"… he [i.e. Franz Joseph] liked dallying in these small drawing rooms when he was visited by his family, his brother, his grandchildren, nephews etc. There in their company he would take a cup of tea at the twilight hour, chatting with them, and above all, enquiring after their wishes…"
In the Large Salon Franz Joseph received visits from his family. An imposing portrait of the emperor by Engelmann shows Franz Joseph in the robes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. The portrait was painted in 1898 to mark his 50-year jubilee, the celebrations for which, however, were overshadowed by the death of Elisabeth, who had been assassinated at Geneva in the September of that year.
The portrait of Empress Elisabeth with her Great Dane painted by Arthur Koppay together with two likenesses of Archduchess Sophie, the emperor’s mother, are also part of the original decoration of the Large Salon.
The famous portrait of Crown Prince Rudolf by Tadiuz von Adjukiewicz, for which Rudolf sat shortly before his suicide, completes the décor of the Large Salon.
On the shelves of the two étagères lie a number of issues of the Kronprinzenwerk. This was one of the most important works by Crown Prince Rudolf. It represents an impressive account of the various lands and cultures of the monarchy and his views on the best form of government. In their political views as well as on many other matters, father and son were diametrically opposed, a situation that led to serious conflicts.