Francesco Solimena: Emperor Charles VI and Gundacker Ludwig, Count Althann (1728)

(Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria)

Francesco Solimena was an Italian Baroque painter from Naples. This is a typical Baroque type painting. The two main persons on this painting are the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI (standing figure in armor) and Gundacker Ludwig, Count Althann (kneeling figure). Count Gundacker Ludwig of Althan was an general, diplomat and official in service of Charles VI. In 1726, Gundacker was appointed Chief Inspector of the Imperial Academy of Painting and Sculpture. As chief inspector he produced a three-volume inventory of the Imperial Painting Gallery. In this painting Gundacker presents the completed work to the emperor. Fama - the personification of earthly fame - accompanies Gundacker in the sky. In the original painting Charles en Gundacker were looking at each other but this was changed later by Johann Gottfried Auerbach who changed the two faces as they are now - keeping in line with the Imperial court’s ideal of ostentation. Painting from 1728.

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