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Friday, July 07, 2006

Photo of Mozart's Widow Found in Bavaria

Constanze Weber, Mozart's widow, seen at front left

A print of the only photograph of Mozart's widow, Constanze Weber, has been found in Germany, according to der Spiegel magazine and BBC International News. The photograph was taken in 1840 in the Bavarian town of Altoetting when she was 78. She died two years later. Mozart and Constanze had six children in their nine-year marriage, only two of whom survived childhood.

The daguerreotype was taken at the home of the Swiss composer Max Keller, whom Constanze used to visit regularly. It shows Constanze at front left, next to Max Keller. His wife Josefa is on the right. Behind them are (from the right): their daughters Josefa and Luise, Max Keller's brother-in-law Philipp Lattner, and the family's cook. They are outside the Keller family's house.

The local authorities say detailed examination has proved the authenticity of the image, which is a copy of the original daguerreotype. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died at the age of 36 in 1791, when Constanze was 29. She later married a Danish diplomat.

The print is one of the earliest examples of photography in Bavaria. It was found in the Altoetting town archives.

Posted by: MIKE JOHNSTON with thanks to PAUL NORHEIM

Update: This is apparently a periodic fraud, well known as such to Mozart scholars.

4 Comments:

Blogger Sir James E. Watkins said...

I am indeed glad I found your blog.

~ James

2:14 PM  
Blogger xenmate said...

Take a look at this: http://www.soundsandfury.com/soundsandfury/2006/07/and_the_mystery.html

7:27 PM  
Blogger Dan Mitchell said...

There is an online discussion at another site devoted to classical music suggesting that this photograph is not what it is claimed to be.

See this link for interesting information:

http://www.soundsandfury.com/soundsandfury/2006/07/and_the_mystery.html

Dan

8:47 PM  
Blogger Doug Stockdale said...

An article in the Sunday "LA Times" Calander section this last Sunday (July 16) has the Mozart' wife photo as a hoax. This same photographic "discover" was made a couple of times in the 1950's as well. The article continues that outdoor photograph were not made in the 1840's because the lenses invented by Joseph Petzual were not avalaible then.

3:53 PM  

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