Erzherzog Maximilian 1917

¾ Full-length en face portrait standing, looking directly at the viewer. The sitter - with upper lip beard - is standing by a marble parapet on which he has placed his right arm, letting his hand, in which he holds a field cap, dangle down; on the little finger of his right hand a signet ring. He wears a brown field uniform with rank of a major. At the breast, a medal clasp, under it the German Iron Cross and at the lapel the Habsburg House Order of the Golden Fleece. Picture background depicted as a wall designed by roughly structured brushstrokes with a suggested curtain.

JQAW# P_1917_020
Oil on canvas 127 x 95 cm
Signature: John Quincy Ɑdams 17.
Private collection House of Habsburg
Picture: assembled from private photographs estate of Countess Harriett Walderdorff

Archduke Dr. Maximilian Eugen (Ludwig Friedrich Philipp Ignatius Joseph Maria) von Habsburg-Lothringen 13.4.1895 Vienna to 19.1.1952 Nice. Brother of the last Austrian emperor.
Archd. Maximilian was born in 1895 as son of the (scandal-ridden) Archd. Otto Franz Josef (1865-1906) and Maria Josepha of Saxony (1867-1944). He was the younger brother of Archd. Karl (1887-1922), who was the last Austrian emperor in 1916-1918 (see his Adams portrait, cross-references). Unusually for a Habsburg archduke, he attended a public high school (Schotten) in Vienna and then studied law at the University of Vienna. He completed his studies at the end of World War I with a doctorate. During the war he served in the field, advancing from ensign to major rank. He was also a corvette captain in the Imperial and Royal Navy. In 1917, at Laxenburg Palace, he married Franziska Princess of Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst (1897-1989), daughter of the short-lived Prime Minister and First Lord Chamberlain to Emperor Karl Prince Konrad of Hohenlohe-Schillingfürst (1863-1918, see his Adams portrait, cross-references). The couple had two sons. Family descendants exist after his son Heinrich Karl Maria Habsburg-Lothringen (1925-2014).

After the end of the monarchy Archd. Maximilian went into exile (Switzerland, Bavaria, Spain, southern France). There he and his family (especially during the Nazi rule) also alternately used the name Count of Wernberg, or of Kyburg. He was co-author of the so-called Olten Protocol of 27 October 1919, in which they requested the Emperor in exile to amend the Habsburg Family Statute to the effect that members who renounced the prerogatives and claim to rule of the House of Habsburg, as demanded by the Austrian government, were to be permanently excluded from the archducal house. The consequence of this policy was that without a declaration of renunciation, all members of the House of Habsburg were barred from entering Austria and were also deprived of their personal property in Austria, which also applied to Archduke Maximilian and his family. As a result, the archduke's family lived in exile in modest circumstances (his wife later ran a fashion salon as Countess Wernberg). Archd. Maximilian died of a heart attack in Nice in 1952. A return to Austria even as a dead man was not possible and he was buried in the family vault of the House of Württemberg in the castle church of Altshausen, Germany. In 2019, his body was transferred to Salzburg, where he found his final resting place in the church of the Archabbey of St.Peter, ending his exile after 100 years.

Adams' portrait of the dashing 23-year-old Archduke Max, as he was colloquially known, is captivating both for its casual posture and its already modern depiction that avoids any ostentation in accessories or background. The painting was probably created during the Archduke's stay in Vienna on the occasion of his marriage. The provenance of the painting resembles a detective story. It was obviously never delivered and remained in the possession of the artist. After an adventurous odyssey, it finally passed from his estate (together with an unknown number of other Adams paintings) to Countess Harriet Walderdorff (Adams' daughter) and from her in 1949 to the Hohenberg family (descendants of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess Franz Ferdinand and Sophie, who were murdered in Sarajevo), who kept the portrait in the Artstetten Castle Museum. The picture was shown in 1986 in the Adams exhibition and published in the exhibition catalog as a b/w image. After 1986 the portrait was handed over from Artstetten to the family descendants of Archd. Max. The present location of the painting is not confirmed (as usual in the present generations of the House of Habsburg, who are far-removed from interest in art), but it is believed to be in London.


1917 Künstlerhaus Wien exhibition John Quincy Adams No. 14/III.

1986 Academy Schillerplatz Vienna, Viennese Society in Portrait, Catalog No. 40.


Schaffer/Eisenburger 1986, exhibition catalog #40 (with b/w ill.).

APH, catalog raisonné JQA 1995, p. 157, cat.#125, fig.#88.


1917-1933 the artist.
1933-1938 estate of the artist, Stefanie von Gutmann/Adams/Sobotka Schloss Würting.
1938-1948 Storage in moving company (Fall?) Vienna.
1948 handed over to Harriet Countess Walderdorff (Adams' daughter).
1949 From Harriet Countess Walderdorff to Max(imilian) von Hohenberg, Vienna Reisnerstrasse and Artstetten Castle.
1949-1986 Artstetten Castle Museum.
After 1986 transfer to family descendants of Archd. Max (Heinrich Karl Maria von Habsburg Lothringen - unconfirmed).
House of Habsburg, current location not confirmed (but likely to be in London with Philipp von Habsburg Lothringen).