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Clesinger_Left hand of Chopin c.1850_side - Image Courtesy of Ben Elwes Fine Art.jpg

Mozart and Beethoven

Portraits and Personality

3 - 8 July 2022

Monday to Friday 9:30am to 5:30pm, or by appointment

Portraits and Personality

Two musical giants will be featured at Ben Elwes Fine Art during London Art Week Digital and Live, Summer 2022, but the portrayals of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) and Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) could not be more different.


The allegorical infant Mozart conducting the song of his starling is a light-hearted and whimsical little fantasy by the 19th-century French artist Basile Lemeunier (1852-1922).


In contrast, Ben Elwes Fine Art exhibits the only known bronze variant of the original 1812 plaster life mask of Beethoven by the Viennese sculptor Franz Klein (1779-1840) now in Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, Germany. The bronze mask, deriving from the plaster, even shows the composer’s disfiguring smallpox scars and the folds of paper which covered his eyes. Previous owners of this exceptional sculpture include the renowned pupil of Frédéric Chopin, the celebrated virtuoso French pianist, Émile Descombes (1829-1912), who, in turn, gave the mask to his favourite student, Édouard Risler (1873-1929).

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