBC Radio 3 and has been shortlisted for a Royal Philharmonic Society Award.  

Bolanle Tajudeen, founder of Black Blossoms, champions artists of colour. Since 2015, she’s curated exhibitions connecting diverse audiences with talented artists. In 2020, her Black Blossoms School of Art and Culture and Journal documented marginalized artists’ histories. Partnering with renowned institutions, Bolanle strives for equitable recognition, shaping an inclusive art world.