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Temporary exhibition

Emperor Franz II (I): Crafting the Imperial Image

Emperor Franz II (I) © SKB, Alexander Eugen Koller
wall painting © SKB, Alexander Eugen Koller
Karoline Auguste of Bavarian © SKB Alexander Koller

20 January – 11 June 2017: Audience Waiting Room in the Imperial Apartments

Dating from the 1830s, the three imposing wall paintings by the renowned artist Johann Peter Krafft in the Audience Waiting Room of the Imperial Apartments portray scenes from the life of Emperor Franz II (I), recording his ceremonial entry into Vienna following the Peace of Paris in 1814, his return from Pressburg (present-day Bratislava) after the withdrawal of the French troops, and on his first drive out in public following a lengthy illness. This cycle of paintings serves as a basis for introducing the last emperor to wear the crown of the Holy Roman Empire (as Emperor Franz II) and first emperor of Austria (as Emperor Franz I). His reign was marked both by fear and mistrust towards France and the increasing power and influence of Prince Metternich. To the Viennese citizenry he was the ‘Good Emperor Franz’, who was never happier than in the bosom of his multitudinous family. In these impressive monumental scenes, the artist Johann Peter Krafft succeeded in capturing the emperor’s popularity, which endured despite his many defeats and losses.

Apart from these history paintings, the exhibition will include objects owned by Emperor Franz II (I). A particular highlight will be the portrait medallions of all of the emperor’s twelve children, which have never been shown together before. Also on display will be garden tools used by the emperor, who was a keen gardener, a bust, a spittoon and elements from the precious Grand Vermeil Service held in the Imperial Silver Collection.

The conflicting relationship between the emperor and Napoleon, his arch-enemy and son-in-law, will be illustrated with a lithograph depicting the handing over of the keys to the City of Vienna, and with a sculpture portraying Napoleon as the loving father of the Duke of Reichstadt.

A lady’s costume and a child’s dress from the Biedermeier era will illustrate the fashions of the era in which Johann Peter Krafft executed the paintings in the Audience Waiting Room of the Imperial Apartments.

Admission including Silver Collection, Sisi Museum and Imperial Apartments:
20 January – 14 March 2017: € 12.90
15 March – 11 September 2017: € 13.90

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