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Description

A rare highly-decorative 18th-century view of Vienna, made especially to celebrate the coronation of Empress Maria Theresa, issued at the beginning of the War of Austrian Succession.

This fine panorama of Vienna captures the captial of the Habsburg Empire from a southwesterly perspetive. It embraces the entire walled city with its numerous large edifices and steeples, domianted by St. Stephen's Cathedral. The quality and detail of the engraving is very fine and precise. Legends in both upper corners identify 42 key sites in both Latin and German, corresponding to numbers placed on the view.

In the foreground is a sumptuous display of pro-Habsburg rhetorical allegory. The scene is dominated by an enthroned Empress Maria Theresa, (reigned, 1740-80) who is being offered the imperial crowns of the various constituent kingdoms of the Habsburg Empire by the Archangels Michael and Gabriel. The civic arms of Vienna occupy the center of the allegory, while to the right is a scene of vanquished Turkish soldiers (reminiscent of the Ottoman defeat during the Siege of Vienna of 1683), while a female personification of 'Victory' announces the triumph of the Austrian armies.

While the allegorical tableau holds many echoes of past events, in 1740, it was rather timely as the Habsburg Empire was heading into the War of Austrian Succession (1740-48), during which the young Maria Theresa had to defend her throne and her territories from aggresive neighboring states, notably Frederick the Great's Prussia. This celebratory scene prefigures the outcome of the conflict. While the war was hard on Austria, Maria Theresa perservered, becomng one of the most revered and longest serving Habsburg rulers.

The view is based on an orginal drawing by the prominent topographical artist Friedrich Bernhard Werner (1690-1776), and was published as a seprately-issued engraving by Martin Engelbrecht of Augsburg. J. Gg. Pinz and Ch. T. Scheffler were the engravers. Around 1735, Engelbrecht issued a simpler version of the same view without the Habsburg allegory. This view was clearly issued to respond to current events.

While the present example of the view has been trimmed and lacks the text panels at the bottom, it is quite rare, being the only example we have ever handled.

Condition Description
Trimmed to neatlines, with loss of text at bottom.