6 12 2021 133 Edit

Portrait of the Empress of Austria, Maria Anna (1803 – 1884)

Executed by Josef Kriehuber (1800 – 1876) in the historic frame with an imperial crown.

The present water­col­or and gouache paint­ing is of the finest qual­i­ty, cre­at­ed by one of the most impor­tant and suc­cess­ful por­traitists of Vien­nese soci­ety in his time. This par­tic­u­lar sheet is very like­ly the orig­i­nal draw­ing that served as the basis for Kriehu­ber’s lithograph.

Johannes Ender (1793 — 1854) had already pro­duced a por­trait of Empress Maria Anna in the 1830s, which prob­a­bly served as the mod­el and inspi­ra­tion for Kriehu­ber’s por­trait draw­ing.

In the por­trait col­lec­tion of the Aus­tri­an Nation­al Library, there is at least one of the lith­o­graphs exe­cut­ed by Kriehu­ber based on this draw­ing.

Sheets of this qual­i­ty, such as the one fea­tur­ing Empress Elis­a­beth with her two chil­dren, Arch­duchess Gisela and Arch­duke Rudolf, Arch­duke Franz Karl of Aus­tria, Maria There­sia von Este (18171886), Maria Beat­rix of Aus­tria-Este (18241906), Prince Felix Schwarzen­berg, and the por­trait of Princess Leono­ra Radzi­will (Sof­ja Uru­sow), are found in the col­lec­tion of the Alberti­na in Vien­na, among oth­ers.

Notably, besides the extreme­ly fine and high-qual­i­ty exe­cu­tion of this sheet, it is in beau­ti­ful con­di­tion, and it is pre­sent­ed in its orig­i­nal impe­r­i­al frame.
This sheet has been del­i­cate­ly restored in a spe­cial­ized paper restora­tion work­shop and fit­ted with a new mat. The sheet size is approx­i­mate­ly 25 cm x 18 cm, and with the frame, the dimen­sions of the art­work are 41 cm x 28 cm. The back of the sheet is signed by J. Kriehu­ber, and there are mul­ti­ple inscrip­tions on the wood­en back­ing.

Maria Anna, Princess of Savoy, whose full name was Maria Anna Ric­cia­r­da Car­oli­na Margheri­ta Pia, was born on Sep­tem­ber 19, 1803, in the Palaz­zo Colo­nia in Rome. She was the daugh­ter of King Vic­tor Emmanuel I of Savoy and his wife Arch­duchess Maria There­sia of Aus­tria-Este.

On Feb­ru­ary 12, 1831, Maria Anna mar­ried Arch­duke Fer­di­nand of Aus­tria in Turin by proxy. The actu­al cer­e­mo­ny took place on Feb­ru­ary 27, 1831, in the Court Chapel of the Hof­burg in Vien­na, offi­ci­at­ed by Arch­duke-Car­di­nal Rudolph. Upon Arch­duke Fer­di­nand’s ascen­sion to the throne in March 1835, as Emper­or Fer­di­nand I, Maria Anna became the Empress of Aus­tria. On Sep­tem­ber 12, 1836, she was crowned Queen of Bohemia in Prague.

As the spouse of Fer­di­nand I, she was Empress of Aus­tria from 1835 to 1848 and Queen of Bohemia from 1836. After her death in May 1884 in Prague, and her mar­riage remained child­less, Maria Anna was interred in the Kapuzin­er­gruft in Vien­na, along­side her hus­band who had passed away in 1875.

Renowned com­posers such as Joseph Lan­ner, Johann Strauss Sr., and Johann Strauss Jr. ded­i­cat­ed unfor­get­table melodies to the Empress. One of the most famous is the Annen-Pol­ka, which pre­miered in the Wiener Prater on July 24, 1852.

Josef Kriehu­ber, born on Decem­ber 15, 1800, in Vien­na, and pass­ing away on May 30, 1876, is con­sid­ered the most impor­tant and suc­cess­ful por­traitist of Vien­nese soci­ety in his era.
At the young age of 13, Kriehu­ber was admit­ted to the draw­ing class of the impe­r­i­al acad­e­my in Vien­na due to his excep­tion­al tal­ent. In 1818, he accom­pa­nied Prince San­guszko as a draw­ing teacher to Poland and returned to Vien­na in 1821.

