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Verso autographed and inscribed Giovanni Battista Sciutto of Genoa carte de visite photograph to Eulalie Dreyfus (Ulmann), Paris, January 12, 1868.  He is shows with a spectacular watch fob and a stove pipe hat on the table next to him.  The photograph would have been taken in the Summer months due to the light color trousers.

Sivori (1815-1894) is remembered as one of the great violin virtuosos of the 19th Century and “unique élève de Paganini”, the “only pupil of Paganini”.  Born in Genoa, where our photograph was taken, he studied with Paganini’s teacher Giacomo Costa and then went on to study with another Costa pupil Augustino Dellepaine.  Paganini heard him in a wunderkind recital at the age of seven in 1822 and enthusiastically took him on as a pupil between October of that year and May of the following year.  He was so impressed with his young pupil that he wrote works for him and also added guitar continuo so he could perform them in recital. Sivori with the encouragement of his family made his first European tour during the 1827-1828 season. The tour included London where the twelve year old performed in a concert with legendary Italian soprano and creatrix of the title role of “Norma” and recitals in Paris where he was also brought around to salons where he was introduced to Rossini, Cherubini and performed with Franz Liszt who was only five years his senior. When his mentor Paganini lay dying, he gave Sivori a present of a replica of his Guarnerius “Il Canone” that he had commissioned Villaume to replicate in Paris for his student.  Sivori was also well appreciated by Mendelssohn who selected the violinist for the 1846 London premiere of his Violin Concerto.

Sivori was one of the first great violin virtuoso to tour the Americas, long before Olle Bull and Camillo Urso.  He made a 67 city tour of America and then went to Cuba and the major cities in South America between 1846 and 1850. For part of his American tour he performed with Henri Herz as their American tours overlapped. Interestingly, Sivori refused to pay for reviews as was common practice in the United States at the time, so the critics were often unkind to him and made fun of him.  That said, there was no mistaking his virtuoso talent and where critics did not have to be “paid to perform” he received glowing reviews. Interestingly his manager for the American tour was named Bernard Ullman, a competitor of Maurice Strakosch. We are unsure if Benjamin Ulmann and Bernard Ullman were related, both Jewish, they likely may have been despite the difference in the spelling of their names.

In 1864 he, cellist Alfredo Piatti and pianist Charlotte Tardieu formed a piano trio which were often heard in the salons at Erard and Pleyel, as well as in Brussels.

Sivori continued to tour Europe and Russia, feted by the public and royalty through the 1870’s. 

Eulalie Stella Dreyfus Ulmann (1846 - 1919) was born into a wealthy, Jewish Parisian banking family.  She married the Alsatian Jewish historical muralist Benjamin Ulmann (1829-1884) in May, 1869. Her husband studied from 1849 at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and won the Prix de Rome in Painting in 1859. He spent much of his career creating biblical mural sized oil paintings for the French governmental buildings.  His smaller works are well represented at auction  Eulalie’s inheritance allowed them to live in comfort and style, hosting salons in their home in Paris.  The salons were well attended by famous personages at the time including composers, musicians painters and writers. 


Note, edges to the right and left were contemporarily trimmed to fit in Madame Ulmann’s cdv album.