Schubert composed his string quintet in the summer or early autumn of 1828, at the same time as Schubert composed his last three piano sonatas and several of the Schwanengesang songs. Schubert completed it in late September or early October, just two months before his death. Schubert submitted it to one of his publishers, Heinrich Albert Probst, for consideration, saying that "finally I have written a quintet for 2 violins, 1 viola, and 2 violoncello ... the quintet rehearsal will only begin in the next few days. Should any of these compositions by any chance commend themselves to you, please let me know." Probst replied, asking only to see some of Schubert's vocal works and requesting more popular piano music. Even at this very late stage in Schubert's career, he was regarded as a composer who mainly focused on songs and piano pieces, and was definitely not taken seriously as a chamber music composer.The work remained unpublished at the time of Schubert's death in November 1828, and indeed waited twenty-five years for its first publication in 1853. Its first known public performance occurred only three years earlier, on 17 November 1850 at the Musikverein in Vienna.
Benjamin Deakin is an artist specialising in paintings and drawings of fictional spaces. Much of his work is the result of an ongoing interest in the way in which landscapes and environments acquire cultural significance and how this affects our relationship to them in visual media. His work is informed by personal experiences of travelling to parts of the world where such interpretations can be multi-layered, and western and indigenous relationships with such places can co-mingle or contradict one another. These interests have taken him to the Himalayas, the Arctic Circle and the Deserts of Bolivia among other places.