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Baroque, Rococo and Classicism

The gorgeously opulent world of Baroque and Rococo in the Imperial Furniture Collection! Now’s the time to discover exquisite showpieces once owned by the Habsburgs.

Short and puny – that was the appearance of Prince Eugene of Savoy, Austria’s famous Paris-born general. Maria Theresa on the other hand was a celebrated beauty in her youth, and later on a stately, even opulent woman. Whether on the battle field or in his magnificent state rooms, the prince wore an ancient greasy leather doublet marked with snuff stains; she loved rustling silks, precious lace and brocade. 

As different as they were, one thing united them: their love of magnificent palaces and costly interiors, choice furniture and luxurious objets d’art.

On assuming the reins of power in 1740, in contrast to the extravagance of the French, who set the tone among European courts, Maria Theresa pressed for a policy of ‘frugal housekeeping’ as far as her own court household was concerned. But when it came to furnishing her residences she ensured that they reflected the dynasty’s standing in an appropriately magnificent manner. She also developed a passion for all things ‘Indian’ (i.e., Eastern Asian), in particular for Chinese and Japanese lacquerware that had become fashionable all over Europe. 

At the Imperial Furniture Collection furnishings from the estate of Prince Eugene and the Viennese court with their characteristic curving lines, bulbous shapes and gilded mounts illuminate the glittering world of the Baroque and Rococo ages. This was an epoch marked by brutal wars and bitter struggles for power, but also by an elevated artistic sensibility and a highly aesthetic style of living.