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On loan from the Qatar Museums Authority/ Orientalist Museum, Doha, OM 762
The first British portrait of a Black African Muslim and freed slave, on long term loan to the National Portrait Gallery, London, is coming to the South Shields Museum & Art Gallery as part of its British tour.
The portrait of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, painted by William Hoare of Bath in 1733 is important for many reasons, not least because the painting is the earliest known British oil portrait of a freed slave, and the first portrait in this country
to honour an African subject as an individual and equal. But equally important, is the impact that Diallo as an individual had on Britain’s understanding of West African culture, black identity and Islam.
The exhibition explores Diallo’s intriguing story, a fascinating tale of faith, identity and the struggle for freedom.