The Obedient Nigger is a Myth

BRUCE CLARKE

(1959)

South Africa / United Kingdom

 

Le Nègre Docile est un Mythe / The Obedient Nigger is a Myth

(Toussaint Louverture)

 

70 x 50

Watercolour & Collage on Paper

2018

There are of course no photos of Toussaint Louverture. I based this portrait on a montage of different sculptures created soon after his death. There are of course painted portraits of him, but these seem often to exaggerate the features. Finally it’s not the exact resemblance which counts, but more the intensity conveyed in the person.

 

Former slave he became a military tactician and inspired the independence of Haiti, the first black independent republic. In 1802 he was forced out of power by Bonapartist troops who restored French authority in the former colony. He was deported to France, where he died in 1803. The Haitian Revolution was consolidated by his lieutenant, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, who declared independence in 1804.