View Full Version : Paintings of Beethoven

12-20-2000, 03:48 PM
When I first stumbled upon this bulletin board I was very surprised to hear than many of Beethoven's compositions are not in the public domain. Now I ran across a Beethoven painting from a private collector that I had never seen before in any commercial publication. I'm curious to know if this is common and also want to learn a bit more on this subject. I'd like to hear what other points of views there are out there.

12-20-2000, 05:31 PM
I'm not sure why you think much of Beethoven's music is not in the public domain - Most of his works have been recorded (many times!) - some recordings may be hard to come by, but not the music itself.
Even some of the more obscure things such as the folk song arrangements are readily available.I'm interested in this painting you mention, can you give some more details - artist,when it was painted etc...

'Man know thyself'

12-21-2000, 06:48 PM
While on vacation in Mexico, I ran into a copy (photograph) of an oil painting of Beethoven in a music shop. I asked a few questions since I had never seen it befor in any book or on the internet. The only information I was given is that he (the owner) received the picture as a gift from a Bishop who was able to photograph the painting while he (the Bishop) was on vacation around the Germany/Austria area.

12-30-2000, 07:29 AM
Hi Tony,

I believe that all original paintings of Beethoven were intended for private collections only, so it is conceivable that some may still be hidden in vaults all over the place. I know that for several years after his death, it was believed that no paintings existed, only the familiar silhouette of the 16-year-old Beethoven (1787) which crops up everywhere.

12-31-2000, 01:07 AM
Your reply makes me very happy in a sense that someone else knows about paintings that are kept in private collection and out of the public eye. The copy of the painting that I saw in that music store is the best picture of the composer that I have ever seen. It's my understanding that the University of Santa Cruz has a music department that one of it's specialities is Beethoven's entire life. Now I'm starting to wonder that if a copy of that painting can end up in Mexico then it is possible that it has circulated elsewhere like a University or other places that have deep interest in his life.

12-31-2000, 09:47 PM
Tony, this is an extremely worthwhile topic for this forum, and I can only assume that the reason you`ve not had more of a `tug` from the other regulars here, is that it`s the holiday season http://www.gyrix.com/~cgraye/ubb/wink.gif

The bishop in your story clearly knew the value of what he was photographing. It is tantalising to think that the most life-like portrait of Beethoven remains undiscovered (not that we`d know how to judge the likeness). If the bishop`s picture was of a publicly-displayed painting, then you can bet that any serious Beethoven institute will be aware of its existence. Maybe the bishop (this is starting to sound like chess strategy!) was visiting a religious area usually unfrequented by tourists.

It all sounds to me like there`s an Indiana Jones-type career waiting for anyone willing to do their homework. Please keep us informed of your progress, Tony.