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Franz Gerhard Wegeler (1765-1848) - Gemälde von Johann Heinrich Richter

Beethoven-Haus Bonn, B 2050

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Like Beethoven, physician Franz Gerhard Wegeler was a friend of the reputable von Breuning family. As he writes in his biographical notes about Ludwig van Beethoven, he met the young musician in 1782 and introduced him to the von Breuning family. The warm and friendly relationship between the two young men lasted until 1792 when Beethoven left Bonn and relocated to Vienna.Between 1787 and 1789 Wegeler had temporarily lived in Vienna to complete his medical studies. After his return to Bonn he made himself a name as a doctor. He was immediately appointed to a professorship at the Elector's University and held the position of director between 1793/94.

A strong opposer to the French Republic Wegeler fled from the revolutionary troops and moved back to Vienna in 1794 where he stayed until 1796. Thus he revived his relationship to Ludwig van Beethoven who just had his first public successes.

After his final return to the Rhineland Wegeler first accepted a position at the University of Bonn before he worked as a general physician. In 1802 he married Eleonore von Breuning (1771-1841), the daughter of Helene von Breuning and a former piano student of Beethoven. Five years later, Wegeler left Bonn for good to serve the Prussian government in Koblenz. As medical councillor he took great credit for improving health and medical services in the Rhineland.

Throughout these years, Wegeler and Beethoven kept in contact by letters. Eleven years after the composer's death, Wegeler and Ferdinand Ries published their "Biographical notes about Ludwig van Beethoven", an important and thoroughly reliable collection of memories of their childhood friend.(S.B.)

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