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Josephine Gräfin Deym von Stritetz, geb. von Brunsvik (1779-1821) - Fotografie eines Johann Baptist von Lampi zugeschriebenen Gemäldes

Beethoven-Haus Bonn, NE 81, Band II, Nr. 303

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Josephine, the second daughter of Earl Anatol Brunsvik (1745-1793) and his wife Anna (1752-1830) married Earl Joseph von Deym (around 1752-1804) in 1799, when she was 20 years old. During the following years, she maintained a close friendship with Ludwig van Beethoven, as did her sister Therese and her brother Franz.

After the death of her husband, Josephine Deym's relation to Beethoven became more intimate, as the fourteen love letters prove, which the composer had written to her during 1804 and 1807. In his letters, Beethoven calls the countess his "only beloved". It is not known, in how far Josephine requited his feelings, but she temporarily was attached to him.

In 1810, the countess married Baron Christoph von Stackelberg (1777-1841) as her second husband. But this was a very unhappy relationship, and three years later, the couple separated already again. Beethoven's love letters to Josephine were the cause of the assumption, that the countess might be the recipient of the famous letter to the "immortal beloved", which was written in 1812. It also was the cause of the assumption that Beethoven was the father of Minona, Josephine's youngest daughter, who was born in 1813.(S.B.)

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