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Deutsche Bundesfürsten beim 60jährigen Regierungsjubiläum

Kaiser Franz Josephs, 1908 in Schönbrunn.

Farbdruck nach Franz von Matsch, 1908.

German Federal Princes on the occasion of the 60-year

anniversary of the accession of Emperor Franz Joseph I,

at Schönbrunn in 1908. Color printing after Franz von

Matsch, 1908.

Franz Joseph I.

und die Massenmedien

Franz Joseph I and

the mass media

Der erste Österreichische

Kaiser des Medienzeitalters

bediente sich sehr

geschickt des neuen

Mediums Fotografie. In

genauestens inszenierten

Bildern, wurde über die

Presse und Postkarten

massenhaft das Bild Franz

Josephs in der Öffentlichkeit

gesteuert. Die

Nationalbibliothek zeigt

eine Auswahl ihrer über

10.000 Fotografien und

Grafiken sowie persönliche

Dokumente des Kaisers.

The first Austrian Emperor

of the media age skillfully

used the new medium of

photography. The public‘s

perception of Franz Joseph

was controlled by pictures

that had been staged and

then widely distributed

through the newspapers or

as postcards. The National

Library is showing a

selection of their 10,000+

photographs and graphics

of Franz Joseph as well as

some interesting personal

documents that had

belonged to the Emperor.

Der ewige Kaiser. Franz

Joseph 1830 – 1916

11.3. bis 27.11.2016

Prunksaal der Österreichischen


The eternal Emperor. Franz

Joseph 1830 – 1916

11 March to 27 November

2016, State Hall of the

Austrian National Library


Rudolf in einem Brief an Graf Latour 1881: „Ich sehe

die schiefe Ebene, auf der wir abwärts gleiten, kann

aber in keiner Weise etwas thun, darf nicht einmal

laut reden, ...“ Der Kaiser überlebte jedoch nicht nur

seinen liberal gesinnten Sohn, der sich in Mayerling

das Leben nahm, sondern ebenso seinen zum Thronfolger

nachgerückten Neffen Franz Ferdinand, der

1914 beim folgenschweren Attentat von Sarajevo erschossen

wurde. Österreich-Ungarn schlitterte in die

Katastrophe des Ersten Weltkrieges und letztlich in

seinen Untergang. Als Franz Joseph am 21. November

1916 im hohen Alter von 86 Jahren verstarb,

wurde für viele nicht nur der Kaiser, sondern auch

gleich sein Reich zu Grabe getragen. Ohne Zweifel

ging mit dem Tod Franz Josephs eine Epoche zu

Ende. Und es war schon klar, dass aus den Trümmern

des Krieges nur ein neues politisches System

steigen konnte.

Franz Joseph I. hat Österreich-Ungarn so lange

regiert, dass das Wort Kaiser im österreichischen

Sprachgebrauch bis heute Synonym für seine Person

ist. Das Jubiläumsjahr bietet Anlass zur kritischen

Auseinandersetzung mit dem zweitletzten Monarchen

der Habsburgerdynastie, entlang dessen Biografie

sich wie an keiner anderen Person die politischen

und gesellschaftlichen Entwicklungen und

Brüche des 19. und beginnenden 20. Jahrhunderts in

Mitteleuropa ablesen lassen.

Franz Joseph I at the laying of the foundation

stone of the Vienna Technical Museum, surrounded

by men in tailcoats and top hats. “R.

Lechner, k. u. k. Hof- Manufactur für Photografie” can

be seen on the edge of the slightly yellow photograph.

Other photographs show the Emperor dressed in his

hunting attire and short trousers, sitting on a tree trunk

with a rifle on his lap, or in an open carriage on Mariahilfer

Strasse, or in front of a row of people cheering

when he visited Bad Aussee ... the 10,000+ photographs,

graphics and documents on Franz Joseph I at

the archives of the Austrian National Library have permanently

engraved the image of the “kind old emperor”

in Austria‘s collective memory, even to this day. No

other person‘s life in Austrian history has been documented

as extensively as his has, the first monarch of

the media age and long-standing emperor. During his

68 years of continuous reign not only were photography

and film invented, but also the light bulb, telephone,

car and air travel.

2016 marks the centenary of the death of Franz Joseph.

This year people will, therefore, come across the

Emperor quite often in numerous exhibitions, media

reports and centenary celebrations. The monarch is

present in everyday Austrian life anyway, e.g. in words

including the term “Kaiser”, meaning emperor, such as

“Kaisersemmel” (“Kaiser bread rolls”), “Kaiserschmarrn”

(ripped pancake) and “Kaiserwetter” (glorious

sunny weather). Every year, hundreds of thousands

of tourists and people nostalgic about the Habsburg



Operette von Franz Lehár

17. Juni – 27. August 2016

Das Dreimäderlhaus

Singspiel von Heinrich Berté

8. Juli – 4. September 2016

Jekyll & Hyde

Musical von Leslie Bricusse

und Frank Wildhorn

29. Juli – 2. September 2016

Das Dschungelbuch

Ballett nach Rudyard Kipling

4. Juni und 28. August 2016

dynasty come to Vienna and Bad Ischl to follow his

tracks. His portrait is printed on crockery, chocolate

and a number of other products. Often with his wife

Elisabeth whose popularity and glorification far exceeds

that of her husband‘s. Sisi and Franzl – the perfect

couple of the 19th century, the personification of

imperial Austria. But what was the emperor really like?

“We are trying to convey a balanced image of Franz

Joseph whose public perception was and still is shaped

by myths and clichés,” according to the historian Karl

Vocelka, who together with Michaela Vocelka is the

author of a new biography on Franz Joseph and is the

curator of the large-scale centenary exhibition at

Schönbrunn Palace and three other locations. Despite

the monarch‘s life having been extensively documented,

it is obvious that the historic personality of Franz

Joseph only partially corresponds to the huge amount

of pictures that the Imperial family carefully staged as

well as censured. The centenary exhibitions also reveal

more, partially controversial, facets of the man behind

the image of the kind old monarch. From being a hardliner

and advocate of an absolute monarchy, through to

someone who often put off making important decisions

as long as possible, to the pedantic bureaucrat who

had documents sent to him even when on holiday, to

the caring grandfather who at least discarded his distant

manner when he was with his grandchildren.

Barely 18 when he was acclaimed emperor in 1848

in the midst of the turmoil of the revolutionary year,

Franz Joseph was an uncompromising monarch with

an absolute claim to power when he started his reign

and did not shy away from pronouncing the death

sentences of numerous ringleaders of the Hungarian

revolution in 1848/49. The highly unpopular Franz

Joseph skilfully used the failed assassination attempt

in 1853 to improve his image, which peaked with the

grandiose dream wedding to his young cousin Elisabeth.

A perfect example of the difficult relationship

between these two very different personalities: even

the honeymoon was thwarted because of the outbreak

of the Crimean War. The Emperor who had been

brought up with a strong sense of duty would hurry to

the Hofburg Palace early in the morning to see to

government business. The freedom-loving empress

increasingly suffered from the rigid court etiquette

and the dominance of her mother-in-law and fled the


110 Jahre

Franz Joseph I. beim Spaziergang

mit Katharina Schratt (um 1895,

Arthur Floeck).

Franz Joseph I, taking a walk with

Katharina Schratt (around 1895,

Arthur Floeck).

Spielzeit 4. 6. – 4. 9. 2016


120 Cercle Diplomatique 1/2016

Cercle Diplomatique 1/2016


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