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George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), Composer

Sitter associated with 36 portraits
Born in Saxony, Handel moved to London in 1712 from the court in Hanover. By 1714 he found himself working for his old master, now George I, for whom he composed the Water Music in 1717. For the next fifty years Handel poured out opera, oratorios and concertos. His Messiah, first performed in Dublin in 1742, was a national institution within his lifetime. In 1751 Handel's eyesight started to fail in one eye due to a cataract which was operated on by the charlatan doctor Chevalier Taylor. This led to uveitis and subsequent loss of vision. More than three thousand attended Handel's funeral, he was given full state honours and buried in Westminster Abbey