Gift of the regent Maria Theresa of Austria
This painting by the court painter Martin Meytens was discovered by us in Belgium. It shows the future Emperor Joseph II at the age of two in a Hungarian costume and the Order of the Golden Fleece. The special thing about it, however, is that Joseph’s mother, Maria Theresa of Austria gave the painting around 1743 to the “chef President du Conseil privé” Steenhout, who was then head of the Privy Council.
A total of three versions of this portrait of the young emperor are known, all painted by the court painter Meytens, whereby ours, according to the director of the baroque collections at the Belvedere Vienna, can be considered the best executed.
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