This portrait of the composer Richard Wagner (1813–1883) was painted by Franz von Lenbach (1836–1904). Lenbach is better known for his portraits of another German “genius,” Bismarck, whom he painted about one hundred times. If Bismarck’s person and legacy have invited various interpretations (he has been described, for example, as both a “white revolutionary” and a “charismatic leader”), then the same can be said of Wagner, for his impact on German music was no less profound (and ambiguous) than Bismarck’s on German politics. Both men certainly became genuine cult figures.

Franz von Lenbach, Richard Wagner (1894)

  • Franz von Lenbach


Source: Franz von Lenbach, Richard Wagner. Painting (c. 1878). Original: Nationalgalerie, SMB.
bpk-Bildagentur, image number 00017216. For rights inquiries, please contact Art Resource at requests@artres.com (North America) or bpk-Bildagentur at kontakt@bpk-bildagentur.de (for all other countries).

© bpk/ Nationalgalerie, SMB/ Klaus Göken