Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

This charming oil sketch of Mendelssohn was made when he was a 12-year-old boy and already a celebrated musical prodigy. The artist Carl Joseph Begas used it as a study for a full-size portrait which was destroyed by fire early in the twentieth century. He reluctantly gave it to Dr Johann Ludwig Caspar, who had written the libretti for the operas Mendelssohn had composed when he was just eleven and twelve.