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German History in Documents and Images
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Ludwig van Beethoven (c. 1820)
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time. He received his early musical training in his native Bonn. In 1792, he moved to Vienna, where he studied briefly with both Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91) and Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809). The liberal-minded Beethoven was alert to the revolutionary political upheavals through which he lived. He dedicated his Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica,” 1803-04) to Napoleon, but withdrew the dedication after learning that the French leader had crowned himself emperor. This portrait shows Beethoven in a Romantic-era pose. Painting by Joseph Karl Stieler (1781-1858), c. 1820.