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Niccolo Paganini Biography

Niccolo Paganini (1780-1842) was an Italian violinist, violist, guitarist and composer. He is one of the most famous violin virtuosi, and is considered one of the greatest violinists who ever lived, with perfect intonation and innovative techniques. Although nineteenth century Europe had seen several extraordinary violinists, Paganini was the preeminent violin virtuoso of that century.

There are three authentic portraits of Niccolò Paganini. French artist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres completed the pencil drawing that is Portrait #1 in 1819. Although Ingres (1780-1867) thought of himself as a historical painter, he was best known for his portraits.

Portrait #1, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, 1819

Portrait #1, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, 1819

Portrait #2 is the most famous of the Paganini portraits. It was painted by G.F. Kersting around 1830. Kersting, a German artist, was born in 1785 and died in 1847.

Portrait #2, G.F. Kersting, 1830

Portrait #2, G.F. Kersting, 1830

Portrait #3 is by Edwin Landseer. This portrait was done in pen and brown ink in 1831. Landseer (1802-1873) was a well-known English painter.

Portrait #3, Edwin Landseer, 1831

Portrait #3, Edwin Landseer, 1831

 

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