John Fane (1784–1859), the 11th Earl of Westmorland, was, as Lord Burghersh, the Founder in 1822 of the Royal Academy of Music. Shown seated in an armchair with his left hand on a manuscript which rests on a table, he wears a rich red sash with the decoration of the Order of the Bath. A celebrated soldier, devoted opera lover and composer, like many aristocrats, he regarded Italy as the source of good music. He became Minister Plenipotentary in Florence (1840) and, when Resident Minister in Berlin (1841–1851), he befriended the composers Felix Mendelssohn and Giacomo Meyerbeer, among others. He devoted most of his leisure hours to the study of music, was a good violinist, and helped to improve the standing of the musical profession in England. His wife, Priscilla, was a niece of the Duke of Wellington; the Duke also played the violin and was a member of the Academy’s original Board of Directors.
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Royal Academy of Music
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