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Face of Bach
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One Trivia Question

Aryeh Oron wrote (February 8, 2002):
A music lover sent me a message, asking the following trivia question:

"One trivia question - do you have any idea what colour Bach's hair was? I wish I could see him without the wig just once."

Does anybody know the answer?

Riccardo Nughes wrote (February 8, 2002):
[To Aryeh Oron] Geiringer talkin'about the young J.S.Bach says that he had ".....penetrating eyes and dark hair....".

Cfr. "I Bach.Storia di una dinastia musicale", Milano 1981. (This italian translation is based both on "The Bach Family.Seven generations of creative genius, London 1954 & "Die Musikerfamille Bach.Leben und Werken in drei Jahrhunderten, Munich 1958; English and German version are not the same).

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 8, 2002):
[To Aryeh Oron] It appears according to the MGG and the New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians, that there is only one truly reliable pictorial representation of J.S. Bach: his portrait from 1746 painted and signed: "E. G. Haussmann pinxit 1746." Both music dictionaries concur in this statement found in the New Grove: "All the other portraits allegedly of Bach are at best doubtful." The oil painting by Johann Jacob Ihle, dating from about 1720, "purports to show him [Bach] as Kapellmeister in Cöthen; yet, coming from the palace at Bayreuth (and identified as a 'picture of Bach' only in 1897), the portrait gives no concrete indication of whom it represents, and its provenance is uncertain." [I assume this is the portrait we see on your site, Aryeh?] "Numerous apocryphal 'pictures of Bach' exist (including the so-called Erfurt portrait and the Volbach picture); most are of the 'old-man-with-a-wig' type and have nothing to do with Bach. The nearest we can nowadays get to his true physiognomy is probably in the 1748 version of Haussmann's portrait, wherein, as a man in his early 60s, Bach is represented as a learned musician, with a copy of the enigmatic six-part canon BWV 1076 in his hand to demonstrate his status."

In the Bach-Dokumente (a repository of contemporary statements about Bach - at least first-hand, if we can assume what these people say about Bach) I find no physical description of his hair. Also, Spitta, who relates material regarding Bach's personality and appearance, has no comment about his hair.

Riccardo Nughes wrote (February 8, 2002):
[To Aryeh Oron] I wrote :
< Geiringer talkin'about the young J.S.Bach says that he had ".....penetrating eyes and dark hair....". >
Actually Geiringer was talkin'about a portrait of Johann Ambrosius Bach (J.Sebastian's father) ; however he adds that "...J. Ambrosius & J.Sebastian - father & son -....were absolutely identical..."

 

Face of Bach

Michaelin McDermott wrote (May 31, 2002):
I am a researcher for OMNI FILM Production Ltd - Vancouver, Canada. We are presently developing an hour television program on facial reconstruction. Our world renown experts will undertake to reconstruct faces from history. From a skull casting we are able to build a face with startling accuracy. We propose to start with 300,000 old 1. heidelbergensis and move forward in time.

One of the faces that we are considering is J. S. Bach. In order to accomplish that, we need a casting of his skull. I have spoken with someone who tells me that a Vienna museum houses a His casting of Bach's

skull taken at the time of his exhumation but my contact could not remember which Museum.

If you have information that could help me in my quest to find this casting it would be much appreciate.

Thomas Braatz wrote (May 31, 2002):
Kirk McElhearn related that Michaelin McDermott requested the following information:
< One of the faces that we are considering is J. S. Bach. In order to accomplish that, we need a casting of his skull. I have spoken with someone who tells me that a Vienna museum houses a His casting of Bach's skull taken at the time of his exhumation but my contact could not remember which Museum. >
Christoph Wolff, in his biography of Bach, "The Learned Musician" p. 453 indicates: "No gravestone or other marker signified Bach's final resting place -- at least, none was extant by the mid-nineteenth century -- but groups of St. Thomas choral scholars paid tribute to their great cantor every year on July 28 for more than a century after Bach's death. It was they who established a tradition that the grave was located about six paces from the southern church door. The oaken casket presumably containing Bach's remains (only 12 of 1,400 Leipzigers who died in 1750 were buried in oak caskets) was exhumed on October 22, 1894. The remains were then buried in a simple stone sarcophagus and placed in a tomb under the altar of St. John's. The church and the surrounding parts of the cemetery were destroyed in World War II, but the tomb remained intact. In 1950, the 200th anniversary year of Bach's death, his sarcophagus was transferred to the chancel of the St. Thomas Church."

The MGG indicates that Bach was buried on July 31, 1750 at the south wall of St. John's Church (not St. Thomas!) Ten years later Anna Magdalena was buried somewhere nearby. The exact position of the grave was soon forgotten. In 1885 the city council of Leipzig decided to erect a plaque in the approximate area. On the 22nd of October, they exhumed 'his bones' (nothing about an oaken casket mentioned here) and called upon an anatomist, W. His, to identify and verify these bones as belonging to Bach. At that time K. Seffner made a casting of the skull. This was compared with the portrait of Bach by Haussmann and determined "to be somewhat similar." K. Seffner made a bust from this casting. The MGG does not say where this bust is, or whether it even exists today.

Personal note: This whole business of seeking out the remains of famous deceased individuals is fraught with the distortion of truth. Bach's birthplace in Eisenach is an example of this. For most of the 20th century, people were shown a specific house in Eisenach where Bach was born. A photograph of this house appeared in just about every Bach biography that could afford to include photos. Recently it was discovered that this house was not the right one. The original house, somewhere else nearby, no longer existed, so it appears that someone decided that a shrine to Bach's birth had to exist nevertheless and came up with a substitute that was 'passed off' as being the original.

Regarding Bach's 'final resting place,' notice in the reports above: There was no grave stone or marker! Bach was buried near the south wall of St. John's Church (this is all that people could remember for many years after Bach's death) , but "tradition had it" that the grave was located only six paces from the south church door. (How much is a 'pace'? in which direction? etc. Who established this tradition, why, and when? Why wasn't this tradition established immediately? It seems that many years passed before this was done. Why the discrepancy between being buried near the south wall, but being celebrated only 6 paces from the church door?) The oaken casket which 'presumably' contained Bach's remains? Perhaps, by indicating that Bach was among the very few in 1750 who were accorded this honor of having an oaken casket, later city officials were trying to make themselves feel better about the situation that Bach's remains had been neglected for such a long time? Perhaps the anatomist, W. His, and the sculptor, K. Seffner, were also under great pressure from the city officials 'to come up with something tangible and worthwhile." Then, in 1950, they finally moved his 'supposed' remains to the St. Thomas, because that is where everybody expects his bones to rest. If it happened with his birthplace, why not also with his grave?

