Haydn’s passport portrait is found in a US store

The Joseph Haydn Privatstiftung Eisenstadt has acquired a portrait of the composer made in 1785, when he was a provincial kapellmeister on a visit to Vienna.

Five years later, with the death of his Eisenstadt patron, Haydn became a world traveller, settling for two long periods in London and earning continental acclaim.

The portrait, by Christian Ludwig Seehas, was found in a US antique store.

haydn 1785

The portrait was his ticket to publicity.

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    • Passports in that era were extremely big. One of the reasons people did not travel much. The smaller passports got, the more people began to travel.

  • The idea that Haydn was a provincial Kapellmeister in 1784 “on a visit to Vienna” seems to have been suggested by a hitherto undetected algorithm to a writer somewhat deficient in musical, or historical knowledge.

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