Cherubini, Luigi. (1760–1842)
Lock of Cherubini's Hair
An original lock of hair from the great Italian composer, regarded by Beethoven as the greatest of his contemporaries. Tied with a red thread and handsomely mounted and framed together with a handwritten label (translated from the French): "Lock of hair from Cherubini, given to M. Schlesinger [the music publisher Adolph Martin Schlesinger (1769 - 1838)] January 27, 1831," a further handwritten label in German reading "Lock of Cherubini's Hair," and a small oval portrait. Overall size 11.75 x 13.5 inches (30 x 35 cm). Very fine.
The Italian Classical and pre-Romantic composer Luigi Cherubini is best-known for his operas and sacred music. After studying in Bologna and Milan, Cherubini raveled to London in 1785 where he produced two opere serie and an opera buffa for the King's Theatre. In the same year, he made an excursion to Paris with his friend the violinist Giovanni Battista Viotti, who presented him to Marie Antoinette and Parisian society. Except for a brief return trip to London and to Turin for an opera seria commissioned by King Victor Amadeus III, Cherubini spent the rest of his life in France. During his life, Cherubini received France's highest and most prestigious honors. These included the Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur (1814) and Membre de l'Académie des Beaux-Arts (1815). In 1841, he was made Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur, the first musician to receive that title.