I personally think that all these concerns are really not that important at all, interesting perhaps, but not important, since we have received from Bathe truth and beauty of his music which is an everlasting legacy that outshines all these feeble, politically motivated efforts at attempting to prove his physical existence and at providing shrines before which tourists can gather to pay their homage to this great composer. In the 1890's, if I am not mistaken, there was a strong movement in scientific circles to bolster the theory that larger skulls mean larger brains mean greater intelligence. This theory held sway for many years, but was eventually disproved. It is easy to imagine what the anatomist, W. His, would be looking for as he examined Bach's remains and declared them to be genuine.

Michael Grover wrote (May 31, 2002):
If anyone would know, it would probably be Teri Noel Towe. This sounds like it's right up his alley.

Riccardo Nughes wrote (May 31, 2002):
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=4237

Juozas Rimas wrote (May 31, 2002):
< Bach was buried near the south wall of St. John's Church (this is all that people could remember for many years after Bach's death) >
The location is pretty clear, to my mind (not that it would necessary be the true location but it's quite exact). Lots of scientists have been searching for the remains of pharaohs with much less guidelines.

Did they come up with a mass tomb or what in 1885? If they found one "set" of bones at the south wall of St. John's Church, was the anatomical knowledge of the time so poor that they could not determine if those were the bones of a male who died at the age of around 65 years and was approximately x feet tall (someone must have mentioned in their memoirs whether Bach was tall or short (?). Where are the bones now?

If I understood correctly, the sarcophagus in the chancel of the St. Thomas Church contains another "set" of bones that could be examined using the up-to-date anatomical knowledge.

< I personally think that all these concerns are really not that important at all, interesting perhaps, but not important, since we have received from Bach the truth and beauty of his music which is an everlasting >
People are occupied with so unimportant and pointless things that the face of Bach is probably not the worst scenario. What about some years-long research on the behavoir and nutrition of Abyssinian wolves? :)

By the way, I have read an amazingly meticulous study on the circumstances of the creation of the MO recently on this mailing list - it was really interesting and not so inconsequential although someone might indeed think it was trivial as long as we can simply listen to the MO. ;)

Bradley Lehman wrote (May 31, 2002):
Is he aware of the latest research into the Bach portraits? Here's Teri Noel Towe's web site "The Face of Bach"...
http://www.npj.com/thefaceofbach/

Pete Blue wrote (May 31, 2002):
< Juozas Rimas wrote: If I understood correctly, the sarcophagus in the chancel of the
St. Thomas Church contains another "set" of bones that could be examined using the up-to-date anatomical knowledge. >
Yes. Current DNA technology might answer this and other questions about Bach's remains and obviate the need to speculate.

< Juozas concluded: I personally think that all these concerns are really not that
important at all, interesting perhaps, but not important, since we have received from Bach the truth and beauty of his music which is an everlasting People are occupied with so unimportant and pointless things that the face of Bach is probably not the worst scenario. What about some years-long research on the behavoir and nutrition of Abyssinian wolves? :)
By the way, I have read an amazingly meticulous study on the circumstances of the creation of the MO recently on this mailing list - it was really interesting and not so inconsequential although someone might indeed think it was trivial as long as we can simply listen to the MO. ;) >
I think those who think such things "inconsequential" are wrong, for two reasons:
(1) Everyone loves a good detective story, and there are many such in the Cantor's life story.
(2) It is plausible, natural, and justifiable that folks who love the greatest music ever composed would be curious about the details of the life (and death) of the composer of that music.

Aryeh Oron wrote (May 31, 2002):
[To Michaelin (through Kirk)]
Go to Terri Noel Towe Website 'The Face of Bach":
http://www.npj.com/thefaceofbach/

There is also a Mailing List dedicated to the subject (however, not very active):
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheFaceOfBach/

 

Carl Seffner 1895 bronze bust of Bach on display in New York through May 16

Teri Noel Towe wrote (May 11, 2007):
What almost certainly is Carl Seffner's own exemplar of the portrait bust of Johann Sebastian Bach that he sculpted in 1895 over a cast of Bach's skull is currently on exhibit in the booth of the prominent Paris art dealer Martin du Louvre, at the International Fine Arts Fair that currently is being held at the Seventh Regiment Armory, Park Avenue at 66th Street, in New York City.

Here is the description of the bust that was provided to me by John Paul Bogart, of Martin du Louvre:

The bust is life-sized. It is a bronze of wonderful quality – a nervous surface and magnificently chased and patinated. It is a cire perdue (I mistakenly thought it was a sandcast at first, until I took a good look at it underneath). It is signed and dated ‘Seffner 1895’ , but Bach’s name is not engraved on the plinth.

I am assuming that this bronze is an atelier version of the sculpture which Seffner wished to preserve for himself in a durable medium. If it had been done for anyone other than the sculptor, Bach’s name would undoubtedly been engraved on the front.

The bust was purchased in the forties by its former owner directly from Seffner’s heirs, and the superb quality and particular characteristics of the work confirms this provenance to me. Cire perdue was a hideously expensive process in the early 20th century, reserved for important works or special commissions – not for mass diffusion. I do not know how many of the commercial plasters Breitkopf and Härtel made, but there can’t have been very many. If so, they would have turned up at auctions, and they don’t. In any event, it is clear that the two works that have been proposed to us have nothing to do with a commercial edition, and so they are clearly rare.

The International Fine Art Fair continues through Wednesday at the Seventh Regiment Armory, Park Avenue, at 67th Street. Hours: daily, 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Sunday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

I, for one, do not intend to miss the opportunity to see this remarkable sculpture.

Teri Noel Towe
The Face Of Bach

"Those in charge are odd and ambivalent towards music, which means I have to live with almost non-stop vexation, envy, and persecution."
Johann Sebastian Bach, October 28, 1730

 

The real face of Bach?

