Picture Talk: Joachim

Every Friday, 3pm
Free with admission, booking not required

Discover more about the Collection in our weekly ten minute expert talks. Each week introduces a different work of art in the Gallery.

This week Desna Greenhow, Curatorial Projects Advisor, talks about The Portrait of Dr. J. Joachim. This intimate portrait is also known as A Lamplight Study; half-length male portrait with a violin.

Joseph Joachim (1831–1907) stands before a piano as he plays his violin. The Hungarian-born musical prodigy gained renown as one of the prime interpreters of Beethoven’s music and as a promoter of his close friend Johannes Brahms. This portrait explores the relation between music and art that was at the heart of the early Aesthetic Movement in the 1860s. Much exhibited during Watts’s lifetime, this work is one of his greatest portraits. The artist’s own love of music dated from his childhood. He often said ‘I ought to have been a musician instead of a painter’.