chapter  10
29 Pages

Images from the Dey’s Court

The Artist as Slave in Algiers (1684–88)
WithErnstpeter Ruhe

Among the many slaves who were kidnapped and taken to Algiers were two seventeenth-century artists. This personal misfortune, however, turned out to be a stroke of luck for researchers. Apart from a written narrative dedicated to the two brothers, a series of engravings has been preserved. These were produced by one of the brothers after their release and were based on drawings he made in captivity. This essay analyzes both the narrative and the illustrations with respect to the tradition of the slave narrative.