Hello Everyone:
The 1779 painting is of “Dido” Elizabeth Belle Lindsay beside her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray, commissioned by William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, then Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the portrait of his two nieces hung in England’s Kenwood House until 1922. It now hangs in Scotland’s Scone Palace
In the fascinating featurette below “Behind the Painting”; you’ll hear from the writer Misan Sagay, the historian Paula Byrne, the current Lord Mansfield William Murray, Master Storman, the producer Damian Jones, the director Amma Asante, lead actor Tom Wilkinson as Lord Mansfield and lead actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw as “Dido” Elizabeth Belle Lindsay.

Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay & Lady Elizabeth Murray
 unknown artist _1779 
Displayed at Scotland’s Scone Palace
An elegantly rendered costume drama, Belle tells a true story only lately becoming better known in Britain and remarkable in its details:  An illegitimate biracial child, “Dido” Elizabeth Belle Lindsay, born to a British admiral [Sir John Lindsay] and a former slave [Maria Belle] he loved, is brought up as an orphaned, beloved member of her father’s aristocratic family in 1770s Jane Austen-era England. She is so beloved she is painted as an equal with her white sister/cousin, in marked contrast to the usual subservient poses of black people in paintings of the era.
Dr. Misan Sagay
Belle screenwriter 
Misan Sagay, screenwriter {Their Eyes Were Watching God} is a British woman of Nigerian descent.  “I was stunned. And taken aback,” says Sagay,  when she first saw the painting at Scotland’s Scone Palace
Misan Sagay dove into drafty palace archives to learn more, and years later the result is Belle, written on spec by Sagay, directed by Amma Asante, a British woman of Ghananian descent, and starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, a British woman of South African descent.
Medical Experience
To find out how Dr. Sagay’s  medical career informs her writingclick on article link.
Belle was released fin New York and Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago and on Friday, May 16th opened in Detroit and  many U.S. cities and Canada.  The movie will debut in England in June.  
NCM Blog
May 20, 2014
“A Painting is Worth a Thousand Words”

Camille Mitchell

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