Mozart Timeline

What did Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart look like?

What did Mozart actually look like? A must-see exhibition about Mozart's looks is on display until October 31st at the Mozart Residence in Salzburg, Austria.

19 September 2013 Events

He was truly no Adonis. But what did Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart really look like? Are there any authentic portraits of the great composer? The exhibition “Mozart Pictures – Pictures of Mozart” tackles this question and offers many interesting answers. It stays open until the end of October.

We all think we know him – isn’t his picture omnipresent? The man with the iconic wigged head serenely stares at us from posters announcing concerts, on books, cd covers, souvenirs, even on delicious treats such as liqueur or the famous chocolate Mozart Balls. But what did Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart really look like?

It is a certainty that he was not an attractive man, at least not according to modern beauty standards. He was small, had a relatively big head with a characteristic nose, pale, pock marked skin and slightly protruding but extremely lively eyes. We know this from various portraits, whose authenticity is certified. The largest collection of original Mozart portraits belongs to the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation. This collection, with the addition of loans from all over Europe, has been on display at a special exhibition since the beginning of this year at the Mozart Residence in Salzburg. More than 80 items are on display and there are guided tours in numerous languages and special programmes for children and youths.

Originals from the time of Mozart and later portraits

One of the most famous portraits of the musical genius was painted by Joseph Lange, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s brother in law. Most likely, it was created in 1782/83 and originally only showed Mozart’s head. It is an incomplete work. Lange later attempted an enlarged version, but never finished it.

A recent find was a tobacco tin with an authentic Mozart portrait dating back to 1783. It is considered authentic – contrary to the famous “Boy with a Bird’s Nest” from 1764, which, after many years of having been considered authentic, was proven to be a fake.

Open until October 31, 2013

The exhibition remains open until the end of October, 2013. A publication by the Pustet publishing house of Salzburg in German with summaries in English will satisfy the curiosity of interested Mozart lovers. It comprises images of all portraits on display and provides up to date research in the field.

For more information please visit the Mozarteum website.

Exhibition: Mozart Pictures - Pictures of Mozart

Exhibition: Mozart Pictures - Pictures of Mozart

Poster of the current display at the Mozart Residence Photo: International Mozarteum Foundation