Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria (1830-1916)

Title: Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria (1830-1916)
Artist: Franz Xaver Winterhalter
Date: 1865

Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria wearing the dress uniform of an Austrian Field Marshal (scarlet trousers and white summer undress tunic) with the Great Star of the Military Order of Maria Theresa. The Golden Fleece suspended from the base of his collar. His hairline was already in full retreat, but his most remarkable features were a wide 'tash and a set of cavalry whiskers that reached down to his sloping shoulders.

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1803-73) was the outstanding court portraitist of mid-19th century Europe. For Queen Victoria alone he painted over 120 works, and he was also portrait painter to the French court, first to Louis-Philippe, and later to Napoleon III and the Empress Eugenie. Over his long career Winterhalter painted an array of the crowned heads of Europe, and the most beautiful women of the day, many of them dressed in the spectacular silk and tulle confections of the Parisian couturier, Worth.

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