New exhibition explores the man responsible for inspiring Handel's most famous work
Handel House Museum in London presents a new exhibition, 'Charles Jennens: The Man Behind Messiah', from November 21, 2012 to April 14, 2013.
The event explores the life, work and character of the philanthropist, art collector and editor who supplied the words for many of Handel's celebrated works, and who inspired the composer's most famous work, Messiah. It is now believed that Jennens suggested Messiah's subject and that he compiled the text for the work's libretto. Jennens was also the first person to publish Shakespeare’s plays in single volumes, producing the first modern editions of King Lear, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth and Julius Caesar between 1770 and 1774.
Curated by Dr Ruth Smith, the exhibition brings together every known portrait of Jennens; Thomas Hudson's portrait of Handel; Handel’s autographed score of the oratorio Saul, which includes alterations made by Jennens; letters between Handel and Jennens; and a painting of Jennens’ home, Gopsall Hall.
Click the first image to launch the gallery below: