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

'The truth', showing a picture of Mozart with black skin color; 'The false (fake)', showing the same picture of Mozart with white skin color; and 'The real Mozart', showing a different black-and-white picture

Screenshot of Facebook post with picture of Mozart with black skin color, and text starting with 'Mozart was a Moor!'

Is this true?

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    This claim is a first for me. – Ruut Nov 9 '15 at 22:34
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    As for the picture on the left, that was actually an ad campaing. The slogan 'New. Jazz on your classical radio.' gives it away, anyway. Also, 'the real Mozart' in the middle is Chevalier de St. George. – Swordslayer Nov 10 '15 at 16:09
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    @Himarm well, since I know next to nothing about Mozart himself and only did a reverse image search, all I can say for sure is that those pictures don't prove the original claim. – Swordslayer Nov 10 '15 at 16:17
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    @DJClayworth im pretty sure the confusion is because the middle picture is Chevalier de St.George, who is referred to as "the black mozart" and was a contemporary of the real mozart. though i typically dislike self answering – Himarm Nov 10 '15 at 16:20
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    Is this a new "thing"? Put a false claim on Facebook or Twitter, and see how many people you can fool. In my day, we only did these on April 1. – GEdgar Feb 6 '16 at 13:22
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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:

Portrait of Mozart from 1819

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):

Family portrait of Mozart Portrait of Mozart

The other is William Ward's portrait of Monsieur de St. George. Hhis name is still somewhat readable in the small version but is more clear in larger images:

Monsieur de St. George

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.

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    You might also like to add other pictures of Mozart, his father and mother, clearly showing that none of them were black. – DJClayworth Nov 10 '15 at 17:44
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    Since the post says the portrait was 'found by a Belgian radio station' (Klara is Belgian) I would assume the writers knew the actual truth when they wrote this. – DJClayworth Nov 10 '15 at 17:46
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    And one impressive gentleman he was, if you believe the Wikipedia article. An incredible swordsman, impressive violinist, and excellent composer. So the "Black Mozart" is not just based on some superficial similarity of their wigs, but he was indeed an excellent musician. – gnasher729 Feb 8 '16 at 17:16
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    Just for thoroughness, you may want to add something about Mozart's ancestry to address the claim on the OP that he "was a Moor." – Mr. Bultitude Feb 25 '17 at 13:28
  • Maybe the nickname was "the black black Mozart," but it got auto-corrected. – PoloHoleSet May 22 '18 at 19:00

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