Image:Wolfgang-amadeus-mozart 1.jpg

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, posthumous portrait by Barbara Krafft, 1819.

Background information

This portrait was painted by Barbara Kraft at the request of Joseph Sonnleithner in 1819, long after Mozart died. Sonnleithner, who was making a "collection of portraits in oils of well-known composers" (Deutsch) wrote to Mozart's still-living sister Maria Anna ("Nannerl"), asking her to lend a picture to Kraft (a well-known artist working in Salzburg). Here is part of Nannerl's reply:

... [her friend ] Councillor von Drossdick ... sent the artist to me to see all 3 [of my] pictures [of Mozart], the one that was painted when he came back from the Italian journey is the oldest, he was then just 16 years old, but as he had just got up from a serious illness, the picture looks sickly and very yellow; the picture in the family portrait when he was 22 years old is very good, and the miniature, when he was 26 years old, is the most recent I have, I therefore shewed this one to the painter first; it seemed to me from her silence that is would not be very easy to enlarge it, I therefore had to shew her the family portrait and the other one, too. ... she wants to take her copy from the family portrait and introduce only those features from the small picture which make him look somewhat older than in the big picture."

Deutsch identifies the three pictures as:

1) "perhaps" the portrait by Knoller, Milan 1773, viewable at

2) The family portrait by della Croce. We have this at:

3) a lost small version of the famous portrait by Joseph Lange, at:

For present purposes, this implies that Kraft painted this with some basis to go on (and not completely out of her head, as the painter of the ridiculous picture at did). Also, it tells us that Nannerl thought that the della Croce picture was "very good".

Source: Deutsch, Otto Erich (1965) Mozart: A Documentary Biography. Stanford: Stanford University Press.


Krafft, Barbara
Alternative names
Kraft, Barbara
Date of birth/death 1764-04-01 1825-09-28
Location of birth/death Iglau (Mähren) Bamberg


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File history

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Date/Time Dimensions User Comment
current 19:00, 25 August 2005 550×590 (75 KB) AndreasPraefcke (better version)
16:10, 15 May 2005 299×318 (38 KB) Luestling (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Source: Web {{PD}} Category:Composers Category:Paintings Category:People of Austria\)
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