L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Portraits of Leopold I and Margarita Teresa in theatrical costume, by Jan Thomas, 1667

Costumed as Acis for the play "La Galatea".

Leopold I (9 June 1640, Vienna – 5 May 1705, Vienna), Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia, the second son of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor.  Originally intended for the church, Leopold became heir apparent in 1654 by the death of his elder brother Ferdinand IV. Elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1658, Leopold would rule as such until his death in 1705.  Leopold's reign is known for the conflicts with the Ottoman Empire in the east, and the rivalry with Louis XIV, a first cousin, in the west.  He was a great patron of music, and was an accomplished composer, himself.  His first marriage, to his niece and cousin Margarita Teresa of Spain, was quite happy and though he, by necessity, married twice more, he was heartbroken at her premature death.

The distinctive Habsburg facial features, the result of rampant inbreeding, are evident in both portraits.


Costumed for the play "La Galatea".

Margarita Teresa of Spain (12 July 1651, Madrid – 12 March 1673, Vienna), wife of Leopold I, Holy Roman Empress, Queen consort of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia. She was the daughter of King Philip IV of Spain, and the elder sister of Charles II, the last of the Spanish Habsburgs. She is the central figure in the celebrated Las Meninas by Velázquez, and the subject of many of his later paintings.  She married Leopold - her maternal uncle and paternal cousin - at the age of fifteen.  It appears they were very happy together, sharing a number of interests, especially theatre and music.  But after giving birth to four children - only one of whom survived infancy - and weakened by many miscarriages, Margarita Teresa died at the age of twenty-one.


Jan Thomas van Ieperen (5 February 1617, Ypres – 6 September 1673, Vienna), Flemish Baroque painter and engraver active in Antwerp and at the Habsburg court in Vienna. Much of his work translates the monumental Baroque style of Peter Paul Rubens into the small format of cabinet painting.  He also made large-scale paintings and mezzotints.

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