Clara Schumann, 1857
Steel engraving by Th. Weger, Leipzig, after a photograph by Franz Hanfstaengl, Munich1857
This engraving, marked “Nach einer Photographie” [“After a photograph”] bottom left, is clearly a reproduction of the photograph (there is a half-tone at the Robert Schumann House with an autograph dedication by Clara Schumann to Hiller) which Franz Hanfstaengl took of Clara Schumann the same year, and which is the first photograph of Clara Schumann following the death of her husband. After 1856, Clara (at least on official occasions) only wore dark clothes and a dark ribbon woven into her hair, which identified her as a widow.
Franz Hanfstaengl was one of the early representatives of lithographs and worked as an artist,a printer, and a publisher at the same time. In 1852, he settled down as a sought-after portrait lithographer, after he had become known before that through his lithographic reproductions of paintings.
The photograph taken of Clara in the winter of 1857 was sold in the form of various reproductions. Hanfstaengl staged the photograph and apparently also retouched Clara Schumann’s waist. (I.B./J.M.N., translated by Th. Henninger)
Cf. Zeitgenössische Porträts von Clara und Robert Schumann[Contemporary Portraits of Clara and Robert Schumann], 1994, p. 94 ff., Cat. No. 52
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