Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni was the son of a wealthy paper maker, and never really had to work.
As a result, he was maybe the only Baroque composer who never tried to obtain a job as a church or court director. That does not mean he did not work. He composed around about fifty operas, and a fair amount of orchestra pieces.
|Albinoni as a Bigwig||¬†As was often the case in portraits, especially from that time period, there were hints as to who the person was and what he or she did. You can see that he is holding music in his hands, but the immense wig on his head is supposed to tell us a lot more. Being a musician could be an iffy thing to anyone of nobility; not of the highest standards. So, Mr. Albinoni wore the wig to let you know his rank in society.
It is from those times and that hair piece that we learn that a ‘bigwig’ was a grand poobah.