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  • Author or Editor: Geraldine Keeling x
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The image of Liszt at the piano has been a favorite with artists. This article examines two paintings: an 1868 painting of Liszt at a Chickering piano by G. P. A. Healy and a 1919 painting of Liszt at a Steinway piano by John C. Johansen. Due to recent publications, the Chickering painting and its story are fairly well-known. In contrast, the Steinway painting is almost unknown. Healy’s portrait (1868) was done in his studio in Rome as Liszt sat playing for him. While Healy had seen Liszt’s Chickering piano, the instrument in his studio was not that piano and, despite the name “Chickering” on the fallboard, the painting does not faithfully convey the details of Liszt’s Chickering. Johansen’s portrait (1919) was done by an artist who had never met Liszt and almost certainly had never seen his Steinway piano. Because of the Chicago connection, this article proposes that Johansen took his inspiration from Healy.

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