‘The foreign gentleman executes an air upon the Grand Piano’

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This is a scan of a rather faded print that hangs above my piano – found on a stall at Cambridge Market for 10p (‘Nice picture;  two bob?’) among a pile of Victorian generals, circa 1971.  Having just written an essay on Liszt (for Philip Radcliffe), I knew at once who it was.

The mount is labelled ‘London, Richard Bentley, 1843’.  The print was included in ‘Bentley’s Miscellany’ of 1848, but I suspect it was a Punch cartoon first.

The scrawly signature is not, as I first thought, ‘F Liszt’, but ‘J Leech’ – John Leech, prolific and well-known Punch cartoonist.

So… was Liszt in London in 1843?  Any thoughts on whose salon this might be (if not entirely fictional)?

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One Comment on “‘The foreign gentleman executes an air upon the Grand Piano’”

  1. jonathanburton Says:

    Liszt toured Ireland and the UK in 1840-41, so it fits. Dr Kenneth Hamilton — renowned Liszt expert! — thinks probably Lady Blessington’s salon in 1841. He was very excited to see this and wants to include it in his forthcoming book on Liszt 🙂


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