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Scholar says Mozart painting is authentic

Confirmation came, right down to the buttons
March 16, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A British music scholar says he has identified a previously unknown portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart that could be worth millions. The 19-by-14-inch oil painting shows the profile of a man in a bright red jacket. Cliff Eisen says it's only the fourth known authentic portrait of Mozart from the time when the composer was at his professional height in Vienna, Austria.

King's College in London says the portrait was probably painted by Joseph Hickel, who was a painter at Austria's imperial court. It says Hickel gave the portrait to Mozart in return for the composition of a serenade for a member of Hickel's family.

Eisen said he was able to authenticate the portrait by comparing it against auction records, archival documents and a letter written by the composer to his father in 1782.

He says the description in Mozart's letter matched the portrait down to the buttons.

 

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