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Find out more about the current special exhibition in the Mozarthaus Vienna!

Mozart At The Dining Table

The exhibition presents an insight into Mozart’s very human environments, into eating and drinking, in the context of his artistic creativity.

As an artist Mozart was often invited to dine: in imperial, princely, aristocratic, upper and lower middle-class surroundings, at home as well as while travelling. He did not always eat well, indeed while travelling sometimes even wretchedly.

He ate at home, with his family as well as with guests, and he had domestic staff to take care of this. He went to inns and restaurants of all types so as to eat there, to be entertained, to play games and sometimes to compose, even for musicians associated with the inn. If he was alone at home in his apartment and did not want to interrupt his work on a composition, he had meals brought to him from restaurants. Halls in the restaurants were often venues where he performed as a pianist and composer, while travelling as well as in Vienna.

Eating and drinking played an important role in his compositions, especially in his operas. In his letters he described his eating experiences and regarded eating and drinking certainly not merely as taking in nourishment but also as a cultural and social experience.

Visitors can discover, with Mozart’s help, that table manners and eating habits are very closely related to musical culture, and perhaps they can even reflect on their own experiences. The exhibition is based strictly on facts and documents, mainly letters and musical notation. Legends, for instance, concerning the restaurants Mozart allegedly frequented or his apparent favourite dishes are not to be found here. What we know about and from Mozart’s dining experiences, eating and drinking habits, is related to comparable contemporaneous pictorial and text sources so as to present a vivid image for visitors, and to portray Mozart as a child of his time.

The exhibition has been supported with loans from the following:

 

Esterházy-Sammlungen, Eisenstadt

Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien, Archiv, Bibliothek und Sammlungen

Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg, Bibliotheca Mozartiana

Privatbesitz

The exhibition has been supported with reproductions of originals from the following owners:

 

Biblioteca del Conservatorio “Luigi Cherubini”, Firenze

Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris

British Library, London

Esterházy-Sammlungen, Eisenstadt

Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien, Archiv, Bibliothek und Sammlungen

Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum Salzburg, Bibliotheca Mozartiana

Münchner Stadtmuseum, Sammlung Graphik/Gemälde

Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Handschriften-, Autographen- und Nachlaß-Sammlung, Wien

Országos Széchényi Könyvtár (Ungarische Nationalbibliothek „Széchényi“), Zenemütár (Musiksammlung), Budapest

Schloss Schönbrunn, Kultur- und Betriebsges.m.b.H., Wien

Staats- und Stadtbibliothek Augsburg

Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Musiksammlung, Berlin

Universitätsbibliothek Basel, Musiksammlung

Wien Museum