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Farinelli, Mozart, and the ‘Chimney Sweeper’: Leopold Mozart’s Pictures of Working Children

Edenda curavit
Björn R. Tammen
cum Antonio Baldassarre, Cristina Bordas, Gabriela Currie, Nicoletta Guidobaldi
atque Philippe Vendrix
Founding editor 1984–2013: Tilman Seebass


More details

Author Thomas Tolley
Series Imago Musicae
Size 18.5×26.5, pp. 227 (161-213)
Year 2018
ISBN 9788870969528

Price 0,00 €

Leopold Mozart’s fascination with visual culture, particularly with printed images, is revealed through correspondence and through surviving prints formerly in his collection. This paper contributes to an understanding of Leopold’s artistic interests by identifying a set of prints recorded in the so-called Licitations Protocoll, an official account of material goods in Leopold’s estate at the time of his death. These prints were created in the later 1730s in London, where Leopold probably acquired them during the family’s visit in 1764-65. They are by Joseph Wagner, reproducing images created by his master, the Italian painter Amiconi. The set’s connection with the famous castrato Farinelli provides a possible incentive for Leopold’s acquisition. Another is its iconography, which made a formative contribution to changing attitudes to child workers at the time of the Mozarts’ visit to London. All four images depict children at work, subject matter here shown to have had a bearing on performances given by Leopold’s children during the family’s stay in London. The subject of one of the prints, a chimney sweeper was subsequently recalled by both Leopold and his son, emerging as a topic of contention between them in the aftermath of Wolfgang’s rift with his Salzburg employer.

AUTHOR: Edinburgh College of Art, The University of Edinburgh, 74 Lauriston Place,
Edinburgh, EH3 9DF, Scotland; <>.