Art: Black Dwarfs

In the portraits of the ladies who belonged to that dissolute court managed by Louis XIV of France, there often appears the dark and ambiguous figure of a black dwarf. In an article published by the Messenger, famed Negro periodical, one J. A. Rogers offers a by no means unlikely explanation of the pictorial presence of these creatures.

It is a fact that an African potentate presented Queen Maria Theresa, the consort of Louis, with a Negro dwarf. So fond of the monstrous little character did the Queen become, that her ladies too acquired dwarfs. Soon it became a fashion. The affection...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!