• Johann Georg Weikert: Scene from the pastoral ballet *Le Triomphe de l'Amour*, 1765, oil on canvas

    ‘We must have spectacle.’ 1600–1800

    From Italy a new art form arrived at the Habsburg court: the opera. With grandiose festivities and lavishly staged opera performances the Viennese Court did ...
  • Andreas Geiger after Johann Christian Schoeller: ‘Der große Galopp von Joh. Strauß’, 1839, coloured copperp...

    ‘A Kind of Frenzy’ 1711–1918

    Maria Theresa, her ladies-in-waiting, her dressmaker and probably even the latter’s maidservant all had something in common: their love of dancing. The Empress ...
  • Image from the cycle *The Farmer’s Year*, gouache, 3rd quarter of 18th century

    Worlds of Delight 1500–1739

    The ‘discovery’ and colonization of America brought new delicacies like chocolate, sugar and tobacco to Europe, where they first appeared in the ports and ...
  • Jörg Kölderer: *Triumphzug*, the imperial baggage/supply train

    With Trumpets and Drums 1296–1918

    As early as the Middle Ages, the Habsburgs had already had their own Musikkapelle or band of musicians which consisted mainly of vocalists who were used in ...
  • Studio of Court Painter Martin van Meytens: Maria Theresa awarding the Order of St Stephen, oil painting, 1...

    With Pomp and Splendour 1649–1791

    The size and power of attraction of the imperial Court, together with the huge expenditure on the Court household, was intended to bolster the claim of the ...
  • Johann Ziegler: The Lusthaus in the Prater, copperplate engraving, 1783

    Where the Emperor and the People Meet 1741–1919

    ‘See and be seen’ was the motto: whether at an audience or at court festivities – many people sought proximity to the Emperor. But the Imperial household also ...
  • War game, c. 1914

    War and Peace 1830–1918

    The love of peace is alleged to have been a typical Habsburg family characteristic. The innumerable wars waged during its centuries of rule contradict this ...
  • Medici Venus (anatomical wax model), 18th century

    Viennese Diseases 1764–1913

    With water cures, smallpox vaccination and practical medical training, an attempt was made to combat diseases and epidemics. Joseph II purchased anatomical wax ...
  • Jean-Louis David, Napoleon Crossing the St Bernhard Pass, 1802-1803

    Unification of Europe à la Napoléon 1789–1821

    The two decades either side of 1800 saw a large part of Europe in a state of emergency. European politics were dominated by the figure of Napoleon Bonaparte, a ...
  • Bernhard Strigel: Emperor Maximilian I and his family, after 1515

    Tu felix Austria nube 1430–1570

    Bella gerant alii, tu felix Austria nube – ‘Let others wage war: thou, happy Austria, marry’. This famous saying is invariably quoted when the rise of the ...
  • Jan Brueghel the Elder: The Village Street, 1603

    Travelling in the Service of the Monarch 1500–1740

    Going on a journey in early modern times was an arduous undertaking as there were very few routes fit for travelling. While more privileged members of society ...
  • The ‘Albertinian Map’– the earliest map of Vienna, 1421/22

    Townscapes 1273–1500

    A medieval town was home to a variety of social classes, with the members of the Court (if the town was a royal residence), the clergy and the nobility at the ...
  • Hans Ulrich Franck: Rider being attacked by two soldiers with axes, etching, 1643

    The Thirty Years’ War 1617–1648

    The sixteenth century saw large parts of the nobility becoming Protestant. If the Habsburgs emphasized their own Catholicism, it was thus for political as well ...