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Biographical/Historical Information

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy was a prominent early Romantic composer and conductor. He was born in Hamburg in 1809, and his family moved to Berlin in 1811. From a young age, Felix was considered a musical prodigy. The family converted from Judaism and adopted the surname Bartholdy. In 1829, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy visited England to conduct his first symphony at the London Philharmonic Society. He founded the Leipzig Conservatory of Music in 1843 with Robert Schumann. Following the death of his sister, Fanny in 1847, his health deteriorated, and he died the same year in Leipzig.

Eduard Julius Friedrich Bendemann was a painter, best known for his biblical works and portraits. Bendemann was born in 1811 in Berlin to Jewish parents who converted to Christianity. He studied in Berlin and Düsseldorf before travelling to Italy to study Raphael and Michelangelo. He then settled in Düsseldorf, working as a freelance painter and teaching in Dresden and Düsseldorf. Eduard Bendemann died in 1889.

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Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy on his deathbed / drawing by Eduard Bendemann, circa 1847, Leo Baeck Institute, F 2801L.