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Balcony Room

Grand & Imperial Tour

The numerous pictures in the Balcony Room show Maria Theresa and her children. The portraits are from the studio of court painter Martin van Meytens.

Maria Theresa saw it as one of her most important duties to bring as many children as possible into the world in order to secure the continuation of the dynasty.

The painting on the easel shows Maria Theresa with the insignia of her power. The monarch is surrounded by portraits of her offspring at a young age.

Maria Theresa’s family expanded rapidly and flourished. Within nineteen years she gave birth to sixteen children. She bore her first at nineteen and her last at the age of thirty-eight.
Not all the children survived into adulthood. Child mortality was generally very high, even in the imperial family where hardship was unknown and there was access to the best medical care available at the time. Two daughters died at birth and another daughter in infancy. Three children, a son and two daughters, succumbed at a young age to the much-feared disease of smallpox.

On the front wall of the room is a group portrait of the three eldest sons from the marriage of Maria Theresa and Franz Stephan of Lorraine. It shows their eldest son and heir to the throne Joseph (1741–1790) with his brothers Karl Joseph (1745–1761) and Peter Leopold (1747–1792).

Yellow Salon
Hall of Mirrors
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