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This portrait shows the grandfather of Beethoven in a representative way, wearing a "Turkish" costume with a manuscript of notes in his hands. Ludwig van Beethoven senior, who was born in Mecheln as the son of a master baker, became a singer and moved to Bonn in 1733. He was bandmaster of the court orchestra of the Cologne Elector Clemens August, and he became rather wealthy.
In December 1770, Ludwig van Beethoven senior became one of the two godfathers of his grandchild Ludwig. Three years later already, he died. During his entire life, Beethoven had loved and admired his grandfather very much. He was very attached to his portrait which a court painter from Bonn had created. He ordered to have the painting sent from Bonn to his house in Vienna in 1801, and since then, he always took it with him whenever he moved to another house.(S.B.)
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© Beethoven-Haus Bonn