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Photograph of Tchaikovsky not present on Facebook

Also I have enjoyed the new website on "facebook"!

Especially the 130 photographs ... all known photographs of the musician ... but ... this?

This photo also appears in:

Claudio Casini; Maria Delogu, ńĆajkovskij, 1a ed., Milano, Rusconi, 1993.

The book's authors claim that could be the last photograph of the living musician (October 1893 in Klin). Is this possible?

Yours sincerely

Antonio Garganese
(Prato, Florence)
24/04/2013 11:53

Look more closely and compare it with the other photographs and you will see that this is not Tchaikovsky! It turned out to be just a photograph of an unknown individual who bore a passing resemblance to the composer, and a lot of people were caught out by this in the 1990s. The misattribution was only settled after forensic measurements of the facial features were made, confirming beyond doubt that it was a completely different person. This is the reason why the picture wasn't included in the catalogue of photographs in the Tchaikovsky Handbook, and why it's not included in our complete collection of photographs on Facebook    

Here's a side-by-side comparison which make the differences obvious, the image on the right being taken in June 1893, five months before Tchaikovsky died.

Brett Langston
24/04/2013 19:6

Also the glare and stare of the unknown figure is unlike any other photo we have of the composer....there are enough similarities but the "Tchaikovsky" look is not there..

Albert Gasparo
25/04/2013 13:17

Oh how weird..why would someone try and pass themselves off as Tchaikovsky? And as you say, the eyes don`t have it!

Rosemary Belk
25/04/2013 21:35

Of course, I'm sure of what he says Mr. Langston!

But, conversely, the fake is very believable, in my opinion.

Tchaikovsky was prematurely aged and these photos it seems to me that demonstrate this.

So that photograph debated, was able easily mislead.

I would note also that in many photographs, the musician is "different", like this:

Antonio Garganese
25/04/2013 23:58

As per Rosemary Belk, no one is trying to try to pass as Tchaikovsky...this is an old photo found in someones collection...whose has not been mentioned...Then we each of us can look different under different lighting, the pose we take, our age etc....for instance Tchaikovsky's nose looks a lot larger from the profile side than from the other postures..but in this bogus portrait of the composer its the nose, which is much larger than we have in similar poses and pictures...aside from the unfamiliar glare and look...and if this purports to be a photo of the composer overlooking the balustrade of the Klin museum, it differs in appearance from the look of the present museum...aside from that there is a resemblance to the composer regarding the person in the photo regarding the hair, forehead, ears, beard and body build...I can see how someone could mistake this picture as representing the composer...and if forensic measurements were made of the facial features and this confirmed that it was a different person as Brett Langston points out then in my view I consider the matter closed...but people have a right to their opinion...

Albert Gasparo
29/04/2013 06:00

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This page was last updated on 05 November 2013