Eduard (1811–1889) and Lida Bendemann, née Schadow (1821–1895)

Portraits of Lida and Eduard Bendemann,  Reproductions of old photographies
[fig.] Portraits of Lida and Eduard Bendemann, Reproductions of old photographies

The history painter and portraitist Edward Bendemann studied with Wilhelm von Schadow at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. Since 1838 he worked as a professor at the Academy in Dresden, from 1858 to 1867 as director of the Düsseldorf Academy. Schumann mentioned Bendemann for the first time in 1842 and they often carried conversation on matters of painting. Bendemann on his part, tried to perceive and to understand Schumann's compositions. The painter was also the godfather of the early deceased son, Emil.

Lida Bendemann was the daughter of Johann Gottfried Schadow and step-sister of Wilhelm von Schadow. Schumann dedicated his “Bilder aus dem Osten” (pictures from the East), op. 66 to her. She was associate member in his choir singing club in Dresden.

Edward Bendemanns sister Pauline married the painter Julius Hübner, who had also studied in Dusseldorf and then worked in Dresden. The couples Schumann, Bendemann and Huebner were close friends, the friendship continued after the departure of Clara and Robert Schumann and also after Robert’s death. Clara Schumann was often a guest at Bendemanns; in 1859 the artist made ​​a drawing of Robert based on a daguerreotype as well as a portrait of Clara as a pendant.

Clara Schumann mentioned her devotion to Eduard Bendemann as a friend and as an artist in a diary entry in 1845. She considered him having a humble "and yet so artistic nature ... something so comfortable and confidence-inspiring that one is enravished for true worship [...]" In the winter of 1863, the couple accommodated Schumann's daughter Julie. After one of her frequent visits to the Bendemanns, Clara wrote in 1871: "If I could only keep company with these dear people for always, what a win it would be, what a heart-strengthening!"

After the death of Edward Bendemann on 27th of  December 1889 in Düsseldorf - shortly before that, Clara met the painter in a fresh and vivid state - she called him in a letter to Marie von Lindeman as her oldest friend, the one who "was very supportive in all circumstances, a true friend, and what a wonderful person and artist! – It is a severe loss, and now my thoughts are with the poor woman that is also so close to my heart. "

When Lida Bendemann died on 5th of August 1895, Clara Schumann wrote to the same friend: "The loss of Mrs. Bendemann is a severe stroke of fate, and it still feels like it did not happen. She was the most loyal friend helping me at all times, and as also her husband. To lose such friends at this age is very hard - they are irreplaceable, because they have lived through a whole lifetime with one, shared joys and sorrows with one ". Clara Schumann again had the chance to meet with Lida Bendemann in June shortly before her death. She often asked her and her previously deceased husband for advice and exchanged thoughts about life and art.

(Julia M. Nauhaus, translated by Katharina Ma)

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