The Family Monument
One of these less familiar places in the Meidling half oft he grounds ist he Bosquet by the Statue oft he Emperor whisch is accessible from the Lichte Allee and the Obeliskenallee. The centre oft he bosquet is domiated by Beyer’s figural group portraying Alexander and Olympia, Alexander symbolising both the warrior who is generous in victory and the founder oft he multi-national state. In one of the small surrounding hedged enclosures ist he Family Monument which Marie Caroline, daughter of Maria Theresa and Queen of Naples, commissioned from Franz Thaler in 1802, after she had fled to Schönbrunn with her family from Napoleon’s forces. Consisting of a granite column crowned by a bronze vase, the monument displays a medaillon with five bas-relief busts representing the queen and four of her children. The reverse bears an inscription testifying to Marie Caroline’s affection for her mother.
Monument for Philipp Franz Siebold
In 1926 a commemorative stone was set up for the physician and botanist Philipp Franz von Siebold (1796–1866) on the east side of the Palm House. He lived in Japan for two lengthy periods, conducting research and publishing books on the botany and ethnology of the country and thereby considerably increasing European knowledge about Japan. Engraved with a bamboo plant, the stone of the monument arrived in Vienna as a gift from the
Japanese emperor Mutsuhito on the occasion of the Vienna World’s Fair in 1873. The base displays a portrait of Siebold.
One year after the sudden death of Franz Stephan in 1765, Maria Theresa commissioned a bronze bust of her much-loved husband from the sculptor Balthasar Moll which was intended fort he remodelling oft he Menagerie Pavilion as a memorial monument tot he deceased emperor. In 1830, for reasons that have not been recorded, the bust was moved tot he site it still occupies today, south oft he Sundial House.
In 1810 a monument was erected to Joseph II, who had played an important role in ensuring the preservation and expansion oft he Botanic Garden and the menagerie after his father’s death. The equestrian statue is a smaller copy of the figure executed by Franz Zauner fort he monument on Josefplatz in front oft he National Library, which originally stood in the park at Laxenburg.
The bronze statue shows the emperor in the costume of a military leader from antiquity and the plinth is decorated on the front and back with dedicatory inscriptions, while the sides are embellished with reliefs.