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Updated: January 12, 2013 19:12 IST

Mysterious 18th century portrait identified as Mozart

PTI
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An undated photo of Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart provided by the International Mozarteum Foundation.
AP
An undated photo of Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart provided by the International Mozarteum Foundation.

A tiny 18th century portrait that puzzled experts for centuries has finally been identified as that of musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

For centuries the identity of the young, grey-haired man in the picture bemused experts. However, the mystery man has now been identified as none other than Mozart.

Experts at Salzburg’s Mozarteum museum concluded that the model in the picture is indeed the musical genius, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.

The Austrian was usually depicted in portraits wearing a powdered white wig, one of the reasons why his identification has taken so long.

Researchers said that of 14 known portraits, it is one of the only pictures to show him gazing directly at the viewer and without the wig.

The museum’s findings are based on examinations of the portrait and historical records from the era, expert Cristoph Grosspietch said.

In a laborious process, experts tried to match other verified portraits of the composer with the mystery painting, produced by an unknown artist.

According to Mr. Grosspietch, the same team of experts also found that another portrait, showing a youth holding a bird’s nest, was not Mozart, as was previously thought.

One of the most celebrated composers of the classical era, Mozart has inspired western popular music in the centuries since his death in 1971, composing over 600 works over his lifetime.

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