Past Events

A Black King in Georgian London: British Art and Postrevolutionary Haiti

Lecture Series – Esther Chadwick

  • 10 November 2022
  • 6:00 – 7:30 pm
  • Online


Henry Christophe, King of Haiti, 1818 Having served as a general under the revolutionary leader Toussaint Louverture, and after the turbulent years following the Haitian Declaration of Independence in 1804, Henry Christophe crowned himself King of Haiti in 1811. In 1816, Christophe commissioned the British artist Richard Evans (1784–1871) to create pendant portraits of himself and his son, Victor Henry, the Prince Royal. Two years later these extraordinary works were shipped across the Atlantic and exhibited at the Royal Academy in London. How and why the portraits came to be painted will be the subject of this lecture. Led by close visual analysis, we will consider the paintings’ reception in Britain and situate them in relation to the history of British art as well as in the context of Christophe’s aesthetics more broadly.

No prior art historical knowledge is necessary.

Georgian Provocations Series II is convened by Martin Postle, Senior Research Fellow, the Paul Mellon Centre.

Registration via Eventbrite is required and is now open. This will be streamed live via Zoom Webinar.

About the speaker

  • Esther Chadwick is a lecturer in art history at the Courtauld, where she specialises in eighteenth-century British art. She studied art history at the University of Cambridge and completed her doctorate at Yale University in 2016. Before joining the Courtauld, she was a curator in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum. Esther’s research addresses the materiality and agency of printed images, the role of art in the age of revolutions and the visual culture of the circum-Atlantic world. She is working on a book that examines the formative role of printmaking in the work of British artists of the late eighteenth century. Exhibition projects have included Figures of Empire: Slavery and Portraiture in Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Britain (Yale Center for British Art, 2014) and A Revolutionary Legacy: Haiti and Toussaint Louverture (British Museum, 2018).