Karl Egon V Hereditary Prince of Fürstenberg 1929
3/4 Portrait standing in slight side view, looking directly at the viewer. The sitter has already thinning hair and wears a moustache. He is dressed in light trousers, light gray jacket, blue and gold striped tie and a red handkerchief. His left hand rest in his jacket pocket, his right hand in his pants pocket. Background a light gray wall on which the portrayed casts his shadow.
Oil on canvas 133 x 95 cm
Signature: John Quincy Ɑdams 1929
Schlossmuseum Weitra, Austria.
Karl Egon V Hereditary Prince (from 1941 Prince) zu Fürstenberg, 6.5.1891 Vienna to 23.9.1973 Munich.
The Fürstenbergs are among the oldest German-Austrian noble families (and are one of the 16 so-called Apostelgeschlechter (apostle families), i.e. families, which were already resident in Austria at the time of the Babenberger (i.e. pre 1246). The House of Fürstenberg-Weitra is one of the five that still exist in Austria today). Karl Egon V was hereditary prince, i.e. destined to succeed his father Prince Max Egon II. zu Fürstenberg (1863-1941). After childhood and youth in Vienna, and at the various residences of his parents at Lány Castle (CZ), the (museum quality) Renaissance castle Heiligenberg on Lake Constance, Donaueschingen Castle and Berlin, he took part in World War I as a lieutenant of the (Prussian) Garde de Corp (Potsdam location) and received the Iron Cross II. Class.
On 26.4.1921 he married Franziska Ida Mena Countess Nostitz-Rieneck (1902-1961), see her catalog entry. The marriage remained childless, which is why Karl Egon renounced his father's succession to the Swabian household estates (Donaueschingen Castle) in favor of his brother's children. His interests, which were also musical in his youth (he played the violin at family orchestra performances in Donaueschingen Castle), were later mainly of a sporting nature: horse racing (with his own racing stable) and polo. At the time of the creation of the Adams portrait (1929) and before the 2nd World War he probably led the carefree life of a hereditary prince (in December 1937 the press still reports about a planned world trip). His biography darkens with the beginning of the 2nd World War. In 1939, he was appointed SS Obersturmführer, and became party member in the NSDAP (membership number 8,543,545) in early January 1941 (Malinowski 2010, p.583). In the German Wehrmacht, he held the rank of major from 1943 (Klee 2007, p.153). After the war, he lived mainly in Vienna and in the Meierhof of Weitra Castle (which had been completely devastated in 1945), and also at Heiligenberg Castle (D). He died in Munich in 1973.
The portrait of Karl Egon V zu Fürstenberg is characteristic of Adams' late style. Modern clothing, casual posture (although Karl Egon does not achieve the casual elegance of a Stuart Spaulding, see cross-references) and a only colored background without motives make the portrait and the sitter definitely "modern". Did anyone suspect at the time that this modernity would soon extend to National Socialism and the portrayed entanglement in it?
1929 Künstlerhaus Vienna (EL 81 1929/30 #2759).
1986 Academy Schillerplatz Vienna, Viennese Society in Portrait, Catalog No. 61.
Schaffer/Eisenburger 1986, exhibition catalog #61 (w. B/W ill.)
APH, catalog raisonné JQA 1995, p. 219, cat.#186, ill.#125.
Stephan Malinowski: Vom König zum Führer. German Nobility and National Socialism. Fischer Taschenbuch (3rd edition) 2010, p. 583.
Ernst Klee: Das Kulturlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Who was what before and after 1945. S. Fischer, 2007, p. 153.
Weitra Castle Museum, Austria.