Found: One, possibly two, new likenesses of J S Bach

Found: One, possibly two, new likenesses of J S Bach


norman lebrecht

November 21, 2015

The Bach birthplace museum in Eisenach has announced the purchase of a lifetime portrait of the composer. The painting below, attributed to the Dresden painter Johann Emanuel Göbel (1720-1759), was discovered in private ownership 30 years ago and will now go on permanent display.

j s bach eisenach

No sooner did that new item land than a collector in Dortmund, Wolf-Dietrich Köster, claims to have authenticated by carbon-dating to 1748 a Bach portrait he bought at auction last year.

If both of these pictures are what they are said to be, the number of lifetime likenesses of Bach has just gone up from one to three.

Dieses Bild eines unbekannten Malers hat der Dortmunder Unternehmer Wolf-Dietrich Köster 2014 auf einer Auktion ersteigert. Jetzt untersuchen es Kunsthistoriker auf die Echtheit hin - ist das ein Porträt von Johann Sebastian Bach oder sieht es nur so aus?


  • Just sayin' says:

    It will have doubled from two to four, I believe — Haussmann painted him twice (1746, in the Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig and 1748, in the Bach-Archiv Leipzig since last spring).

  • John Borstlap says:

    More & more portraits of JS Bach come to light and they are more & more ugly, clumsy and primitive.