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Help Identifying Painting of HabsburgI'm looking for the  title and artist of a...

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dksart | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 31, 2008 at 5:36 AM via web

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Help Identifying Painting of Habsburg

I'm looking for the  title and artist of a Habsburg painting of a young man with a strange beard and long sideburns. Any ideas? I believe it is a royal portrait. I saw it on a TV travel special which visited the Habsburg palace in Vienna and showed some of their art collection.

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted July 31, 2008 at 10:08 AM (Answer #2)

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It is difficult to give you a definitive answer without knowing the specific painting you are referring to. It is impossible for me to give you a title or an artist's name. However, the subject is most certainly a royal or a nobleman. It may even be a portrait of one of the Hapsburg rulers. Three members of this family are known for being lovers of the arts.

Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II was a patron of the arts and avid collector of paintings throughout his reign (1552-1612). The Oxford Dictionary of Art calls him "of the most impassioned art lovers in history." The style of the beard and sideburns, however, make me think the painting is probably dated later than Rudolf.

Two other Hapsburg art collectors were Archduke Leopold William (1614-62) and Empress Maria Theresa (1717-80, mother of Marie Antoinette). Leopold bought the collection that had belonged to England's King Charles I after his assassination. Your description of the man depicted in the painting is similar to that of a cavalier. (I'll bet he has a big hat with a feather in it!) One of Charles's favorite painters was Anthony van Dyke, who painted many portraits of the king and his family. In fact, the style of beard Charles wore in these paintings became known as "the van Dyke beard."

 

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urthona | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted July 31, 2008 at 2:18 PM (Answer #3)

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Addendum: With additional information provided by dksart, the portrait in question is Franz Xaver Winterhalter's 1865 portrait of Franz Josef I (1830-1916) that hangs in the Hofburg Palace Kaiserapartements (third link below).

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It may be difficult for anyone to figure out the exact portrait that you're seeking. Unfortunately, you may have to do the legwork yourself.

I've provided the link to the search page for the Kunsthistorisches Museum’s holdings database. (From your description, I’m assuming that the KHM is the correct museum.)

In the Suche (“search”) box, type in Habsburg (note the spelling) or kaiser (“emperor") and hit the Go button. The search will generate many pages of images for you to click through. The second link is an example of a portrait that you’ll discover on one of those pages. Good luck!

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 1, 2008 at 9:17 AM (Answer #4)

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I would be interested in what this portrait looks like and how you fare in your search for its identity.  Let us know what you find and if there is a particular website on which you have more luck.  I fear my art education is lacking...and I am impressed with Linda's knowledge.

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted August 1, 2008 at 9:25 AM (Answer #5)

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I would be interested in what this portrait looks like and how you fare in your search for its identity.  Let us know what you find and if there is a particular website on which you have more luck.  I fear my art education is lacking...and I am impressed with Linda's knowledge.

Don't be so impressed. I read about the Hapsburgs in the Oxford Dictionary of Art. About Charles I--I have been enamored of the English monarchy since I first saw Robin Hood as a kid. I've read everything I could get my hands on about the kings and queens up to Charles II. After him, when the German branch of the family took the throne, I lose interest. My favorite periods are the reigns of Henry II and Richard II. Such  interesting times!

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dksart | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 1, 2008 at 12:31 PM (Answer #6)

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Thanks to everyone for the help, it was driving me insane. I searched through innumerable archives and actually came across a later portrait of Emperor Franz Joseph I, but not the one in question. It was urthona who finally came up with the exact one I was seeking.

It is on the top right of this page http://www.hofburg-wien.at/en/things-to-know/the-habsburgs/franz-joseph-i.html

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