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Don Miguel de Castro, Emissary of Kongo - Albert Eckhout

An envoy from the court of Kongo, Don Miguel travelled to Brazil before arriving in the Dutch Republic, where the Dutch West India Company commissioned the artist Jaspar Beckx to paint his portrait.  A total of six portraits of Don Miguel and his two servants (Diego Bemba and Pedro Sunda) were completed.

 

Dom Miguel’s attire, in the Portuguese style, testifies to his wealth and power, as well as to strong links between early modern Kongo and Portugal. By this time, the Dutch Republic was one of the largest traders in enslaved peoples globally.  Diplomatic and mercantile relationships between the Dutch Republic and African kingdoms were key to this process.

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