London, March 14 : Now, Mozart lovers will be able to admire the true face of their idol, thanks to a leading professor of music history who has identified two previously-unknown oil portraits of the maestro painted from life.
So far, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has been represented in curled wig, embroidered red tunic and lace ruff stares, but its was not yet known what he looked like.
The paintings were identified by Cliff Eisen, Professor of music history at King's College London, who has found documentary evidence that links them to letters written by Mozart and his father, Leopold.
One of the two paintings was painted in 1783, during the composer's early years in Vienna when he was in cheerful mood after his marriage to Constanze.
Painted by imperial court painter Joseph Hickel, the art measures about 19in by 14in, and is now considered so significant that it has been insured for 2 million pounds.
Professor Eisen has linked the unique red coat with mother-of-pearl worn by the subject of the 1783 portrait to a letter that Mozart sent to one of his patrons, Baroness Martha Elisabeth von Waldstatten, in 1782.
"As for the beautiful red coat that tickles my fancy so dreadfully, I'd be grateful if you could let me know where I can get it and how much it costs, as I've forgotten. I was so taken by its beauty that I didn't notice the price. I really must have a coat like that, as it's worth it just for the buttons that I've been hankering after for some time. They're mother-of-pearl with some white stones round the edge and a beautiful yellow stone in the centre," Mozart wrote in the letter.
Shortly afterwards, he wrote again "to thank your Grace for having immediately taken so much trouble over the beautiful coat."
The second painting shows the child prodigy composer with his sister Nannerl, around 1764, when he was about eight.
It features Mozart with his sister wearing graceful English clothes that their father mentioned in letters, noting how well his children looked in them.
Both the works, which will be unveiled at a London conference, were obtained by an American collector from descendants of Johann Lorenz Hagenauer, Leopold's close friend, banker and landlord.
"Considering their professional and personal relations, it is only to be expected, perhaps, that some items once owned by the Mozarts, or items that passed through their hands, might have ended up with the Hagenauers," Times Online quoted Professor Eisen, as saying.