Large bust-length portrait lithograph by Charles Blair Leighton after his painting of the composer. Felix MENDELSSOHN.

Large bust-length portrait lithograph by Charles Blair Leighton after his painting of the composer

London: Leighton Bros; T. Boosey & Co., [ca. 1850]. Image size, oval, ca. 285 x 230 mm, sheet size 481 x 360 mm.

Laid down to cardstock within decorative border printed in teal blue. With "Drawn on stone by C. B. Leighton" to left and "Printed by Leighton, Brors 19 Lamb's Conduit Street" to right just beneath border; titling "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" to center beneath image with Boosey imprint below; "Proof" stamped to lower right corner.

From the collection of the distinguished American mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne (b. 1934).

Edges worn and browned; minor paper loss to blank lower corners; small crease to lower right margin.

A striking portrait of Mendelssohn, apparently undocumented. According to Dr. Ralf Wehner of the Leipziger Mendelssohn Ausgabe, the original painting from which this lithograph was taken seems to have been lost.

Charles Blair Leighton (1823-1855) was an English painter, engraver, and lithographer. He married Caroline Boosey in 1849, and presumably painted his portrait of Mendelssohn for his father-in-law, music publisher Thomas Boosey. Leighton's portrait is known only through the engraved copy by Conrad Cook, published in numerous reproductions.

The present lithographic proof is attributed directly to Leighton himself and shows minor variations from the engraved version by Cook, due primarily to the technical differences between the engraving and lithographic processes. See Wasserman: Mendelssohn Portrait Iconographies in Music in Art 33, nos. 1-2 (2008), p. 344.

"Horne had a voice of extraordinary range, rich and tangy in timbre, with a stentorian chest register and an exciting top... In concert she once achieved the feat of singing in a single programme Rossini arias and Brünnhilde’s Immolation Scene, proof of her exceptional versatility. Throughout her lengthy career she was an admired recitalist, singing lieder, mélodies, Spanish and American songs with equal aplomb." Alan Blyth in Grove Music Online. Item #31485

Price: $1,800.00  other currencies

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