Riccardo Nughes wrote (February 28, 2008):
http://www.repubblica.it/2006/05/gallerie/scienzaetecnologia/volto-bach/1.html

This is taken from an italian site where it's not told who are the scientist who made this simulation based on Bach's skull...

Steven Bornfeld wrote (February 28, 2008):
[To Riccardo Nughes] Somewhat fanciful, IMO. There are limits to the detail you can get from even a skull in good condition. I'm used to seeing the older Bach in a wig; the reconstruction assumes huge ears. There seems to be greater concordance between contemporaneous portraits (esp. of the older Bach) than between them and this "reconstruction". Of course a life (or death) mask would be helpful. Oh, and the eyes look a bit creepy to me.

Jean Laaninen wrote (February 28, 2008):
[To Riccardo Nughes] Thank you, Riccardo.

Paul Dirmeikis wrote (February 28, 2008):
[To Riccardo Nughes] Looks like Rod Steiger...

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (February 29, 2008):
[To Riccardo Nughes] I wonder whether TeNoel Towe has seen this. I copy him on this and hope he will reply to one or both of the Bach lists. I would normally blind copy so that the recipient is not copied on all replies, however recently someone told me that her e-client treats blind copies as "apparently to" and assumes spam mail.

Martin Spaink wrote (February 29, 2008):
The reconstruction, next to a well-known cast bust, were printed big on the facepage of todays Volkskrant, a major Dutch journal. I think it does look rather good, his lower lip is a bit different from what we've seen sofar.

Mickey Drivel wrote (March 1, 2008):
An interesting site, but, at the risk of being churlish, could I request the compiler to tidy-up the home page. It looks like a random compilation. No offence intended.

 

Forensic experts create a new image of Johann Sebastian Bach

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (February 29, 2008):
from Reuters:

BERLIN - Experts have digitally rebuilt the face of 18th century German composer Johann Sebastian Bach - and say the results may surprise his fans. Using his bones and computer modeling, they have come up with an image of a thick-set man with closely-shorn white hair. The new Bach face, the creation of Scottish forensic anthropologist Caroline Wilkinson, will go on display at the Bachhaus museum in the eastern German town of Eisenach, Bach's birthplace, next month.

Eighteenth century portraits show him very differently. "For most people, Bach is an old man in a wig, it is a stylized image, we have no realistic portrait of him," Joerg Hansen, managing director of the museum, told Reuters. "We know he was a physical man, that he danced, that he stamped his feet when he played, that he sang. He was a very dynamic man - with this reconstruction you can see it."

Bach's bones were excavated in 1894 and sculptors first used them to help create a bust in 1908.But it was mainly based on a portrait of the composer and contemporary critics said it was so inaccurate that it might as well have been the composer Handel. "It's not really that important to know what he looked like, we love Bach through his music, that is why people come to the museum, but they are also interested in the man," Hansen said.

The story can be found online (with photographs): http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23393269/

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (February 29, 2008):
Kim Patrick Clow wrote:
< from Reuters:
Bach's bones were excavated in 1894 and sculptors first used them to help create a bust in 1908.But it was mainly based on a portrait of the composer and contemporary critics said it was so inaccurate that it might as well have been the composer Handel. "It's not really that important to know what he looked like, we love Bach through his music, that is why people come to the museum, but they are also interested in the man," Hansen said. >
Amen. Who cares what his recreated bones look like and some of us do not care what theology he ascribed to. millions of others have bones left and millions have theologies. Bach left his music. All the rest is for those who care.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (February 29, 2008):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] Yeah, since those all those others aren't Bach, we wouldn't really care to see their reconstructed bones, now would we?

William Rowland (Ludwig) wrote (February 29, 2008):
[To Kim Patrick Clow] When one compares the portraits of Bach with those of the computerized image we see that there is not that much difference ---the difference is that the computer image is more realistic than the artist who tried to flatter Bach.

Ed Myskowski wrote (February 29, 2008):
21st Century Cynic and Skeptic [was: Forensic Experts]

>Bach's bones were excavated in 1894 and sculptors first used them to help create a bust in 1908. But it was mainly based on a portrait of the composer and contemporary critics said it was so inaccurate that it might as well have been the composer Handel.<
I would be interested to hear the authorization for excavation, and the history of <Bachs Bones>.

Sculptors, plural? How many.

Why give Handel the publicity. Could it not just as well have been Telemann, Zelenka, even the much maligned Willie-Fred-Bach?

Where is the 1908 bust?

Julian Mincham wrote (February 29, 2008):
Various

Ed Myskowski wrote:
< I second Jean's suggestion: Brad Lehman and Julian Mincham, in particular (not to overlook others) are music professionals who have been very generous in sharing their expertise, without ever being condescending (sorry for that word, I couldnt think of a smaller one). They display what BCML (and the world) can always use more of: generosity of spirit. >
Many thanks Ed for your kind words.

I am in the middle of a particularlybusy period at the moment with performances to prepare and relatives staying from the other side of the world so I am contributing minimally to the discussions. Not that this matters as I see the list has taken on a new life and become very active again after a period of almost serene calm! Excellent. I have managed to skim though most of the posts but am still about 50 emails behind.

One point struck me of odd but particular interest and that was the reconstructed bust of Bach (thanks for distributing that). Cut out the part above the eyes (where the hairline and stlye seems wrong after the various portraits in wigs) and one can see some strong similarities of features with some of the extant paintings.

I was moved by this to go back and reread Schweitzer's account (vol 1 p 162) of the finding of Bach's skeleton and his appearance--I recommend all those interested to do so. The three graves were dug up in 1894 only a decade before Schweitzer's work was first published in French and at a time when he must have been doing the preparatory work---so he would have exhibited a keen interest in the event. The bones assumed to b Bach's were those of 'an elderly man, not very large but well built'. The skull exhibited 'a prominent lower jaw, high forehead, deepset eye sockets and marked nasal angle'. The bone of the temple enclosing the inner organ of hearing was described as 'extraordinarily tough'. Seffner was the first sculptor to attempt to model the features over the skull.

Speaking of the late Volbach (disc) portait, Schweitzer goes on to say---'the longer we contemplate it, the more enigmatic becomes the expression on the master's face. How did this ordinary visage become transformed into that of the artist? What was it like when Bach was absorbed in the world of music? Was there reflected in it then the wonderful serenity that shines through his art?' (vol 1 p164)

It takes an act of imagination to consider such things, but for me Schweitzer is answering those who say, who cares what he looked like?? We should only care about his music!

