524. [Austrian school]

FABER, Jean-Herman

Portrait of Joseph II of Austria.

Brussels, 1782

Oil on canvas, 70 x 46 cm, signed and dated at the lower right corner "HFaber Pinx[it] Bruxellis 1782".

In a decorative wooden gilt frame (sl. damaged).

Magnificent portrait of Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor (1734-1790), by the Austrian artist Jean-Herman Faber (1734-1800). Faber moved to Antwerp in the 1750s and was already registrered in the Antwerp Guild of Saint-Luke in 1753, as a pupil of Jan Jozef Horemans. In 1757, he became a member of the Antwerp Art Academy, before starting his own workshop in Brussels after 1762. Although he started making copies after paintings by Ter Borch and Rubens, he quickly became one of the most in-demand portrait painters by the Brussels nobility. Since Joseph II never visited the Austrian Low Countries, this painting was probably made for the Habsburg high nobility such as the governors Maria-Christina and Albrecht of Saxony-Teschen. Joseph II is depicted as a protector of the arts, symbolised by the attributes and putti acting as Mercury and Pictura in the lower foreground. Regnal symbols are the military swagger stick and the imperial and royal crowns, representing all the Habsburg dominions. A sculpture group with Voluptas is seen in the background. Faber was most likely inspired in this composition by the official court portrait of Joseph II made by Anton von Maron a few years earlier in 1775, which contains many of the same elements such as the sculpture group, pose and attire (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, inv. 2418). As we could not find a state portrait in the larger Belgian public collection it is not impossible that this is one of the few in the Low Countries.
Ref. Rombouts & Van Lerius II:802. - Dictionaire des peintres belges (BaLaT).

€ 20.000 / 30.000

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