Blake’s depiction of Europa supported by Africa and America
doesn’t give a location, but it’s obviously warm enough
to allow them to stand without clothing while William takes
forever to engrave them. They’re young and healthy looking

all three of them. Africa and America both have metal bands
around their biceps, a dangling length of chain, signifying
slavery, freedom, resistance. A bit of everything, probably.

Europa’s got a long and sexy necklace. Snaky.

The crotches of the darker girls are decoratively hidden
by fortunate twists of garland. The pale Europa
has a flimsy something trapped between her thighs
which covers the actual entrance to her vagina.

This was the custom, artistically.

Breasts, meanwhile, are proud and visible. Two
for Africa, the same for America. A binary trio. Six in total.

The girls are smiling at us, unselfconscious.

It’s a genre piece with political overtones, so we can talk about it.

Abolition is desirable, obviously
but the practical aspects are problematic.

Who would compensate their Masters?




Steven Taylor




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