Interior study for portrait of Johann II. Liechtenstein 1908

View of a salon in a baroque suite of rooms with white and gold paneling. In the center a round table, around which a sofa and four armchairs covered with red brocade are grouped. On the left, a window with a white curtain and dark red side panels. In the background, a half-opened double door, offering a view of another salon, where a white armchair with golden upholstery in front of a golden curtain, brightly lit by incident sunlight, can be seen. In addition to the seating group, the salon is furnished by cascading wall candlesticks, a lantern placed on a delicate table, as well as a Chinese-style cabinet on top of which a silver vessel is placed.

JQAW# G_1908_020
Oil on cardboard 66 x 47 cm
Signature: John Quincy Ɑdams. Merry Christmas. 1908.
Private collection Austria.

This interior study was a preparatory work for the portrait of Prince Johann(es) II. von und zu Liechtenstein, which Adams was commissioned to paint by the municipality of Vienna in 1908. This commission was a tribute to the prince from the city of Vienna in recognition of his generous patronage. The interior is faithfully depicted in the portrait, only the right edge of the picture with the white wall paneling and the two right armchairs is hidden in the portrait by a curtain and the portrayed prince.

The salon depicted was likely located in the city palace Liechtenstein, which was built in 1691-1694 in the style of the Italian High Baroque. Renovated in the 19th century and partially remodeled in the style of the Second Rococo, the palace was severely damaged by bombs and a crashed airplane during World War II and rebuilt after the war. Most recently restored in exemplary fashion in 2013, the Liechtenstein City Palace (the Princely Family owns another so-called Garden Palace in Vienna) is one of the most magnificent private palaces in the city, serving both as a residence and, in the 19th century, also housed the Princely Family's exceptional art collection (now in Vaduz). The palace is today the seat of Liechtenstein's private bank, the state rooms can be rented for events and can also be visited by appointment.

Adams likely made this interior study in the absence of the master of the house in the Liechtenstein City Palace and then used it in the completion of the portrait of Johann II. Liechtenstein. Subsequently, according to the dedication, the study was given as a Christmas gift to an unknown person who was connected to Adams either by friendship or by commissions.




Art trade Upper Austria.
Dorotheum Linz, auction 5.10.2021 lot 194.
Private collection, Austria.