Józef Pitschmann
Portrait of Empress Maria Theresa, after 1800
Gift of Maurycy Straszewski, before 1906

material: oil on canvas

dimensions: 62,5 x 48 cm

description: Maria Theresa Habsburg (1717–1780) was the queen of Bohemia and Hungary and, from 1745, the uncrowned Empress of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. She ruled in the spirit of Enlightened Absolutism and implemented reforms which made Austria a modern country and a European leading country. During her reign, Vienna became the second, after Paris, centre of art, culture and social life. In 1772, together with Prussia and Russia, Maria Theresa carried out the First Partition of Poland. Józef Pitschmann was Austrian by descent. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Portrait of Empress Maria Theresa shows that he was able to catch a good likeness of the sitter, including all good and weak points of their looks. The overwhelming realism of his portraits was unacceptable for the court circles both in Vienna and in Warsaw. The artist was therefore forced to look for a job far away from the two capitals. Barbara Ciciora

exposition: The Gallery of 19th Century Polish Art in Sukiennice,
The Cloth Hall, 1, Main Market Square

key: Enlightenment >>>

© 2010 National Museum in Krakow
design & concept: creator.pl