In 1987 the author discovered a pencil-drawing portrait of Beethoven signed "J. Hochenecker" and dated "1819" in an antique shop in Vienna. Scientific analysis of the paper by experts at the Albertina confirms the authenticity of the 1819 date, and the artist Josef Hochenecker (1794-1876) is identified as a sculptor in Anton Redl's address book of 1820. Circumstantial evidence suggests that this was the portrait drawing of Beethoven's face ordered by Nikolaus Zmeskal in the letter "Ich kann weder für das Gluck" which MacArdle and Misch date "fall of 1819." This 1819 portrait, and not Stephan Decker's 1824 chalk drawing, served as the model for Josef Kriehuber's black-tie lithograph of 1832. An anonymous article in the Leipzig Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung of 1835, probably written by Tobias Haslinger, argues that the Kriehuber lithograph, and hence the 1819 original, is the best likeness of the composer. This portrait, with its visionary, serene expression, is far removed from the canonic depiction of Beethoven as a glowering, lion-maned titan, and corresponds rather with the deaf, withdrawn genius of the esoteric late works.
- Copyright 1992 The American Musicological Society, Inc.