Oil on Belgian Linen, 48" x 58"
The personification of Africa is carried away blindly on the wings of an eagle, the symbol of America. The full bodied figure of Mother Africa, bathed in an ethereal light created with silver tones, appears protected by the eagle, its expansive wingspan of smooth, soft, semi-transparent feathers almost cradling her. The beauty of the painting, with its cloudscape and iron oxide landmass below, is marred by the eagle’s talons clutching Africa’s leg. Here, blood seeps, an indication of the pain that will soon follow.
Rosales makes visible the taking of Africa and its people by overlaying the Greek myth of the abduction of Ganymede in which Zeus transforms into an eagle and kidnaps the beautiful youth. The seventeenth-century artistic model is Eustache Le Sueur’s Abduction of Ganymede by Zeus (c. 1644).