RIETSCHEL, Ernest Friedrich August
(b. 1804, Pulsnitz, d. 1861, Dresden)

Bust of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

1848
Marble, height 60 cm
Staatsbibliothek, Berlin

On November 4 1847, the composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy died in Leipzig at the age of only 38, after suffering several strokes. The family had had a death mask taken and asked Rietschel to come and look at the dead man himself once in order to do a bust. The bust was completed by the end of January 1848. Rietschel created an extraordinarily lifelike and individual portrait of the composer.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 4 minutes):
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy: The Hebrides Overture ('Fingals Cave')