Monday, December 28, 2015

Bach portrait

This image of JS Bach at an organ console is rather famous in some circles. It's unique for it shows the composer seated at an organ console. We gain insight into the attire one might wear whilst playing during this era, something about the console layout, etc. Details about the image are scarce however. All I have been able to determine is that the Getty image most often encountered is based on a print of perhaps 1725 found now in the British Museum. One colleague suggested that the basis of the print may be the console of the organ in the New Church, Arnstadt.

This picture has been used in several stamp images over the years, sometimes black&white, sometimes colorized, sometimes reversed, etc. I also recently encountered this image, similar but slightly different. I wonder if the two images are related somehow.

(The image has also been satirized in various ways. It's such a fascinating image that it's a shame we don't know more about the details.)


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