Well, it may not be a matter of caring but it certainly is an act of natural curiosity an attribute which Bach's restless, questing mind certainly did not lack.

One last interesting quote from Schweitzer. On p 239 he say 'Bach's time is therefore bound to come'. He quotes Rochlitz (as the first Bach aesthetician and writing in the early C19)as considering it to be not even close and likely to be long delayed.

Prophetic words. Can one doubt that Bach's time has now come as like no time on the past? And that we are fortunate to partake of this great movement in our own lifetimes?

Paul T. McCain wrote (February 29, 2008):
Where is Teri???

Here is the best resource on the subject of what Bach looked like: http://www.npj.com/thefaceofbach/

Paul T. McCain wrote (February 29, 2008):
<< we have no realistic portrait of him," Joerg Hansen, managing director of the museum, told Reuters. >>
Well, now, that is just baloney!

Jean Laaninen wrote (February 29, 2008):
[To Ludwig] I agree here--if you put the wig back on this picture we'd be looking at another picture of the same man with minimal differences to my eye.

Jean Laaninen wrote (February 29, 2008):
[To Julian Mincham] Thanks,Julian. You've summed up the issue of Bach's appearance quite nicely. And with your very heavy schedule right now you've taken time to share some additional perspectives and sources with us--we appreciate it.

Aryeh Oron wrote (February 29, 2008):
Thank to Riccardo and Kim for bringing the news to us.

Ludwig wrote:
"When one compares the portraits of Bach with those of the computerized image we see that there is not that much difference ---the difference is that the computer image is more realistic than the artist who tried to flatter Bach."
The new computer-generated Bach portrait has been added to the page of his portraits on the BCW.
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Memo/R-Paint.htm [lower right side]

You can now compare it easily with the previous portraits and judge for yourselves.

Jean Laaninen wrote (February 29, 2008):
Kim Patrick Clow wrote:
< Yeah, since those all those others aren't Bach, we wouldn't really care to see their reconstructed bones, now would we? >
There are few bones I'd really like to see in person, just to be a little amusing--but it's nice at the moment that the intensity of Bach comes through in this contemporary picture.

And to address what Yöel has offered, we all come and go--and many facets of religion have been born or created in time. To my knowledge, there are a good many people are who interested in the many elements of Bach's music -- the theology being one. On a conciliatory note I have to say that my study of Scripture--both as it comes directly from the Hebrew and may be found in the Christian New Testament offers an outreach to readers. According to Facebook, the Bible is the most popular book in the state of Arizona. And the sheer number of people who have written about Bach's beliefs and the number of books that exist with information on his belief system attest to the fact that there are a lot of people who either academically or personally want to understand his beliefs. Therefore, as the questions arise, from an honest academic point I believe there is considerable value in them. No one is asking a person who does not care to care, but I think there is room in such discussions to respect those who do--and there are a lot of them. What does one gain from announcing to the world that he or she does not care about something??? Who really cares if someone does 'not' care?

The music, I think one must remember, was born of Bach's native gifts, his family heritage, and his work in a setting where his belief system added produced the most amazing array of compositions. As a long time student of history I would not leave out these details.

Jean Laaninen wrote (February 29, 2008):
[To Aryeh Oron] Thanks, Aryeh.

Ed Myskowski wrote (February 29, 2008):
Julian Mincham wrote:
>I was moved by this to go back and reread Schweitzer's account (vol 1 p 162) of the finding of Bach's skeleton and his appearance--I recommend all those interested to do so.<
Thanks for this reference. Its what I was asking for, if it existed, without taking the trouble to look around first, for myself.

Santu de Silva (Archimedes) wrote (February 29, 2008):
Jean Laaninen wrote:
< I agree here--if you put the wig back on this picture we'd be looking at another picture of the same man with minimal differences to my eye. >
A pity that the forensics don't give us an idea what the wig looked like! (Ha ha). It looks like E. Power Biggs, actually.

Jean Laaninen wrote (February 29, 2008):
[To Santu de Silva] Thanks Arch.

Ed Myskowski wrote (February 29, 2008):
Arch wrote:
>A pity that the forensics don't give us an idea what the wig looked like! (Ha ha). It looks like E. Power Biggs, actually.<
E. Power Biggs? Arent you dating yourself? Im going to play one of his LPs, just for nostalgia sake.

As to the wig, what were they made of, anyway. Polyester was still way in the future. Perhaps it survived, along with the bones, but it went unrecognized? Could it be in the cellar of a museum somewhere?

Sorry to be so cynical from the outset. It was the hairline that put me off. I overloooked that forensic experts get a little creative, when they are not constrained by evidence. Or is there a correlation of skull shape with hair pattern?

I was also unaware that Bachs skull is a serious research topic. On a positive note, it is rewarding to ask for the evidence, and find that it exists.

Paul McCain wrote:
>Here is the best resource on the subject of what Bach looked like:<
http://www.npj.com/thefaceofbach/
Including photos of the skull, if you have not yet checked it out. Yow!

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (February 29, 2008):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
> As to the wig, what were they made of, anyway. <
Natural hair typically, maybe wool in some instances. The could be powered with colors (usually white, gray, or for women, blue or yellow. The wigs were scented in an effort to drown out all the stench that was a major quality of life issue in an era with poor indoor plumbing and sanitary habits.

> Sorry to be so cynical from the outset. It was the hairline that put me off. <
If Bach wore a powdered wig (and we know that he did), his hair was very closely clipped. Some people of the period shaved their heads completely in an effort to avoid head lice.

> I was also unaware that Bach's skull is a serious research topic. On a positive note, it is rewarding to ask for the evidence, and find that it exists. <
It's wonderful I think as well. Telemann remains didn't fare so well: his gravesite was destroyed at least twice (once in a church fire around 1842), and the bombing raids of WW2). There is however a very large memorial in the general vicinity of Telemann's gravesite now, with plans for a large statute to be erected. C.P.E. Bach was buried in another church crypt in Hamburg, and survives to this day. Handel is buried in the Abbey. Unfortunately Vivaldi suffered the same fate as Mozart (actually buried in the same cemetary): buried in a unmarked pauper's grave.

