“Amongst the qualities a hero should have, I would include determination, loyalty, courage, perseverance, patience, focus, intrepidity and selflessness.”–popular actor and singer, Ricky Martin
The Carlo Wostry painting of Ludwig van Beethoven is my favorite depiction of a classical music composer. Wostry’s painting is more than a static portrait; it’s an illustration of Beethoven’s life-force. Whenever I carefully study the painting, I see something different and profound in it. For instance, yesterday, while taking in the entire illustration, I saw Beethoven’s determination.
Wostry painted Beethoven as a younger composer before his works had earned international fame and renown. Beethoven appears to be walking fast and his face shows him focused on a goal of some sort. There is a woman’s head facing the opposite direction which seems to indicate that she was indifferent to the man who had yet to attain fame.
In the creation of the painting, Wostry showed his determination to get the Beethoven’s depiction right. The painter hired a model to wear actual garments that had belonged to Beethoven. The model was posed in front of a house that once belonged to the composer in Hetzendorf, Austria. It is this attention to detail that makes Beethoven come alive in the mind’s eye. I see the image of Beethoven as a man who is not merely a dreamer, but a man of action who is unafraid of sweat and hard work–fueled by determination.
Beethoven was a determined man. He was not only highly talented, but was persistant and somewhat perfectionistic in applying his genius. This powerful combination almost made the composer omnipotent. At the very least, determination shaped Beethoven into becoming the greatest musical composer of all time (in my opinion).
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes the world-renowned motorsport racing driver, Mario Andretti. “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal–a commitment to excellence–that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”