Zelenka and his portrait

  • Dear Friends in Zelenka, sorry again for my english.
    We know that there are no sure portraits of Jan Dismas Zelenka (although the findings of the recent study by Stockigh and Johannes showed that our Zelenka was also fond on painting). Yet, looking for Zelenka on google, everybody can see at least two portraits attributed to him: one, of course, is the portrait of his teacher Fux, so we can defer; the other, however, is taken from one painting of Balthasar van den Bossche (Flemish, 1681-1715), titled "Musicians on a terrace, playing lute, cello and oboe, in a classical architectural setting, in 1713". So my question is, how is it possible that the man playing the violone (is it a violone?) could truly be our Zelenka?

    this is the link to the portrait:

  • I guess that could be answered by the question, why would an artist based in Belgium paint a picture featuring a musician based in Dresden? I think it is plausible only if Zelenka was, during the first 30 years of his life (of which we know practically nothing), on some kind of travels (to Belgium/France) and impressed on van den Bossche.

    I think our best hope right now is the copper print which was shown in the Johannes's article. It shows an occasion where we know 100% that Zelenka was present and it shows an apparently bearded man who (it gets a bit subjective here) appears to be holding a violone and engaging the other players in a way you would expect from a musical director. I am able to process images to make them a bit clearer and I would really love to get hold of a high quality version of this picture so I can try to resolve more details.

    p.s. where is the oboe in the van Bossche picture !!??

  • thank you for your very good and reasonable question.
    (for the other question, maybe the oboe in the title of the van Bossche picture is on the ground, to the left, under the lute)
    but it surely would be wonderfull if rnkt could obtain a high quality version of the image in the Johannes' article to make it clearer and resolve more details. Hope will happen!

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