Hans Count Traun 1919


Head portrait study

JQAW# P_1919_030
Oil on canvas, 63 x 51 cm
Signature John Quincy Ɑdams 1919
Private collection Austria.
No image available.

Hans Graf Traun (Johann Adam Graf Abensberg-Traun), 27.2.1902 Vienna to 6.8.1971 Bockfließ. Designated but "disinherited" head of the Abensperg-Traun family, NSDAP member.
Hans Graf Traun was born into the ancient (since ca. the 12th century) noble family of Abensperg-Traun. He attended a humanistic grammar school and studied forestry in Vienna and Munich. As the eldest son, he was prepared early for the succession of the family “Fideikommiss” (foundation holding the family properties) according to the principle of primogeniture. The Adams portrait of the 17-year-old as well as the representation of the family on social occasions such as the marriage of Hereditary Prince Karl to Franziska Mena Fürstenberg (see their Adams portraits from 1927 and 1929) in 1921 or also the authority to sign together with his father on foreign money accounts (and the loss of 50,000 US dollars in the collapse of the Dutch Amstelbank in September 1931, Die Rote Fahne 4.9.1931 p.8) testify to this.
In 1927, his father Rudolf entrusted him with the administration of Rapottenstein Castle and its estates. Relations with his family began to deteriorate after 1935. On November 14, 1935, he married the divorced builder's daughter Margarethe Lentz (1896-1985), who had been married in her first marriage (1916-1935) to the automobile pioneer and racing driver Count Heinrich von Schönfeldt (1884-1963) (3 children from this first marriage). From the marriage with Hans Traun a daughter was born: Maya (Maria Margarethe) von Abensperg-Traun, married Countess von Goess (1937-2010).
Since 1937 Hans Traun was, according to his own statements, an illegal member of the National Socialist Party (NSDAP), a membership which was confirmed after application - and endorsement by SS Scharführer Eduard (Edward "Teddy") Blyth (whom Adams portrayed as a 2-year-old in 1905) on October 12, 1938. His wife Margarethe also stated that she had supported the NSDAP since 1932, but a party membership is not documented. After the Anschluss (Annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany), Hans Traun was appointed president of the Austrian Association for Agriculture and Forestry ÖLFG on March 18, 1938, and also became its provisional administrator until its dissolution on October 1, 1938. In September 1939, he was proposed and confirmed as the new head for the "Niederdonau-Wien" (province of Lower-Danube [formerly Austria] and Vienna) section of the German Forest Association (All data according to M. Wimmer, 2012). Hans Traun is thus one of the (few) examples of a member of the Austrian high aristocracy (which was traditionally monarchist and anti-National Socialist) who joined the National Socialists (another example is the aforementioned Karl Egon Fürstenberg, see his catalog entry). All this (together with an unconfirmed early entry into the German Wehrmacht) led his father to deprive him of the administration of the Rapottenstein estates (M. Wimmer, 2012). In 1946 he was quasi disinherited, and instead his younger brother Ferdinand was appointed head of the house and administrator of the main estates and castles of Meissau and Traun, a position he also finally assumed after the death of his father Rudolf in 1954. Only the estate and Bockfließ castle were left to Hans Traun. These passed in the inheritance after 1971 to his daughter Maya and after 2010 to her widowed husband Johann Ulrich Count Goess (1926-2018).

The head portrait study of the young Hans Graf Traun was exhibited on the occasion of the Adams exhibition in 1986 at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, but unfortunately was not documented in form of a photo on this occasion. It can be assumed that the study is similar to the example of the mother-son portraits of the Liechtenstein family (see their catalog entries). In its location and ownership, the painting followed the succession of Bockfließ castle and thus its provenance is well documented. Nevertheless, no image is available for this catalog. In 2018, a terrible family tragedy shook the Goess family at Bockfließ castle, leaving three dead. Respect for the grief and shock of the suffering family called to refrain from contacting them to request a photo-illustration of the portrait.


1986 Academy Schillerplatz Vienna, Viennese Society in Portrait, Catalog #45.


Schaffer/Eisenburger 1986, exhibition catalog #45 (no ill.)

APH, catalog raisonné JQA 1995, p. 171, cat.#138, no ill.

Marian Wimmer, 2012, Abseits von Flucht und Widerstand, Dipl.Arbeit, Univ. Wien.


His family descendants.
Private collection, Austria.