Schumann's published compositions were written exclusively for the piano until 1840; he later composed works for piano and orchestra; many Lieder ; four symphonies; an opera; and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. Works such as Kinderszenen, Album für die Jugend, Blumenstück, Sonatas and Albumblätter are among his most famous. His writings about music appeared mostly in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik , a Leipzig-based publication which he jointly founded.
In 1840, against her father's wishes, Schumann married pianist Clara Wieck, daughter of his former teacher, the day before she legally came of age at 21. Had they waited one day, they would have no longer needed her father's consent, which had been the subject of a long and acrimonious legal battle, which found in favor of Clara and Robert. Clara also composed music and had a considerable concert career, the earnings from which formed a substantial part of her father's fortune.
For the last two years of his life, after an attempted suicide, Schumann was confined to a mental institution, at his own request.