Fanny Mendelssohn Bartholdy e Wilhelm Hensel.
Una ricerca del Gesamtkunstwerk

Paola Maurizi, Fanny Mendelssohn Bartholdy e Wilhelm Hensel. Una ricerca del Gesamtkunstwerk, in R. Illiano (a cura di), Music and the Figurative Arts in the Nineteenth Century, Turnhout, Brepols, 2020 (Speculum Musicae, 39), pp. 271-289.

ISBN 978-2-503-58951-0.


While the early works of Fanny Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1805-1847) are strongly rooted in the musical traditions of Berlin, her marriage to Wilhelm Hensel (1794-1861), a painter at the Prussian Court, marks a turning point in her life as an artist towards a creative compositional and formal approach in which her creativity is often woven into that of her husband’s. From 3 October 1829 (their wedding) until 14 May 1847 (Fanny’s death and Wilhelm’s decision to stop painting), the pair worked together in a particularly creative way both on paper, where Wilhelm’s illustrations complete Fanny’s music, adorning single compositions and complete cycles such as Reise-Album 1839-1840 and Das Jahr, as well as in collaborative projects in which scenographic suggestions and Wilhelm’s direction lead to theatrical performances of Fanny’s compositions, including Zum Feste der heiligen Cäcilia (1833) and Einleitung zu lebenden Bildern (1841). These works, rooted in the development of synesthetic experiments presage both the ornamental leanings which appeared during the Austro-German Secession and the new interaction the arts whit the theater, during the first years of twentieth century.