Currently on Facebook and Tumblr I’ve stumbled onto this claim that Mozart was in fact black, and of African descent.
Is this true?
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.