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Don Miguel, cousin of Count of Sonho, was sent as an envoy to the Dutch Republic to ask the stadtholder to mediate in a conflict between the Count and King Garcia II of Kongo sometime around the 1620s.
The Dutch and Kongo alliance was a fragile one based on mutual hatred of Portuguese colonization. It was imperative that the Kongolese King and his Count come to terms.
He went from Dutch Brazil to the Dutch Republic in Europe. With only a few servants he traveled three continents: Africa, Latin America, and Europe. At the end of his long trip he was able to get an audience with Prince Frederick Henry of Orange. Prince Frederick Henry of Orange was so charmed by Don Miguel that he commissioned this portrait of the Kongolese Ambassador.
Such paintings demonstrate that at the time European states saw African leaders as equals.