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Beethoven on His Deathbed

Beethoven on His Deathbed

This facsimile drawing of Beethoven, during his last hours, was made by Joseph Teltscher.  Alexander Thayer describes how it came about in his multi-volume work, The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven, Volume 3.  He quotes Anselm Hüttenbrenner who was with Beethoven at the moment of death:

When I entered Beethoven's bedroom on March 26, 1827 at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, I found there Court Councillor Breuning [Stephan von Breuning], his son, Frau van Beethoven, wife of Johann van Beethoven, landowner and apothecary of Lenz, and my friend Joseph Teltscher, portrait painter.  I think that Prof. Schindler was also present.  (Thayer, page 307.)

Thayer tells us what Teltscher was doing three hours before Beethoven took his last breath:

Hüttenbrenner says that Teltscher began drawing the face of the dying man, which grated on Breuning's feelings and he made a remonstrance, whereupon the painter left the room.  (Thayer, page 308.)

This image depicts that drawing.  The original is maintained at the British Library.

Click on the image for a better view.

 


Media Credits

Facsimile drawing of Beethoven on his last day  - March 26, 1827 - by Joseph Teltscher.  Online, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.  Original drawing maintained at the British Library.

 

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