Joel Figen wrote (March 1, 2008):
Aryeh Oron wrote:
>You can now compare it easily with the previous portraits and judge for yourselves. <
For what it's worth, I find the reconstructed image more believable than the Hausmann portrait. The former looks to me like a deep and pious person, the latter looks empty and mindless. I realize that this means very little. But I could see a bach who looked like the reconstructed image as someone capable of the kind of depth we find in his music. The Hausmann image, however looks like some sort of old gas-bag. Totally subjective, I know. This is what makes it absolutely true. :)

Jean Laaninen wrote (March 1, 2008):
[To Joel Figen] Your last few lines are the best analysis yet...I really chuckled. As a photographer of musicians for over a decade now at ASU I have taken pictures of the pious/serious types and those who are more on the frivilous side. What strikes me over and over again is the simply endless variety of facial expressions. So it seems to me a single portrait or reconstruction while momentarily exciting is only a moment in time--we've all missed a lot by not living in those days. However, when it comes to personal care I'm certainly glad we don't have to live without a Walgreens a little over a mile away--conditions must have been quite miserable at times then.

William Rowland (Ludwig) wrote (March 1, 2008):
[To Jean Laaninen] Things were not all that bad. People had to work harder and as the result could afford to consume everyting that we consider today not good for us because we do not work hard enough to burn all those calories provided by the high fat consumption of those days. By the standards of the day; Bach had a cushy job that involved little hard work.

The main problem of living in Bach's day was the primitive state of medicine. When you got sick often the Doctor would bleed you to rid you of 'bad humours'.

What he really was doingwas murdering you if he bled enough blood from you. It was common for men to cause the deaths of their wives by keeping them pregnant all the time and I suspect that was why Barbara died. Diesases that we do not get alarmed about today were major things to be concerned about back then.

People were less isolated from each other back then---as they are today when television, internet, video games, and all the other distractions of modern life tend to isolate individuals so that they have less social interactions than their ancestors.

Jean Laaninen wrote (March 1, 2008):
[To Ludwig] You do make some good points here. Thanks for sharing.

Ed Myskowski wrote (March 1, 2008):
Ludwig wrote:
>Things were not all that bad. [...] People were less isolated from each other back then---as they are today when television, internet, video games, and all the other distractions of modern life tend to isolate individuals so that they have less social interactions than their ancestors.<
Think about those wigs, scents, and lice. Plus the extra-sensory stuff, germs, for example. Not even discovered yet.

I do not find that the internet isolates me from social interaction. Quite the contrary, it expands and sanitizes, simultaneously. If you happen to like someone, you can make up an attractive face, rather like fleshing out Bachs presumed skull.

And if you happen not to like someone, vice versa. You are never stuck with ugly friends, or good looking enemies.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (March 1, 2008):
Ludwig wrote:
< The main problem of living in Bach's day was the primitive state of medicine. When you got sick often the Doctor would bleed you to rid you of 'bad humours'. >
Well, there's more to it than that. Conditions were unsanitary from the kitchen and everywhere else in the living space. Versaille was originally built without bathrooms and people would simply relieve themselves in the stairwells. Home that did have "bathrooms" (and I'm using that word in the most basic sense. Even if there was a private room to relieve yourself, there wasn't any flushing water and the smell of feces and urine would be strong enough to choke a bull elephant. There wasn't anything remotely like toilet paper, and while I don't want to get too graphic, hands were never washed after a visit to the bathroom.

Water supplies could be a risky gamble. It's no accident why so many people drank beer or wine, the alcohol would kill any germs, but even still, many many died from typhoid and cholera, and the plague. Telemann nearly in 1730, and it's now suspected it was bad drinking water.

Lice and many other internal parasites were endemic. Powdered wigs originated to deal with lice and mens' makeup was to cover up other health issues such as VD or survival of smallpox. Even then the makeup could be very toxic for anyone who was brave enough to wear it, it could contain everything from mercury to lead.

Child mortality rates were absolutely astounding, and it affected the highest royality to the lowest peasant. Queen Anne saw only a few of her 18 children live past age five, and none of them lived to adulthood, thereby causing the need for the importation of the Elector of Hannover. Telemann's first wife died in childbirth while he was employed at Eisenach, and saw most of his children die before he did. It's no wonder the religious music of the era could be so preoccupied with death.

I admire those societies that recreate living back in the good ole days, but for my part, I would never want to actually do it ;)

Thanks

Jean Laaninen wrote (March 1, 2008):
[To Kim Patrick Clow] There seem to be several ways of looking at these issues, but I would not exchange what we have today for what they had then, despite the fact that every generation has social/health issues. It's nice to think that we have the music in abundance and all the optimal conveniences of today--though I must confess I find it difficult to get enough exercise. Guess I'll just count my blessings and keep on listening to Bach!

 

More on 'the head of JSB'

Peter Bright wrote (March 9, 2008):
Martin Spaink wrote:
For those who want to know more, here's some more info from the article. The artefact was ordered by Jörg Hansen, the Director of the Bach Museum Eisenach, who wanted 'to break the monopoly of the portrait that appears on almost any CD of Bach's, done in 1747 by Gottlieb Hausmann'. He took a copy of a plaster cast of Bach's skull to Caroline Wilkinson, Forensic Anthropologist at the Univ. of Dundee, Scotland. Wilkinson developed and affectionate commiseration with the man whose face she came to be more familiar with than her own. Bach suffered from senior's diabetes, his nose showed signs of over-abundant use of brandywine and his eyes showed signs of the two painful chirirurgic treatments, details which wil not be visible to the visitors of the Bach-haus.
The heading goes: 'Bach turns out as a construction-worker'
all translations my own >

This article was published in the Times today:

The head of Johann Sebastian Bach brought to life by forensic science: http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article3511834.ece

Unfortunately there is no mention of Teri Noel Towe's work, giving the Haussman portrait as 'the only surviving portrait'. However, there is a link to another fascinating page which includes pictures of the new cast. This looks somehow very amateur in the thumbnail view - but the full blown images are quite interesting and realistic-looking. How well they capture the real Bach is, of course, another question...

The page can be found here: http://www.artefakt-berlin.de/projekt_bachhaus.html

Sorry if this has all been covered before - I'm rather out of the loop at the moment (as the say in the movies...).

