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  • Author or Editor: Imre Kovács x
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This study examines a piece of smith's work preserved in the permanent exhibition of the Budapest Liszt Memorial Museum, which portrays scenes from the Paradise of Dante's Divina Commedia. Formerly owned by Liszt, this object is a galvanoplastic replica of a sketched drawing by Peter Cornelius for his Dante ceiling in the Villa Massima in Rome. Even so, the work preserved in the Liszt Museum is nowhere mentioned in the literature on Cornelius. The name of the donor (cardinal Hohenlohe) and the year of its donation (1867) are already known to us. These circumstances allow us to conclude that its presentation as a gift may have been in connection with the successful performances of Liszt's Dante Symphony in Rome. The work was performed at the inauguration of the Dante Galeria (February 26th 1866). The patron of the exhibition was Johannes, the King of Saxony, in whose possession the drawing was at the time. The opening ceremony provided the occasion for Hohenlohe to come into contact with the ruler of Saxony, and request a loan of the drawing in order to make the galvanoplastic replica.

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This study examines an allegorical painting by Ary Scheffer, the Three Magi , which represents Liszt posing in the guise of the youngest king, depicted in a sentimental manner. It explores the intellectual background of the picture, the meaning and the reasons behind this peculiar role-play. By identifying the portrait of Liszt with one of the three kings, Scheffer promoted the Artist to a rank that was only attainable by the Biblical kings and the monarchs of this world looking for a model of identification in them through their portraits. The painter wished to provide a pictorial form to the ideal Artist as imagined by Liszt, thus creating the spiritual portrait of the musician desiring to theoretically define himself as an artist. For this reason the painter historicized the representational type of the character of the inspired artist and ingeniously associated it with the iconographic type of the Three Magi . The Three Magi thus becoming a framework-topic, emerged as a metaphor of the concept of the Artist of the age.

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Summary

This paper deals with an Abgar image in the Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum (Budapest), which was used as a devotional image by the composer. First the relationship of this representation to its prototype, the cult image of S. Silvestro in Capite in Rome is examined. Second we discuss information about the panel's first possessor, an abbess of the Poor Clares in Pozsony (today's Bratislava), whose name is known from the inscription of the verso. Not only do we attempt a more precise dating based on this information, but also endeavour to place the picture in its original context. The use of images among the nuns of the order of St. Clare, and the question on what occasion the abbess may have received this panel are also considered. The third part addresses the issue of Liszt's relations with Rome, in particular the role his cordial relationship with Pope Pius IX may have played from his painting's point of view. As music and visual arts were considered closely related in Liszt's eyes, in the last part of the paper an analogy is drawn between the composer's Abgar image and his sacred choral works in terms of their archaicism.

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