Mendelssohn, Robert von

BORN 13 Dec 1857, Berlin - DIED 20 Aug 1917, Berlin
BIRTH NAME Mendelssohn, George Alexander Robert
GRAVE LOCATION Berlin: Kirchhof Jerusalem und Neue Kirche I, Halleschen Tor, Kreuzberg (Abteilung 3/1)

Robert von Mendelssohn was the son of the banker Franz von Mendelssohn (1829-1889). His musically talented mother Enole Biarnez came from Bordeaux. In 1884 he became a partner of the Mendelssohn Bank in Berlin. Together with his cousin Ernst he sponsored the purchase of Manet's "Le Jardin d'hiver'" ("In the Conservatory") for the Nationalgalerie in Berlin in 1896. He donated many more works of art to museums.

In the circle of friends and fans around the famous actress Elenore Duse he was introduced to Giulietta, the daughter of the portrait painter Michele Gordigiani. They married in 1898 and they had three children, the cellist Francesco, the actress Elenore and Angelica, who died young. Robert von Mendelssohn successfully invested Elenore Duse's fortune but he also conducted a long-term love affair with her that lasted until his death.

In 1908 he succeeded Ernst von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy as senior manager of the bank. He also was as member of the board of directors of the Berliner Kassenverein. He died in 1917 in Berlin. After his death Giulietta found his correspondence with Eleonora Duse. Later she was accused of destroying Duse's fortune by transferring it to Italy. This forced Duse to resume her career.

• Father: Mendelssohn, Franz von
• Wife: Gordigiani, Giulietta (1898-1917, Berlin)
• Brother: Mendelssohn, Franz von

Related persons
• was the lover of Duse, Eleonora


The grave of Franz von Mendelsohn at the Kirchhof Jerusalem und Neue Kirche I, Berlin.
Picture by Androom (28 May 2015)


• Bergner, Elisabeth, Bewundert viel und viel gescholten, Elisabeth Bergners unordentliche Erinnerungen, Bertelsmann, München, 1978
Robert von Mendelssohn (der Ältere) – Wikipedia

Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Abraham

Published: 17 Jul 2023
Last update: 27 Apr 2024