Marie Antoinette Young6



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Johann Georg Weikert (c.1745-1799)

English: Fête Organized to Celebrate the Marriage of the Emperor Joseph II to Princess Marie-Josèphe of Bavaria 23/24 January 1765



oil on canvas


183 × 145 cm (72 × 57.1 in)

English: Hofburg or Schönbrunn palace
English: One of three versions of this subject attributed for many years to Weikert who became one the most favored Austrian Court painters in the reign of the Empress Maria Theresa. Weikert enjoyed a successful career in painting numerous portraits of the Empress and the ten of her sixteen children to survive to adulthood. The attribution of the Schönbrunn painting and the other versions is no longer securely given to this artist, however, but to an unknown painter working at the Court of Maria Theresia. It is the subject, however, which is of special interest.

The occasion was a performance written for and performed by the Imperial children to celebrate their eldest brother Joseph’s marriage to Princess Marie-Josèphe of Bavaria on 23 January 1765. The role of cupid was played by the Archduke Maximilian, while the Archduke Ferdinand portrayed the Groom and the Archduchess Marie-Antoinette the Bride. The young ladies from left to right were Countesses Christine and Thérèse von Clary und Aldringen, and Countesses Christine and Pauline von Auersperg. The male roles were played by Frederick Landgraf von Furstenberg, Count Franz Xavier von Auersperg, and Counts Joseph and Wenceslas von Clary und Aldringen.

The first version of the painting remains in Vienna, in the Schönbrunn Palace; a second version was commissioned from the artist in 1778 by Marie-Antoinette to hang in her dining-room in the Grand Trianon (and is now in the Versailles Museum); this third version commissioned by another of the participants was until recently in an American collection.
Italiano: Il dipinto raffigura i figli minori dell'imperatrice Maria Teresa. Ferdinando Carlo e Massimiliano Francesco danzano un balletto con la sorella Maria Antonietta. Il titolo della danza era "Il Trionfo d'Amore", musica da Florian Leopold Gassmann su libretto di Metastasio. Lo spettacolo fu recitato a Schonbrunn nel gennaio del 1765, in occasione delle nozze dell'imperatore Giuseppe II con Maria di Baviera. Questo dipinto è stato attribuito a Weikert (1745-1799) e una copia è conservata a Versailles.


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