Think that you may own a portrait of composer Wilhelm Richard Wagner? We authenticate, appraise, research and issue certificates of authenticity (COA) and provide consultations for all portraits of Wilhelm Richard Wagner.
Wagner was a German composer, conductor, music theorist, and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or "music dramas" as he later came to call them). Unlike most other great opera composers, Wagner always wrote the scenario and libretto for his works himself.
Wagner's compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their contrapuntal texture, rich chromaticism, harmonies and orchestration, and elaborate use of leitmotifs: musical themes associated with specific characters, locales, or plot elements. Wagner pioneered advances in musical language including extreme chromaticism and atonality which greatly influenced the development of European classical music.
He transformed musical thought through his idea of Gesamtkunstwerk ("total artwork"), the synthesis of all the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, epitomized by his monumental four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (1876). Wagner even went so far as to build his own opera-house to try to stage these works as he had imagined them.
There are only a few portraits in existence of Wilhelm Richard Wagner, two of which are authentic. Portrait #1 is by far the most famous. It was painted by Pierre-Auguste Renoir in 1882. Renoir (1841-1919) was a French artist who was known for Impressionism.
Portrait #2 was painted by Franz von Lenbach in 1882. Lenbach (1836-1904) was a German artist. There is one post mortem portrait to mention. It was painted in 1911 by Waldemar Pech.
Portrait #1, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1882
Portrait #2, Franz von Lenbach, 1882
It is unknown how many other portraits of Wagner may be in existence, and only time will tell. To find a portrait of this great composer would be a treasure indeed. Still wondering about a 19th century portrait in your family collection? Contact us... it could be a portrait of Wilhelm Richard Wagner.