He financed his stud­ies at the acad­e­my by becom­ing one of the most dili­gent employ­ees at Trentsen­sky Pub­lish­ing, a lith­o­graph­ic insti­tu­tion for pro­duc­ing and sell­ing lith­o­graph images. Start­ing in 1826, his first por­traits were pro­duced using the new print­ing tech­nique of lith­o­g­ra­phy.

Josef Kriehu­ber remained one of the most sought-after and high­est-paid por­traitists in Vien­na for decades. In 1860, he became the first artist in Aus­tria to receive the Franz Joseph Order.

Sig­nif­i­cant col­lec­tions of his works can be found in the Graph­ic Col­lec­tion of the Alberti­na and the Por­trait Col­lec­tion of the Aus­tri­an Nation­al Library in Vienna.


• Noël S. McFer­ran: A Jaco­bite Gazetteer – Rome, Museo di Roma

• Con­stan­tin von Wurzbach: Hab­s­burg, Maria Anna Karoli­na Pia. In: Bio­graph­i­cal Dic­tio­nary of the Aus­tri­an Empire. Part 7. Impe­r­i­al and Roy­al Court and State Print­ing Office, Vien­na 1861, p. 28 f. (Dig­i­tal­iza­tion).

• Mar­tin Mutschlech­n­er: Fer­di­nand: An acci­dent” in the House of Hab­s­burg

• Maria Anna, In: Brigitte Hamann (ed.): The Hab­s­burgs, 1988, p. 302.

• R. Lorenz: Maria Anna, Empress of Aus­tria. In: Aus­tri­an Bio­graph­i­cal Lex­i­con 1815 – 1950 (ÖBL). Vol­ume 6, Pub­lish­er of the Aus­tri­an Acad­e­my of Sci­ences, Vien­na 1975, ISBN 3700101287, p. 86.

• Maria Anna, In: Brigitte Hamann (ed.): The Hab­s­burgs, 1988, p. 303.

Read more: Kaiserin Maria Anna von Sar­dinien-Piemont — Kapuzinergruft 

Lit­er­a­ture Kriehuber:

Con­stan­tin von Wurzbach: Kriehu­ber, Joseph. In: Bio­graph­i­cal Dic­tio­nary of the Aus­tri­an Empire. Part 13. Impe­r­i­al and Roy­al Court and State Print­ing Office, Vien­na 1865, pp. 219 – 231 (Dig­i­tal­iza­tion).

• Rudolf von Eit­el­berg­er von Edel­berg: Col­lect­ed Art His­tor­i­cal Writ­ings. Vol­ume 1, Braumüller, Vien­na 1879, p. 90.

• Karl Weiß: Kriehu­ber, Josef. In: All­ge­meine Deutsche Biogra­phie (ADB). Vol­ume 17, Dunck­er & Hum­blot, Leipzig 1883, pp. 166 f.

• Josef Kriehu­ber. In: Hans Vollmer (Ed.): Gen­er­al Lex­i­con of Visu­al Artists from Antiq­ui­ty to the Present. Found­ed by Ulrich Thieme and Felix Beck­er. Vol­ume 21: Knip – Krüger. E. A. See­mann, Leipzig 1927, pp. 535 – 536.

• Wolf­gang von Wurzbach: Cat­a­log of Josef Kriehu­ber’s Por­trait Lith­o­graphs. 2nd edi­tion. Wal­ter Krieg Ver­lag, Vien­na 1958.

• Schöny: Kriehu­ber Josef. In: Aus­tri­an Bio­graph­i­cal Lex­i­con 1815 – 1950 (ÖBL). Vol­ume 4, Pub­lish­er of the Aus­tri­an Acad­e­my of Sci­ences, Vien­na 1969, pp. 273 f. (Direct links to p. 273, p. 274).

• Peter Wirth: Kriehu­ber, Josef. In: New Ger­man Biog­ra­phy (NDB). Vol­ume 13, Dunck­er & Hum­blot, Berlin 1982, ISBN 3 – 428-00194‑X, pp. 45 f. (Dig­i­tal­iza­tion).

• Sel­ma Krasa: Josef Kriehu­ber 1800 – 1876: The Por­traitist of an Era. Edi­tion Chris­t­ian Brand­stät­ter, Vien­na 1987.


6 12 2021 143 Edit
Portrait of the Empress of Austria, Maria Anna executed by Josef Kriehuber