Image via Christie’s
A portrait of 13-year-old Mozart will be going up for auction at Christie’s Paris on 27 November, and is expected to bring in between US$882,000 and US$1.2 million, per Artnet.
The circumstances under which the portrait was taken have been recorded in details. Back in 1770, Mozart was performing in organ concerts all over Italy when the receiver-general of Venice, Pietro Lugiati kept him captive. The purpose was to get the now-famous portrait drawn.
The portrait was attributed to famous painter Giambettino Cignaroli, though it could not be confirmed. The young Mozart is depicted with a wig and bright red outfit, with his hands over the organ like he was playing it.
How the painting came about has been unveiled in a letter from Mozart’s father and teacher Lopard to Mozart’s mother, Maria Anna, in the prodigy’s hometown of Salzburg.
In the letter, it was stated that Mozart was invited to an individual Ragazzoni’s house, before Lugiati “asked for permission” to get Mozart’s portrait drawn. Then, an “upper-class Bishop” arrived and detained the family while Mozart was being painted. They finally were allowed to have lunch at three, according to Artnet.
The artwork remains one of just four known portraits of the composer created during his lifetime that was owned by private individuals. Details of the auction can be found here.
Um retrato raro do compositor austríaco Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart será posto à venda pela casa de leilões britânica Christie’s no dia 27 de novembro por um preço estimado entre 800 mil e 1,2 milhão de euros.#Mozart #leilão #Parishttps://t.co/gyhDJkNrct
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