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Rare Mozart portrait flies above presale estimate at Paris auction

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Rare Mozart portrait flies above presale estimate at Paris auction

PHOTO: Workers install a portrait to be auctioned by Christie & # 39; s on November 27, which depicts composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as a teenager, painted in January 1770 and attributed to the Veronese master Gaimbettino Cignaroli in Paris in November 12, 2019. / Christian Hartmann / Stock Photo

PARIS (Reuters) – A rare portrait of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart sold for 4 million euros on Wednesday at Christie in Paris, surpassing the auctioneer's presale estimate of 800,000 to 1.2 million euros.

The work, one of four portraits of the Austrian composer painted during his lifetime and still part of a private collection, was painted in 1770. It was attributed to the Italian painter Giambettino Cignaroli.

The oil-on-canvas portrait shows a 13-year-old Mozart in a white wig and a red coat playing the harpsichord, with the score only visible on the edge of the painting.

"What's very interesting about this portrait is the music score. In fact, it's only known from that portrait, so some musicologists said it could be Mozart's work," said Astrid Centner-d'Oultremont, head of the Old Masters department of Paris branch of the British auction house.

At the time of painting, Mozart was traveling around Italy while continuing his artistic education, giving concerts throughout the country.

The portrait was commissioned by Venetian receiver general Pietro Lugiati a few days after an organ concert that Mozart performed in Verona in January 1770.

Mozart was born in 1756 in Salzburg, Austria, and died in 1791.

Report of Michaela Cabrera; Written by GV De Clercq; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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