The Vienna Freemasons Lodge (1790)
During the last decade of his life, after he settled in Vienna as an “independent” artist (1781), Mozart became a member of the Enlightenment-inspired Freemasons lodge – a sign of his progressive allegiances. This picture shows a blindfolded new member being initiated according to the Freemasons’ ritual, a theme that Mozart integrated into his opera The Magic Flute (1791). The two figures seated to the right of the initiate might be Mozart and Emanuel Schikaneder (1751-1812), the dramatist and theater director who wrote the libretto to The Magic Flute (1791). Painting by an unknown artist, 1790.