Unknown painting of Mozart to be found on Lebrecht website – The Hagenauer Mozart no. 146740

In 2004 a possible never seen before painting of the adult Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) was found in a private art collection in Denmark. It could be traced back to another collection that contained several items from the estate of Johann Lorenz Hagenauer (1712-1792), the friend, landlord, and business partner of Leopold Mozart, the father of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The painting was attributed to the 18th century. Mozart had many admirers and patrons, many of whom may have commissioned or requested portraits. Cliff Eisenn writes in Apollo Magazine that ‘ as long as there is no evidence to the contrary, the Hagenauer Mozart has to be considered as an authentic portrait of W.A. Mozart from around 1785.’ He quotes a letter by Mozart written in 28th September 1782 where he describes a red coat and the buttons on it which match those in the painting.

Cliff Eisen writes: ‘Only a very few images of Mozart are universally agreed to be authentic. Yet the acceptance of these portraits ā€“ as well as more recently discovered portraits purporting to be Mozart2 ā€“ is less the result of provenance or connoisseurship than the fact that they are shrines at which Mozart scholars and Mozart lovers uncritically worship. They are representations of how we would like Mozart to look ā€“ in short they satisfy our visual biographical fancy. ‘ (source Apollo magazine article http://www.apollo-magazine.com/features/5569418/a-new-portrait-of-mozart.thtml )

The arguments about the authenticity of this painting continue. We may never know who the artist was and how true a likeness this was of the great Austrian composer but Lebrecht Music & Arts will always be the picture library that leads the way in representing new information about the great masters of the classical world.

The Hagenauer Mozart

Visit us at www.lebrecht.co.uk

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