Discussing Saartjie Baartman

The following correspondence originally took place on my Facebook wall, upon my post, “Who Was Saartjie Baartman?“…

Saartjie Baartman

Rayn: ♫ “The more you know…” ♫

The Life and Death of Saartjie Baartman:

Rayn: The More You Know:

Last Prince: Lol…

Eartha M.: Yup!

Jason L.: Unbelievable

Who Was Saartjie Baartman?

I originally posted the following information and commentary onto my Facebook wall…

Saartjie Baartman

Saartjie Baartman

The Life and Death of Saartjie Baartman:

The body of Saartjie Baartman, better known as the Hottentot Venus, has had greater influence on the iconography of the female body in European art and visual culture than any other African woman of the colonial era. Saartjie, a South African showgirl in the early 19th century, was a small, beautiful woman, with an irresistible bottom. Of a build unremarkable in an African context, to some western European eyes she was extraordinary. Today, she is celebrated as bootylicious.

Saartjie was not only the African woman most frequently represented in racially marked British and French visual culture, she also had less immediately visible influences on western art. In an age when art and science were commonly regarded as bedfellows, her image appeared in a proliferation of media, from popular to high culture. Saartjie was depicted in scientific and anatomical drawings, in playbills and aquatint posters, in cartoons, paintings and sculpture. Both during her life and after her death, caricaturists Thomas Rowlandson and George Cruikshank made her the subject of works typifying London life and the Napoleonic era. Saartjie’s body cast was one of the inspirations for Matisse’s revolutionary restructuring of the female body in The Blue Nude (1907), prompted by African sculpture and conceived, as Hugh Honour argues, “as an ‘African’ Venus: that her skin is not black is hardly of significance in view of his attitude to colour”.

Who was Saartjie Baartman? Not a question anyone will ask in South Africa, where she is a national icon; nor in America, where her life, legend and relevance are well understood. Yet in Britain, where she came to fame and had such an influence, she is less well remembered. Rumoured to be a slave brought to England against her will, Saartjie was an orphaned Khoisan maidservant born in 1789 on the eastern frontier of the Cape Colony. She was 21 years old when she was smuggled from Cape Town to London. Her employer, a free black man named Hendrik Cesars, was manservant to a British Army medical officer named Alexander Dunlop. Dunlop persuaded Cesars that Saartjie had lucrative potential as entertainment and a scientific curiosity in England, which had a thriving stage trade in human and scientific curiosities. A woman from the so-called “Hottentot tribe”, who, legend held, had amazing buttocks and strangely elongated labia, might provide an exceptional draw. Saartjie was persuaded: Dunlop, she said, had “promised to send her back rich”.

(Read entire book review here…)

My Commentary: ♫ “The more you know…” ♫

Nice Meat-Mask, Frankenstein!

The following correspondence originally took place upon the Facebook wall of an acquaintance, after she shared a captioned photo from here

Janelle F.: This is beyond creepy.

Donatella Versace turned up to the MET Gala preview and turned heads for all the wrong reasons. Donatella… Your face?! http://bit.ly/1iWBC81

Christina C.: White walker?

Christine G.: If I saw that on the street- I would scream and run away! I can’t believe she is only 59!!!

Shanna C.: I really got a little scared when I saw this.

Tommy L.: Yeesh!

Ryan D.: *unzips pants

Rob S.:

Janelle F.: Christina yes!!!! Thank you! Hahah

Damie G.: 😯 eeeewwww!!!! Nightmares tonight for sure! Ick!

Damie G.: Wtf is wrong with her! At least if you have a facelift, fix the penis of a nose that you have!!!! 😂

Joe P.: She looks like a Thundercat. Mumm-ra, really.

Jules P.: Say what you want but she was terrific in “House of 1000 corpses.”

Damie G.: ^^^😂😂😂👏👏👏

Valerie S.: How sad really.

John R.: Looks like her and Big Ang go to the same surgeon.

Janine M.: MY EYES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cyrus Y.: I had to see this right after lunch …

Rayn: Nice meat-mask, Frankenstein!

(She looks like she got a face transplant from a cadaver).

Don G.: YIPES!

Nancy F.: Jesus Christmas!

Janelle F.: LOL Rayn

Ron Z.: WTF

Patricia B.: How many surgeries to the face has she had!!???

Igor K.: is that Steven Tyler?

Kellyn V.: More like an ape showing up in her behalf, while she sun bathes (bakes) on the beaches of italy.
Wth! And she is a fashionista!! My 76 yr old grandma looks better than her!

Janelle F.: It looks like a giant footprint on her face