 

RAM Bach Cantata series JSB picture? / The Face of Bach

Continue of discussion from: Concerts of Bach Cantatas [General Topics]

John Garside wrote (January 24, 2009):
RAM Bach Cantata series (2) JSB picture?

Teri Noel Towe wrote:
< Additional information on the Bach Cantatas series at the RAM can be found on this page, and a downloadable brochure, in pdf format, also is available from this page: http://www.ram.ac.uk/events/Bach+cantatas.htm >
Perhaps someone can explain why the picture at the top of the page on the link provided shows a picture of someone and his son now "proven" not to be Bach. No underbite therefore not JSB.

Or am I wrong?

Aryeh Oron wrote (January 25, 2009):
[To John Garside] You are correct.

I was hoping that TNT, a renowned expert in the area of the face of Bach and a member of the BCML, would answer this.
In the absence of his answer, please take a look at the page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Memo/Memo-1308.htm
which is based on the info at The Face of Bach website: http://www.npj.com/thefaceofbach/abg01.html
where TNT proves that this in NOT an accurate depiction of J.S. Bach or any of his sons.

A complete collection of Bach Portraits recognised by Bach scholars is presented on the BCW at:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Memo/R-Paint.htm
This collection even includes the recent computer-generated portrait by the Scottish anthropologist Caroline Wilkinson
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Memo/Memo-1521.htm

Paul Farseth wrote (January 25, 2009):
[To Aryeh Oron] I looked again at Jane Wilkinson's reconstructed portait of J.S. Bach and was struck by its unexpected similarity to the old record-jacket picture of E.Power Biggs, the organist and Bach interpretof 50 years ago, sitting at the keyboard of the Flentrop organ in Busch Reisinger hall at Harvard University. Perhaps I am misremembering.

John Garside wrote (January 25, 2009):
[To Aryeh Oron] Yes, it was "the face of Bach" site that led me to this conclusion. I managed to find hi-res copies of no.1 and no.11 which I have printed and framed and hang next to my desk. A constant reminder that I should do better. ;-)

Thank you Aryeh,

Paul T. McCain wrote (January 25, 2009):
The Face of Bach

Just wanted to add, for those who might be new here, that indeed Terry's work is sterling on this issue. I've had the pleasure of getting to know Terry a bit and it is always a delight to hear him talk about Bach and portraits made of him.

If you are not familiar with his magisterial work on the subject, here you go: http://www.npj.com/thefaceofbach/

B. Brennan wrote (January 25, 2009):
[To Paul T. McCain] Terry's analysis of the J. E. Rentsch 1717 Weimar portrait is particularly fascinating.

The Face Of Bach - The Portrait in Erfurt Alleged to Depict Bach, the Weimar C (http://www.npj.com/thefaceofbach/09w624.html)

Is it generally concurred among scholars now that this image is indeed not JSB?

 

Bach's face?

Prenfield wrote (April 7, 2011):
I saw a very silly posting about what Bach looked like. At first I was wondering why anyone would really care what Bach looks like. It should be about the music, right?

but then I thought a little more and started to wonder about placing the idea of Bach-- that is, his music-- into a physical body, into a face, and into a personal identity ripe with unique history and circumstance.

We're so far away from the moment of creation that his music has abstracted into some alternate universe, but what happens when we try and reconcile his humanity with abstract expressionism of music?

I know among literary types there is the big conversation of whether the author should be placed inside the text or left as outsider. what about the composer and his music?

The post is here (with amusing pictures!)
Bach Portraits by David Elisha, October 17, 2010 (THINQon)

There's also another sort of similar post about imagining Bach visually that I found quite compelling:
Bach and Klee by Edna Stern, August 7, 2009 (THINQon)

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 7, 2011):
Prenfield wrote:
< I saw a very silly posting about what Bach looked like. At first I was wondering why anyone would really care what Bach looks like. It should be about the music, right? >
The same controversy raged a few years ago about the Sanders portrait of Shakespeare and the insatiable public appetite for the "real" face of the Bard. The most fascinating commentary came from experts in portrait posture and fashion. Why is the sitter positioned the way he is? Why is he wearing those particular clothes?

It would be interesting to interpret the iconography of the Hausmann portrait of Bach (1748):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Johann_Sebastian_Bach.jpg

What does the style of wig and clothing say about Bach's professional status?

Why is the jacket left open?

Is this a non-cantorial fashion? Were there neck tabs as part of his uniform?

Bach is offering the canon manuscript as part of his initiation. Does the gesture tell us more?

The difference between Bach and Handel's portraits is extraordinary. We actually get to see Handel without a wig!
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/3e/Handel-Mercier.jpg

And satirized: Hertitage Images

Aryeh Oron wrote (April 7, 2011):
[To Prenfield] If this is your first message to the BCML, then welcome aboard!

All the Bach portraits are presented at: http://bach-cantatas.com/Memo/R-Paint.htm
Bach-inspired art works (Hommage a Bach) are presented at: http://bach-cantatas.com/Memo/R-Hommage.htm

Recommended website by Teri Noel Towe, a list member: http://www.npj.com/thefaceofbach/

Mike Mannix wrote (April 9, 2011):
[To Douglas Cowling] Think about it the other way round, without the Housemann portrait there would be no authentic portrait of JSB. Anna Magdalena's portrait appears lost forever. Compare the paintings of W.F. Bach and J.C. Bach and the artists have captured something which their biographies and music cannot express. Portraits of C.P.E. Bach appear crude by comparison with W.F. and J.C.

Handel portraits reveal little about the man, but the sculpture for Vauxhall Gardens gets it right. For portraits of baroque composers look no further than the familiar image of Gluck. For earlier composers we have striking pictures of Monteverdi. Pictures remain worth far more than the statutory 1,000 words.

Evan Cortens wrote (April 9, 2011):
Mike Mannix wrote:
< Think about it the other way round, without the Housemann portrait there would be no authentic portrait of JSB. Anna Magdalena's portrait appears lost forever. Compare the paintings of W.F. Bach and J.C. Bach and the artists have captured something which their biographies and music cannot express. Portraits of C.P.E. Bach appear crude by comparison with W.F. and J.C. >
It's worth noting a couple things here. First, C. P. E. Bach did not feel that the portrait of him we most often see today, the one printed by Lavater, was a very good likeness. (In fact, Lavater often talks about how a particular engraving doesn't do a particular person justice, but he had never met Emanuel in person.) That's this image:
http://en.academic.ru/pictures/enwiki/66/Bach_Carl_Philipp_Emanuel_1.jpg

On W. F. Bach, if you're referring to this portrait: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wilhelm_Friedemann_Bach.jpg David Schulenberg, author of a brand new book on Friedemann, has recently shown that this portrait is not actually of him, but of another Bach cousin (he isn't sure which one).

