Arcangelo Corelli


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The first composer to build his reputation solely on the basis of instrumental works, to achieve fame through the music publishing industry, and to be canonised and studied long after the style of his time became outmoded, Arcangelo Corelli (1653–1713) was a violinist, influential teacher and concertmaster. He was also a friend of the artist Carlo Maratta, who painted a portrait of him which it is thought was brought to England in the seventeenth century by Corelli's gentleman-student Lord Edgcumbe. The Edgcumbe portrait is known to have been exhibited around 1938 but is thought to have been destroyed during the Second World War. The Royal College of Music's version has been attributed to Hugh Howard (1675–1737), who produced many portraits of Corelli. It is unclear whether these were based on studies made in the presence of Corelli, or were entirely based on Maratta's work.