Baldwin to the contrary, great painters throughout the history of Western art have looked at the black man and mirrored him as beautiful. Not many, but some. Seeking them out, Author-Critic Alexander Eliot culled the great collections of Europe and the U.S. to assemble the remarkable gallery that TIME presents on the following pages. All of the pictures are white mirrors, since oil paint was never the Negro's traditional medium: the promise of black Rembrandts lay in other fields. But all of them reflect the unprejudiced eye that saw beauty could appear in...

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