Mike Mannix wrote (April 11, 2011):
[To Evan Cortens] I always suspected the W.F. Bach portrait looked too modern and expressive, but I was unaware of its lack of authenticity. The character depicted looks a little unstable like WFB himself. If it is not a portrait of WFG, then perhaps it has no connection with the Bach Family. By the style of the picture I would always place it around 1815 - 1830, certainly not contemporary with WFB.

Is there a good portrait of C.P.E, rather than this smug, urbane and overweight expressionless characature?

William Rowland (Ludwig) wrote (April 13, 2011):
[To Evan Cortens] There is a modern portrait of what JS looked like based on his skull bones. It is probably the most accurate portrait that we will have of Bach--and frankly I think he is better looking as his real self than what the artists have done to him.

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 13, 2011):
Ludwig wrote:
< There is a modern portrait of what JS looked like based on his skull bones. >
Is there any documentary evidence that the body in Bach's grave is his?

Evan Cortens wrote (April 13, 2011):
[To Douglas Cowling] I was just about to say exactly that. Furthermore, there's no strong evidence that the grave or casket was even Bach's. Thomas Braatz's posting, from May 31, 2002 (here: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Topics/Face.htm) is well taken in that regard. I think wmust be suspicious of the work of a late nineteenth century anatomist. If only CSI were here: surely they'd have a spray bottle full of something that would light up under ultraviolet light, proving the skull really was Bach's.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (April 13, 2011):
[To Evan Cortens] CPE Bach's remains are intact, his grave survived the ravages of time (it was inside a crypt inside a main Hamburg church). Telemann, Fasch, Graupner, Endler, and Stoelzel weren't so lucky. I don't know if CPE Bach's remains have been examined for any possible CGI recreations of what he looked like, and I'm not sure German / Hamburg authorities would even entertain such an idea, but the DNA testing would be remarkable just on anthropological grounds alone.

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 13, 2011):
Kim Patrick Clow wrote:
< I don't know if CPE Bach's remains have been examined for any possible CGI recreations of what he looked like, and I'm not sure German / Hamburg authorities would even entertain such an idea, but the DNA testing would be remarkable just on anthropological grounds alone. >
Speaking of DNA, am I right that there are no direct descendents of Bach, but there are Lämmerhirt descendents of his mother?

Mike Mannix wrote (April 15, 2011):
[To Douglas Cowling] I once tried to get into St Michael's in Hamburg to see if there was a CPE grave, but they were locking the door when I arrived. Burial place of J.S. was well marked with the annual commemorations near the door of St. John's providing good evidence that the bones in Thomaskirke are those of Johann Sebastian. J.C. was buried in Catholic cemetery of St Pancras, but when the mainline railway was built all the bones were removed to a common repository. There is monument to J.C. Bach in the surviving portion of St Pancras Cemetery.

I have had much more success finding last resting places of Beethoven, Haydn, Schoenburg, Franz Schmidt, Schubert etc in Vienna.Grave of Avison is intact in Newcastle and I was delighted to find Dibdin in Camden Town, about 15 mins walk from J.C. Bach.

Corelli is easy to find in Pantheon as is Handel next to Dickens in Westminster Abbey. Haydn easy to locate of course. Finding Thomas Linley Senior in Wells was a pleasant suprise.

Perhaps I should make a checklist, starting with a Sterndale Bennet birth memorial in Sheffield Cathedral.

Regards to all seasoned baroque travellers!

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (April 15, 2011):
Mike Mannix wrote:
< I once tried to get into St Michael's in Hamburg to see if there was a CPE grave, but they were locking the door when I arrived. >
It's there, in a crypt at the bottom of the church building. http://www.flickr.com/photos/gesuati5ph/3746215195/

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 15, 2011):
Mike Mannix wrote:
< Regards to all seasoned baroque travellers! >
Don't forget Monteverdi in the Frari in Venice.

Bruce Simonson wrote (April 15, 2011):
[To Douglas Cowling] I am with Doug.

The darshana experienced visiting Monteverdi in the Frari, Bach in the Thomaskirche, and Raphael in the Pantheon are among the strongest I have experienced in my life. Including hanging out in the amazing Westminster Abbey, which is also not to be missed.

It's worth visiting these places, should the opportunities present themselves; and, in my opinion, making time for them.

Mike Mannix wrote (April 16, 2011):
[To Douglas Cowling] Looked for Monteverdi many years ago, but data was thin on ground in those days...knew there was a grave from old Jurgen Jurgens recording. Would be easier to find now!

Mike Mannix wrote (April 16, 2011):
[To Bruce Simonson] Yes. I started looking for physical remains of the great composers when I was in my teens..birthplaces, houses and last resting places. I will do a full list at sometime for the unexpected delights and discoveries e.g. house in La Spezia (Italy) where Wagner composed Rheinmusic, having afternoon tea with Franz Schmidt's neighbours who remembered him...and locally find house of 'Lass of Richmond Hill' in Leyburn, Yorks! I might change me screen-name to Baroque Traveller! I suspect few people have covered as many baroque miles as me. Biber in Saltzburg anyone?

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 16, 2011):
Mike Mannix wrote:
< Looked for Monteverdi many years ago, but data was thin on ground in those days...knew there was a grave from old Jurgen Jurgens recording. Would be easier to find now! >
Third chapel on the right.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 16, 2011):
Bruce Simonson wrote:
< The darshana experienced visiting Monteverdi in the Frari >
Nice word and concept. Thanks to Bruce, I believe?

Bruce Simonson wrote (April 16, 2011):
[To Ed Myskowski] Visiting internments may seem over-the-top, but for some of us, this is one of the only ways available for "connecting" across time and space.

Another possibility is through autograph manuscripts. For example, I was able to visit a Mozart exhibition in Vienna (2006?) where, at the end of the fairly straightforward and nicely designed exhibit, suddenly there was (in a glass case) not more than 8 inches from eyesight, the opening tonus perigrinus section of Mozart's Requiem, and right next to that miracle, the autograph manuscript score of "Ave verum corpus".

