Moritz von Schwind
A Symphony, 1852
Öl auf Leinwand, 168,8 x 100,0 cm
1878 aus dem Nachlass König Ottos von Griechenland erworben
Inv. Nr. WAF 1017
Schwind's painting "A Symphony", which functions on several levels, was conceived as a wall decoration for a music room. In a richly framed four-part picture sequence, the story first unfolds about the love of a young man for a singer. Below, their first encounter during a house concert is depicted; above that, their re-encounter during a walk in the woods, and above that a scene where he declares his love during a costume ball. The story is finally brought to a close with a scene during the honeymoon of the freshly married pair. The four scenes are furthermore related to the four movements of Beethoven's Fantasy for Piano, Orchestra and Choir in C major, a performance of which is depicted in the bottom panel.
The individual scenes are architecturally framed, and the entire composition is divided into different zones through the use of decorative grotesque elements. In this manner Schwind follows the classical wall-fresco tradition that, in turn, is oriented on antique Roman-Pompeian wall-painting. Schwind has, as well, added smaller related scenes. The painter Runge also used a similar method of ornamentation in his work "The Lesson of the Nightingale".