Anonymous Venetian Artist
Cameo With Bust of an African Boy
Italy (c. 1590)
Sardonyx and Gold, Overall: 5/8 x 7/16in. (1.6 x 1.1cm); visible cameo: 15.8 x 13.2 mm.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
When I told Dr. Otto Neuratli of the Museum of Vienna , that Beethoven was of Negro ancestry he not only confirmed it but showed me Beethoven’s genealogy. He also mentioned Goethe, Germany’s most famous writer, as being of that stock. Rocker also names Goethe and Martin Luther, along with Beethoven, as among those who lacked almost completely the external marks of the Nordic race. (Nationalism and Culture, pp. 319, 1937.) Some who knew Beethoven bear this out.Fanny del Rio, who was in love with him, for instance. In her book. “Ah Unrequited Love,” dedicated to Queen Victoria, she says “his flat, broad nose, ra’her wide mouth … swarthy complexion, gave him a strong resemblance to a mulatto.”His life-mask in the Beethoven House in Bonn (very, very rarely shown in America), shows a very flat nose, wide mouth with full lips and other Negroid features. It is reproduced - in “Sex and Race,” Vol. 3. The New York Times, July 1, 1940, also cites Brunold Springer of Beethoven’s Negro strain in an article, “Negroid Blood In Hitler’s Aryans.”