More Accurate Mozart Portraits

By February 12, 2013Art
Mozart portrait

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The article, Experts are Weeding Out Impostor Portraits of Mozart, it explains that researchers feel as though the popular image of Mozart, like that in the film Amadeus, has given the public a false image of him.  His music, like that in Mozart’s Magic Flute, inspires a certain romantic view of Mozart.  Meanwhile, researchers in Salzburg go through various Mozart portraits to confirm which ones are in fact truly of the composer. The researchers are part of the International Mozarteum Foundation. They feel as though the popular image of Mozart is too romanticized to be true. As the public generally has the image of Mozart to be wearing a white wig and red jacket in front of a piano. There are a total of fourteen images of Mozart to exist from his time period. The foundation is putting on an exhibit to showcase twelve of the works.

The Foundation learned there was one Mozart painting that was not authentically from Mozart’s lifetime. The Foundation had acquired the painting depicting a boy with a bird’s nest and an open book with the inscription ‘W.A. Mozart 1764’. Yet, after some consideration the researcher found out that Mozart rarely went by Amadeus during his lifetime, as instead he preferred Gottlieb. The inscription of the painting was learned to be an addition made years later in the early 1900’s.

Another painting turned out to be the opposite, as it was acquired in the 1950’s by the Foundation. It depicts a tortoise shell snuffbox with a face on the box and an inscription reading, ‘Johann Mozart, 1783’. Mozart had owned a snuffbox like that and given it to a friend who had painted a miniature of Mozart on it. Because Mozart’s first name is used and Mozart was known to own a snuffbox, it is thought to be the only head on portrait of him from after 1781.

The researchers’ work is very interesting on the images of Mozart and perceptions of Mozart in the public’s mind.

Article Details: Experts are Weeding Out Imposter Portraits of Mozart

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