For those with the creditials and connections to actually hold original manuscripts in their hands, I think the "darshana" of experiencing connection with these geniuses through these documents probably explodes exponentially. Yes, folks, before "this piece of paper" was "inked" by the composer, the great music represented there did not truly exist (at least, not as officially and finally endorsed by the composer. Shucks, I'm getting a little melodramatic here, I know).

I envy those who have access to these materials. For example, I am pretty sure that my heart would nearly stop, or race, if I were given a couple of hours with this autograph page of the St Matthew Passion (added as a link on this page): https://sites.google.com/site/juneaubachsociety/miscellaneous

Mike Mannix wrote (April 17, 2011):
[To Bruce Simonson] I have said this before and will say it again...if you want to meet the ghost of JSB face to face there is no better place than the spiral staircase from the courtyard to the main hall in Cöthen.It is here you can feel the very presence of the great man himself!
(Spooky!)
Anyone fancy a visit...late July or August?

Julian Mincham wrote (April 17, 2011):
[To Mike Mannix] Too true!

I was fortunate enough to hear performances of 4 Brandenburgs, the violin double, the D minor keyboard concerto played in the concert hall of the castle there last year; a truly unforgettable experience.

Two photographs of the musicians and the concert hall can be seen on my website.

Mike Mannix wrote (April 18, 2011):
[To Julian Mincham] Thanks Julian..there is no better place to meet the Bachs than Cöthen, although Arnstadt has its merits.

Julian Mincham wrote (April 18, 2011):
[To Mike Mannix] Actually I am also very fond of Weimar--a lovely little town still.

Arthur Robinson wrote (April 22, 2011):
Dougla Cowling writes:
< Speaking of DNA, am I right that there are no direct descendents of Bach, but there are Lämmerhirt descendents of his mother? >
I recall that Hans-Joachim Schulze wrote an essay for an American Bach Society publication in which he confirmed that direct descendants of J. S. Bach, the descendants of one of the daughters of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, are living here in the United States, in Tennessee, I think.

Arthur Robinson wrote (April 22, 2011):
Ludwig writes:
< There is a modern portrait of what JS looked like based on his skull bones. It is probably the most accurate portrait that we will have of Bach--and frankly I think he is better lookinas his real self than what the artists have done to him. >
It is not as accurate as claimed. The portrait used for reference is the 1746 Haussmann portrait, which has been overpainted at least 3 times. The photos of that portrait that are reproduced at a website called "The Face Of Bach" show that it has received gruesome treatment.

Arthur Robinson wrote (April 22, 2011):
Douglas Cowling writes:
< Is there any documentary evidence that the body in Bach's grave is his? >
http://www.robkruijt.0nyx.com/SebastianBach/bachjs06.htm

http://www.npj.com/thefaceofbach/QCL06.html

Arthur Robinson wrote (April 22, 2011):
Julian Mincham writes:
< Actually I am also very fond of Weimar--a lovely little town still. >
22 years ago, I had the immense good fortune to attend an organ recital in the Schlosskirche in Altenburg. Felix Friedrich played a recital on the Trost organ, which Bach played in 1739. I felt like I was in the presence of the man himself.

A visit to the Dorfkirche in Stormthal to hear the little Hildebrandt organ there provoked a similar reaction. When I was taken to the gallery to see the instrument up close, I realized that I was climbing the same stairs that
Bach climbed in 1723.

As the younger generation would say: Awesome!

Thérèse Hanquet wrote (April 22, 2011):
Arthur Robinson wrote:
< I recall that Hans-Joachim Schulze wrote an essay for an American Bach Society publication in which he confirmed that direct descendants of J. S. Bach, the descendants of one of the daughters of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, are living here in the United States, in Tennessee, I think. >
Apparently this is explained here (too bad some pages are not readable...):
http://books.google.be/books?id=Np8JMOlCW2sC

 

BCW: Bach Today - a new portrait of J.S. Bach

Aryeh Oron wrote (September 18, 2011):
Riccardo Piagentini from Italy contributed a portrait he made "Bach Today", a digital recreation of how Bach would be today: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Memo/Art-1906.htm
Linked from the page of Bach Portraits on the BCW:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Memo/R-Paint.htm

Ehud Shiloni wrote (September 18, 2011):
[To Aryeh Oron] Looking pretty good [for a 326 years old guy....]

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (September 18, 2011):
[To Aryeh Oron] Very nice. I always wondered if the furrowed eyes you see in the portraits was from Bach having vision issues due to aging or the onset of diabetes, or both.

I wished that a forensic reconstruction could be made from the skull in Leipzig, that's reputed to be Bach's. It would settle the issue about the authenticity I'd think.

Peter Smaill wrote (September 18, 2011):
[To Kim Patrick Clow] There is no single authoritative attempt but here is a recent one deriving from the bust:
http://www.dundee.ac.uk/pressreleases/2008/prfeb08/bach.html

From the skull we have in Yearsley, "Bach and the Meanings of Counterpoint" pps 219 et seq., the nineteenth century attempts at a reconstruction based on the exhumation at the Johanniskirche.

Now in his third burial place, in the Thomaskirche, may he rest in peace.

William Hoffman wrote (September 18, 2011):
[To Aryeh Oron] He looks too buttoned-down English. Maybe he should have more hair.

Ed Myskowski wrote (September 19, 2011):
Peter Smaill wrote:
< Now in his third burial place, in the Thomaskirche, may he rest in peace. >
For sure, but perhaps Bach would also appreciate the ongoing attention? See recent exchanges re his later efforts to consolidate works and prepare scores for posterity.

 

In einem Augenblick ...

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 11, 2013):
For all your email messages ...
http://www.forumvirtuale.it/images/bach.gif

Andrej Stepanov wrote (April 11, 2013):
[To Douglas Cowling] Thank you very much, Sir!

 

New Bach portrait authenticated

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (March 7, 2014):
Full story here: Verschollenes Bach-Porträt wiederentdeckt (Die Welt)

Many thanks to Brad Lehman for posting about this.

Douglas Cowling wrote (March 7, 2014):
[To Kim Patrick Clow] WOW! What a story!

 

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