The painting depicting Maria Theresa in her coronation apparel as Hungarian ruler will be exhibited in Vienna between June 29 and November 5 within the exhibition Maria Theresa and the Arts – In honour of the 300th Anniversary of her Birth. The exhibition will take place in the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere in the Austrian capital as part of the celebrations of the birth of this ruler and reformer.
“Lending the painting to Vienna is an honour for the city but also a good opportunity for promotion,” said Bratislava Mayor Ivan Nesrovnal. “Visitors to the Vienna exhibition will learn that this beautiful painting comes from Bratislava, a one time important coronation city. This will motivate them to come visit.”
The larger-than-life-size painting depicts the ruler in her coronation apparel and with Hungarian coronation insignia – i.e. crown, sceptre, and orb. It is the oldest portrait of Maria Theresa of this kind, from 1742. Later other painters also depicted the ruler in a similar way. A very similar painting is the portrait by Johann Peter Kobler and the painting is currently held at the Gӧdӧlȍ manor house .
Maria Theresa was crowned in the St Martin Cathedral in Bratislava, then Pressburg, on June 25, 1741. She was the only woman crowned here in the manner of a “king”. This is because Esztergom Archbishop, Imrich Esterházy, placed the crown directly on her head and did not only touch her right shoulder with it as it was customary during the coronations of regal spouses. After the ceremony Maria Theresa granted her coronation apparel to the Church and it was later refashioned into liturgical apparel.
The painting is a work by Daniel Schmidely (1705-1780) and it was commissioned by the then city council. Now it is under the ownership of the Bratislava City Gallery (GMB) and is exhibited at the Primate’s Palace on Primaciálne Square.
Those interested can see the painting during tours of the palace every day except Mondays from 10:00 until 17:00. The entrance fee is €3.
24. Mar 2017 at 9:03 | Compiled by Spectator staff