Portrait of Teresa Kunegunda Sobieska

Unknown (maybe French) artistend of 17th c.

The Wilanów Palace Museum

The Wilanów Palace Museum
Warsaw, Poland


  • Title: Portrait of Teresa Kunegunda Sobieska
  • Creator: Unknown (maybe French) artist
  • Creator Gender: None
  • Date Created: end of 17th c.
  • Technique: oil on canvas
  • Subject: Teresa Kunegunda Sobieska (1676–1730), the daughter of King Jan III and the wife of the Elector of Bavaria. Born on Wawel Hill a month after the coronation of the royal couple. After the death of her older sister Adelajda (1677) Teresa remained the only daughter of the Sobieskis, who called her affectionately “Pupusieńka”. In January 1693 her father decided to marry her off to the recently widowed Elector Maximilian Emanuel Wittelsbach of Bavaria. On 15 August 1694, the princess married the elector per procura (the groom was represented by Prince Jakub) and did not set off for The Netherlands until November; she finally met her husband on 1 January 1695. From The Netherlands, where Teresa Kunegunda gave birth to six children, the couple moved to Munich in May 1701. In 1702, Maximilian Emanuel, an ally of France, initiated a war against the imperial army for the so-called Spanish succession. He was defeated at the battle of Höchstädt (August 1704) and leaving Bavaria appointed his wife the regent. In November 1704, Teresa Kunegunda was forced to sign an agreement with the representatives of Emperor Leopold I, upon whose basis she was granted rule over the region of Munich, while the remaining part of Bavaria was entrusted to imperial administration. She maintained lively correspondence with her husband, who remained in The Netherlands. Teresa was also determined to meet her mother, at the time in Rome. In February 1705 she set off from Munich, leaving her children behind, and in March saw Maria Kazimiera in Padua. When in May she tried to return to Bavaria, she was not permitted to cross the Austrian border and was forced to travel to Venice, while the imperial armies occupied the rest of Bavaria. In Venice, Teresa Kungenduna spent ten years waiting to join her family until the end of the war for the Spanish succession. In the spring of 1715 all were reunited in Bavaria. Upon her return to Munich the elector’s wife devoted herself to religious practices, and after the death of her husband (1726), when her oldest son, Charles Albert, mounted the throne, she decided to move to Venice, where she died on 27 March 1739. She is buried next to her husband in the Theatine church in Munich.
  • Physical Dimensions: w380 x h470 mm
  • Original Title: Portret Teresy Kunegundy Sobieskiej
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Wilanów Palace Museum, Photo: W. Holnicki

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