Jan Jansz Mostaert: Portrait of an African Man (1525)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

This painting is the only known portrait of an African Man in early European painting. The identity of the sitter is unknown but the name of 'Christophle le More', an African bodyguard of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, has been suggested. The badge on his cap is of the virgin Mary and is a souvenir of a pilgrimage to Halle in Belgium where there was a popular cult of Mary. Painting from 1525.

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