Currently on Facebook and Tumblr I’ve stumbled onto this claim that Mozart was in fact black, and of African descent.
Is this true?
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The images backing the original claim are easily disproven. One of them is a taken from the Klara Classical Radio Station 2004 ad campaign. The campaign modified a portrait by Barbara Kraft, painted 28 years after the death of Mozart:
Kraft based this painting on contemporary paintings of Mozart provided by Mozart's sister, including these (note that the painting on the left really is a different painting from Mozart's lifetime):
The other is William Ward's portrait of Monsieur de St. George. His name is still somewhat readable in the small version but is more clear in larger images:
Chevalier de Saint-Georges was a contemporary of Mozart's, also known as the "Black Mozart" – which would be a peculiar nickname if they were both black.