The #Nofilter secret behind the Emperor’s new look

By Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

From the #HistoryOfUs series: Kaiser Franz I. von Österreich, 1832

Touch & Hold

In the autumn of 1832, a massive new portrait of the Holy Roman Emperor was unveiled at the palace in Vienna. It was painted by Friedrich Von Amerling, one of Europe's most famous portrait painters. Everybody was expected to love it.

Instead, it nearly got Von Amerling beheaded. The Empress hated it.

Because von Amerling’s work depicted the 64-year-old Emperor Francis as hunched and haggard. His expression shows a shade of bitterness.

A huge crown, which you can also see on this study for the portrait, weighed down his head, emphasizing his age and the toll the position had taken on his body and spirit.

Traditionally, painters were expected to cover up a ruler’s blemishes and signs of weakness. But Von Amerling chose to go with #NoFilter. The painting looked like a #WokeUpThisWay selfie (but a real one, not a stealth-makeup one).

The monarch quietly looked at the painting ... and announced that it was to be exhibited immediately. Because Emperor Franz I was a #NoFilter kind of emperor.
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Emperor Francis I of Austria by Friedrich von AmerlingAlte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Credits: Story

#HistoryOfUs series

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz

www.smb.museum

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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