Black and Beautiful?

I fear something has been lost here in artistic translation. Consider this image inspired by the Song of Songs, then consider the verse below from the Song of Songs. Can you spot the incongruity?



I am black and beautiful,
    O daughters of Jerusalem,
like the tents of Kedar,
    like the curtains of Solomon.
Do not gaze at me because I am dark,
    because the sun has gazed on me.
My mother’s sons were angry with me;
    they made me keeper of the vineyards,
    but my own vineyard I have not kept! 

Yes, the darker skinned woman is now lighter skinned, and the lighter skinned man is now darker skinned. A curious skin colour reversal has taken place!

If this were the only example I may not have noticed, but it’s not. Here is another example from contemporary image by Chinese Christian artist He Qi.

He Qi Song of Solomon

This surprised me even more since He Qi is not himself caucasian. In fairness though, at least he features one of the lovers as darker skinned. Most images inspired by the Song of Songs don’t even have that. I am yet to find an image featuring a dark skinned woman. Even though the poem explicitly describes her as “black and beautiful.”

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