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Horses Room

Grand & Imperial Tour

In the nineteenth century the Horses Room served as a dining room. That is why a festively decked table is on display here, faithfully copying a view of the room dating from the middle of the nineteenth century.

These dinners were attended not by members of the imperial family but by the high-ranking court dignitaries on duty together with military officers seconded for duty at court.

The room takes its name from the series of twenty equine portraits painted on copper panels, and four large-format stud paintings by Johann Georg von Hamilton (1672–1737). Of superb quality, these paintings attest to the paramount importance of thoroughbred horses for courtly display. Dating to between 1720 and 1730, the paintings are among the oldest elements of decoration at Schönbrunn.

The central painting shows a par force hunt in the forests of the river Morava to the east of Vienna. Depicted amid his retinue is Emperor Joseph I, for whom Schönbrunn was built as a hunting lodge around 1700. Notable for its attention to detail, this large-format painting was begun around 1707 by Phillip Ferdinand Hamilton (1664–1750), a brother of Johann Georg, and a further member of the Hamilton dynasty of painters who were famous for their extraordinarily life-like depictions of animals. Having at first remained unfinished, the painting was completed in 1752 by Johann Martin Rausch (1698–1773).

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