Heinrich Friedrich Füger, attributed to - Portrait of a Young Man (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?)

Heinrich Friedrich Füger, attributed to - Portrait of a Young Man (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?) - image-1
Heinrich Friedrich Füger, attributed to - Portrait of a Young Man (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?) - image-1

Heinrich Friedrich Füger, attributed to

Portrait of a Young Man (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?)

Oil on canvas (relined). 70.5 x 57.5 cm.

"Following short stays in Halle and Leipzig, Heinrich Friedrich Füger, who was originally from Heilbronn, settled in Vienna in 1774. There he received an imperial Rome Stipend and was able to continue his training in Italy from 1776 to 1783. He became vice director of the Academy following his return to Vienna, and later advanced to become its director in 1795 and then director of the imperial gallery of paintings in 1806. Füger concentrated on narrative painting and portraiture, both in oils and in miniatures.
This painting, attributed to Heinrich Friedrich Füger due to the rendering of the features, was most likely painted in the early 1790s. It can be compared, for example, to Füger's portraits of Johann Hunczowsky (Vienna Museum) and of the Austrian envoy Carl Graf Ludolf (Braunschweig, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum), whereby the latter, like the present work, is unsigned (cf. Robert Keil: Heinrich Friedrich Füger 1751-1818. Nur wenigen ist es vergönnt das Licht der Wahrheit zu sehen, Vienna 2009, p. 293 WV 295 and WV 297).
Traditionally, the painting is thought to be a portrait of the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. A label formerly attached to the back of the work, which presumably dated from the first half of the 19th century and now only exists as a copy, reads: “Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart gemalt von Heinrich Füger geb. 1751 in Heilbronn gest. 1818 als Direktor der Belvederegalerie”. It is plausible that Füger and Mozart could have become acquainted in Vienna. Both were active members of the Freemasons, albeit in different lodges, and in 1790, Füger married the actress Josephine Hortensie Müller, whose father Johann Heinrich Friedrich Müller was mentioned in a letter by Mozart dated 12th March 1783. It could also be conceivable that this portrait is a posthumous, possibly idealised, depiction of Mozart following his death in 1791.<BR>We would like to thank Dr Robert Keil, Vienna, and Cliff Eisen, King's College London, for their kind support in cataloguing this work."

Provenance

Collection of the Hermannsthal family, Vienna. - Collection of the author Bertha Pelican, Vienna. - Vienna art market (1962). - Bavarian private collection. - Lempertz auction 947, Cologne, 21.11.2009, lot 1132. - Private collection, Rhineland.

Lot 1601 Dα

Estimate:
7.000 € - 9.000 €

Result:
9.375 €