Maria Theresa’s Apartment

In 1773 Prince Eugene’s ceremonial apartment was completely remodelled for Maria Theresa. Originally this wing contained Eugene’s battle picture gallery, a conversation room and a ceremonial bed chamber. As apartment for the dowager Maria Theresa, the rooms are kept to this day in an elegant colour scheme of white and grey.


Integrated into the wall panelling of the antechamber are eight battle pictures produced by the circle surrounding August Querfurth. They show battles in which Emperor Francis I Stephen functioned as (nominal) supreme military commander over the Imperial Army. Maria Theresa can be seen on one of the pictures in a coach while inspecting the army camp near Heidelberg in 1745.

This room is ideal for showing the combination of furniture from three stylistic epochs: Maria Theresa did not have the Baroque console table and glass chandelier removed but combined them with the mid-eighteenth-century gaming tables and the white chairs from the 1770s.

Audience Chamber

The audience chamber ranked the highest in the hierarchy of rooms in the apartment. This is clearly reflected in the furnishings: this room is the only one with parcel-gilt walls and furniture, two large mirrors and a fireplace.

The large painting by Joseph Hauzinger shows in its centre Louis XVI of France with Marie Antoinette and Archduke Maximilian. It forms part of the family paintings made between 1776 and 1778 for the audience chamber and the drawing room, and shows the children of Maria Theresa. A competition was advertised at the Vienna Academy of Art for this assignment, winners were a professor and three students. Of the eight paintings, five are now once more in Schloss Hof.

Drawing Room

The drawing room is dominated by four large-format family pictures dated 1776, let into the grey-and-white wall panelling. The pictorial programme was especially devised according to Maria Theresa’s wishes and is connected to the pictorial adornment of the neighbouring audience chamber.

The paintings show the monarch’s children who were living in Italy. The pictures of the sons with their families flank those of the daughters with their families. The compositions of the individual paintings allude to one another through gestures, linking private family scenes with the standards of prestige demanded by etiquette.

Bed Chamber

In the grey bed chamber espaliered with silk taffeta stands Maria Theresa’s bed, reconstructed after the original. The high quality of the fabrics from the time of Prince Eugene was appreciated even forty years after his death: textile components of a bed from his time were re-used for the monarch’s bed.

The portrait of Maria Theresa in dowager weeds, attributed to Anton von Maron, shows her with the Order of the Star Cross, the female counterpart of the Order of the Golden Fleece. A small room is connected to the bed chamber, a so-called retirade, originally containing a toilet.

Servants' Room

The servants room is devoted thematically to the favourite drink of the eighteenth century, hot chocolate. The exotic beverage was served in a special receptacle, the trembleuse[a1] . This type of beaker was remarkable for its special fixture, consisting of a ring fastened to the saucer to fix the beaker. This was designed to prevent any shaking or “trembling”  from spilling the contents or tipping the beaker.