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And where is the Countess?

Oil on canvas
80x60x2 cm (w/h/d)
For sale

About the work

The painting shows the Beethoven Hall of La Redoute near Bonn. The Redoute in Bad Godesberg, now part of Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, is a hall that opened in 1792 for celebratory occasions of the court of Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria. When Bonn was the government capital of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949-1990, state receptions were held on the Redoute. Today, the Grade II listed historic building is used for events.
The Redoute is built in a neoclassical style from 1790, designed by Martin Leydel. Opened in 1792, it was a venue for chic dance parties, stage performances, opera, ballet and concerts by the court orchestra, with Ludwig van Beethoven as the violinist and pianist. In 1792, Beethoven played for Joseph Haydn, and they planned Beethoven to visit Vienna again to become a Haydn master's student.

In the painting, the young Beethoven walks into the room that was later named after him, in search of his lover: "Wo ist die Gräfin?"
In the left corner of the painting, a smaller painting is depicted on an easel. This is a portrait of Giulietta Guicciardi. Beethoven, 31, dedicated his Mondscheinsonate to this 16-year-old countess, the student he had fallen in love with. At first he had another work in mind, but that turned out to be forgiven. And so Beethoven selected an existing piece for Guiccardi. On the title page he had "Sonata quasi una fantasia" printed above her name. That turned out to perfectly cover the charge of this music, because Beethoven stimulated the imagination - especially with that opening movement. In a letter, the composer called his young student "an enchanting girl." Their meeting ended a dark time for him. "My life is pleasant again," he wrote. "I come out again, among the people. You can hardly imagine how lonely and sad my existence has been in the past two years. This change was caused by a lovely girl who loves me and I love her. After two years I enjoy moments of bliss again, and for the first time I feel that a marriage could make me happy, but unfortunately I am not of her status and I certainly cannot get married now. ”After all, there would never be a Mrs. Beethoven. Guiccardi became engaged to a count a year later and left for Naples.