I skipped through this amazing Tumblr and I couldn’t find any submission about Ludwig van Beethoven
aww 🙁 so I thought I’d include him here.
I’m writing my first novel based on an specific part of his life. This is why I’ve researched Ludwig long and wide and I can’t help having a timeless crush on him! I think the best way to describe him is by sharing some bits of my investigation:
Beethoven was stocky and on the short side, with powerful shoulders. His complexion was brownish, and later a sickly yellow. He was hirsute and the hair on his head grew in thick black, and later gray, tufts of somewhat bristly texture. He had broad hands with short, spatulate fingers. His square face was topped by a rounded and high forehead. His jawbone was muscular and his chin quite prominent, with a pronounced cleft. He had bushy eyebrows, narrow eyelids, and small, piercing brown eyes that either rotated agitatedly upward or glazed into thoughtful stasis. His nose was flat and his mouth strong, with a slightly protruding lower lip. Usually his lips were set tightly closed, but when he laughed, perfect white teeth were revealed. The expression of his countenance could radiate, in rapid and unpredictable sequence, geniality, melancholy, or total oblivion of his surroundings.
Rochlitz was particularly impressed by Beethoven’s smaller but compelling eyes: “His eyes are restless, glowing, and, when his gaze is fixed, almost piercing; if they move at all, the movement is darting, abrupt. The expression of his countenance, especially of his eyes, so full of intelligence and life, is a mixture or a vacillation, sometimes in a flash, between shyness and the most sincere kindness. His whole bearing bespeaks that tension, that restless, careful listening of the deaf, that is so deeply touching… this is the man who has given happiness to millions – pure, spiritual happiness”.
The Changing Image of Beethoven: A Study in Mythmaking by Alessandra Comini
Rockel, a singer, wrote of a visit to Beethoven in 1806:
“[In his room] was placed the mighty bathing apparatus in which the Master was laving his powerful chest… and I had the opportunity of admiring his muscular system and sturdy bodily construction. To judge by the latter the composer might look forward to growing as old as Methuselah, and it must have taken a most powerful inimical influence to bring the strong column to so untimely a fall.”
“(…) My father (Stephan von Breuning) married a second time – married Constanze Ruschowitz, my mother. Beethoven was also very friendly toward her. He was drawn to women in general, very much enjoying their company. For a time she had the impression that Beethoven wanted to court her. He "chanced to meet her” with conspicuous regularity, and would then accompany her on her way, as for example to the “Kaiserbad” on the Danube, where she was going for her bath. She was not a little surprised when, coming out of the bath more than an hour later, Beethoven would be sitting gon a bench in front of the bathhouse, waiting to accompany her back to the Red House.
Beethoven’s heart was repeatedly “alight with flames of love”, but only in the context of marriage: “Bis ich Dich erlaubt mein nennen darf” (until I’m allowed to call you my own).
My mother sometimes said she couldn’t understand how women could find Beethoven attractive, since he was neither handsome nor elegant; he even looked unkempt and rather wild. My father would always answer: “And yet he’s always had good luck with the ladies”. It was the noble, elevated air about Beethoven that women sensed, whether in friendly or romantic relationships.
As soon as his face brightened in friendship all the winsomeness of childlike innocence spread over it. When he laughed you not only believed in him, but in all of humanity, he was so warm and genuine in word, gesture, and gaze.
The truth about Beethoven is that his basic personality traits were nobility of spirit, tender emotional responses alternating with quick flashes of temperament, distrust and retreat from the outer world and a love of sarcastic joking.
“From the Schwarzspanier House: My Boyhood Memories of Beethoven” by Dr. Gerhard von Breuning (son of Beethoven’s life-long Bonn friend, Stefan von Breuning)
**swoons for Ludwig**