Wagner - 1876 Portrait (Women's T-Shirt)

Regular price £15

This design is based on an illustration of Wilhelm Richard Wagner (1813-1883) appearing in an 1876 publication profiling Wagner and previewing the very first Bayreuth Festival. I've included some excerpts from the article below. The music below is the Lohengrin Prelude conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler from the 1936 festival.

"Wagner is now in his sixty-fourth year. He has not a few of the eccentricities of genius, in dress and manner. He is about the medium height. His face is strongly marked, and in it one can well read the character of the man. His brow is high and bold, and he wears his iron-gray hair pushed straight back from it. His eyes are deep-set and of a piercing gray-blue, though they vary in color with the passing emotion. A large, slightly Roman nose stands guard over a broad mouth, so firmly compressed that only a thin line of red defines the lips. The chin is prominent and wide. The face is clean-shaven with only a fringe of beard running close to the throat and passing up to the ears. The countenance is intellectual and the features, though stern when in repose, soften occasionally into a smile. Wagner is not a morose man, not is he a despot; yet he likes to have things "his way," because he believes that his ideas are right. In conversion he is affable and agreeable, though his manner is somewhat that of a preoccupied man. There is nothing trifling in his nature; his life is real and earnest, and he is looking a long way ahead. At home he usually dresses in a loose coat or gown of black velvet with a high-cut waistcoat of the same material. His shirt collar is of no particular style, and his tie is a scarf of ribbon carelessly hung about his neck and the ends tucked under his waistcoat. He generally wears short breeches and leggings. On his head is a velvet cap, somewhat like a Scotch cap, only fuller and more baggy."

Previewing the 1876 Bayreuth Festival:

"There are one thousand seats reserved in the building for the patrons, and only about three hundred for the "casual visitor." Tickets admitting one person to the three performances are 300 Prussian thalers. The orchestra will number one hundred and fifty men, and the solo singers are to be from the best the country can produce."

The 1876 Bayreuth Festival was attended by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Franz Liszt, Friedrich Nietzsche (who also gave great assistance in establishing the festival), Anton Bruckner, Edvard Grieg, Kaiser Wilhelm and King Ludwig.

"Never was an enterprise conducted on higher principles. Wagner has no thought of making money by the festival. Art is his one object. He thoroughly believes in his theories, and he wants to put them fairly before the world before he dies. The Nibelungen trilogy is the consummation of the composer's theories, and by it his rank will be reckoned in future ages; though, if he had never written anything but the "Tannhauser" and "Lohengrin," he would, in the estimation of many whose judgement is of worth, stand not far from Beethoven on the list of the great composers."

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