Leo Arndt After Lionello Balestrieri, Beethoven

Leo Arndt After Lionello Balestrieri, Beethoven

This turn of the century etching by Leo Arndt (1857-1945) is based upon a painting by Italian artist, Lionello Balestrieri (1872-1958). It depicts the German composer Ludwig van Beethoven playing the violin behind a gentleman at the piano. Five others are listening including a couple and a despairing man.

Balestrieri’s fascinating original painting won an award at the 1900 Universal Exposition in Paris and also 1901 in Venice, which launched the young artist’s career. His intelligent work seems to capture a set of reactions to Beethoven’s compositions. Look around the room and you’ll see pain, love, longing, tears, and a fair share of introspection. They’re lost in the music, mere pawns in the master’s symphonies.

“To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable.”

It’s interesting that Balestrieri has depicted the composer with his back turned as the only likeness we see is the ‘life mask’ hanging on the wall. Originally created in 1812 by Franz Klein, this was often confused as a death mask. When in fact, it was created during his lifetime.

The etching is signed in pencil and framed/glazed.

Learn more about Leo Arndt in our directory.

Medium: Etching
Overall size: 24½” x 14½” / 62cm x 37cm
Year of creation: c. 1900
Condition: Paper with some discolouration on the sides. Frame with some age-related wear.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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