Mozart &
Material Culture


Lady-in-waiting (Hofdame) at the Bavarian court from 1774, listed in the Kurpfalzbaierisch-hochadelicher Damenkalender auf das Jahr 1800 (Palatine electorate noble ladies’ calendar for the year 1800). . . (Munich, 1800), 12, as ‘The noble Frau Josepha, widowed imperial Countess von Paumgarten, born imperial noblewoman von Lerchenfeld-Süßbach, lady-in-waiting from 1774.’[1] She married Joseph Karl Eustach, Count Paumgarten (Frauenstein, 1755-before 1781) on 2 January 1779.


Georg Anton Abraham Urlaub, Josepha von Paumgarten, 1781 (Mainfränkisches Museum Würzburg; image taken from Michael Günther, 'Ein neu entdecktes Portrait der Joseph (sic) von Paumgarten von Georg Anton Abraham Urlaub eine bedeutende Förderin Mozarts in München und ihr Umfeld', Mainfränkischen Jahrbuch für Geschichte und Kunst 58 (2006), 106-128.

[1] Die hochgebohrne Frau Josepha verwittwete Reichsgräfinn von Paumgarten, geb. Reichsfreyinn von Lerchenfeld-Süßbach, Kammerherrnsfrau von 1774.

Mozart Relevance

Little is known of Paumgarten except that she was favoured at the court of the elector of Bavaria, Karl Theodor. Mozart met her in the autumn of 1780 while in Munich for the composition and production of Idomeneo K366, writing to his father on November 13 1780:

  1. Yesterday I dined with Cannabich at Countess Baumgarten’s [Mozart’s spelling], born Lerchenfeld — my friend means everything in this house, and now I do as well — this is for me the best and most useful house here. Everything concerning me has come about through this house and —God willing —will continue to do so.’

In March 1781, shortly after the premiere of Idomeneo, Mozart composed the scena ‘Misera, dove son!—‘Ah! non son’ io che parlo’ K369 for Paumgarten; the autograph of the aria, now at the Bavarian State Library (shelfmark Mus. mss. 1582), has a note, not in Mozart’s hand, on the first page: ‘A la comtesse de Paumgarten Veuve’. The work was performed at Mozart’s Burgtheater concert of 23 March 1783

Date 1
1762-03-23 Munich
Date 2
1817 Munich