Exhibitions In good company
Joseph Stieler's Beethoven portrait and its history
2019 December 17 until 2020 April 26
No other Beethoven painting is as famous as the portrait from Joseph Stieler (1781-1858), showing the composer holding the manuscript of the Missa Solemnis. It is one of the most known items of the Beethoven-Haus collection and as such a perfect choice for a special exhibition to introduce the anniversary year 2020.
By means of original paintings and archived items, the exhibition is to explain the history behind this important Beethoven portrait and how it fits into the overall context of presenting notable public figures from German politics, society and culture of the 19th century. Another exhibition aim is to show the multi-faceted impact of the portrait – an impact that began when Beethoven was still alive and that is still ongoing. It has resulted in a huge number of various art works, from oil paintings to video installations, from kitsch items to dealing with Beethoven and his oeuvre in a serious way. All these derivative works confirm the portrait's everlasting and special appeal.