GHDI logo
German History in Documents and Images
return to system

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.