photography&art

Frances Wheatley

The Irish House of Commons in 1780

Tumblr user ultang-blog sent me a message asking me to investigate this painting after seeing this one from their hometown of Dublin. Specifically, to try and figure out who the dark-skinned man in the center here might be:

From the message:

One theory is that he might be Sake Dean Mahomed, the Bengali adopted son of an Anglo-Irish officer Baker whom he moved to Ireland with in 1784.

But these dates don’t match, unless he was visiting a few years earlier. Of course it is perfectly possible that the man in the picture is a completely different man. Being part of the British Empire at the time Ireland would have been the home of more than one POC.

Either way I searched the site and couldn’t find anything on Sake Dean Mahomed, who is worthy of note anyway, having brought shampoo to Europe and opening the first Indian Restaurant in England. His grandson Frederick Akbar Mahomed is also note worthy as he was a famous doctor who helped refine the understanding of hypertension in the late 1800s.

This is a later portrait of Sake Dean Mahomed:

He may have been the first Indian man to publish a  book in English: The Travels of Dean Mahomet. You can read his entire book here!

Now, whether or not the man in the first painting is the same as in the second one? Suuuper debatable. I did look into it, and I’d say there might be officially no way to know. The possibility of just some random guy being there is not without appeal, in my humble opinion. Not every historic person of color is going to be notable for some inspiring or exceptional reason.

We were just there. No reason. No “justification” for our presence necessary.

Just undeniably, visibly, factually there.

Josuyasu Week: Day Five
Amusement Park / Sleepover / Clothes Swap 
background template by ita

if tokimemo has taught me anything, it’s that haunted houses are absolutely part of amusement parks, so it counts