John K. Brackett

Academic Historian

John K. Brackett is Associate Professor of History, with a specialty in the Italian Renaissance. He was awarded the PhD. in History from the University of California at Berkeley. Brackett is currently teaching at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. Professor Brackett has published a monograph, Criminal Justice and Crime in Late Renaissance Florence, 1537-1609, with Cambridge University Press. Brackett has also published on violence in early modern Tuscany, and the Florentine regulation of prostitution over 500 years. Following an interest in black Africans and their descendents in Europe, Professor Brackett is currently working on a book dealing with the first Medici duke, Alessandro (1510/11-1537), whose mother was a black African slave woman. The book will, among other issues, explore the idea of race in the Italian Renaissance.

Jan Mostaert’s Portrait of a Moor (1520-1530)

This painting is at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam,Holland. It is seen here courtesy of the Rijksmuseum. In the following account University of Cincinnati historian John K. Brackett describes the famous 16th Century painting of a black courtier at the court of Margaret of Austria, the Duchess … Read MoreJan Mostaert’s Portrait of a Moor (1520-1530)

Africa and Africans in the Imagination of Renaissance Italians (1450-1630)

Africa in 1595 as Known to Italian Explorers and Cartographers Image Courtesy of Northwestern University Digital Map Collection Many Europeans have long exhibited a fascination with the African continent.  However their knowledge of Africa was often incorrect or incomplete.  In the following article University of … Read MoreAfrica and Africans in the Imagination of Renaissance Italians (1450-1630)