Marie Countess Traun 1919

Full-length portrait standing, leaning against a dark brown baroque chest of drawers, supporting herself slightly on it with her right elbow, smiling and looking towards the viewer. She wears a fur-trimmed dark pink coat, into which, however, she has slipped only with her right arm, thus revealing her light pink sleeveless dress and the white chiffon slung over it. As jewelry, she wears only pearl ear clips and a gold ring on her ring finger. On the chest of drawers lie her white gloves, and on top of them is a round-oval crystal aquarium. Background designed by stained brushstrokes in brown, orange and blue tones, which gives the portrait a pearl shimmer.

JQAW# P_1919_020
Oil on canvas 212 x 121 cm
Signature: John Quincy Ɑdams 1919
Private collection Austria.

Marie Josephine (Franziska Leopoldina Benedikta) Countess Abensberg-Traun, née Countess Podstatzky-Lichtenstein, 19.3.1878 Vienna to 4.4.1966 Vienna.
Marie Josephine, who came from the Moravian family of the counts of Podstatzky-Lichtenstein, married Count Rudolf Abensperg-Traun (1872-1954) on Feb. 10, 1901, in the Schottenkirche in Vienna. The Counts Traun (since 1653 Imperial Counts Abensperg-Traun) are one of the so-called apostolic dynasties of the country (noble families that have been resident in Austria since the time of the Babenbergs [976-1246]. The eponymous ancestral castle of Traun has been in their possession since 1120) and have produced a number of important military commanders. Rudolf von Abensperg-Traun was a hereditary member of the House of Lords, since 1904 head of the Maissau “Fideikommiss” (a kind of foundation uniting an aristocratic property), and from 1909 to 1919 he was president of the Austrian Red Cross Relief Society, and also president of the Austrian Red Cross, a charitable task in which he was supported by his wife Marie who accepted numerous patronages for charitable events. The marriage was blessed with 5 children (4 sons and a daughter), see cross-references. Despite the elegant-glamorous staging in her Adams portrait, Countess Marie Traun was, according to available sources, primarily a family person and, beyond that, devoted herself above all to supporting charitable initiatives (remarkably also in 1929 of an event to promote "Viennese women's art" in today's MAK Museum). Apart from her participation in social "obligatory events" (pageant and Hofburg ball on the occasion of the imperial jubilee in 1908, participation in weddings and funerals of relatives), only few social activities and actually none of the glamorous presentations of aristocratic lifestyle common before World War II are documented by sources. Unfortunately, there are no sources on the difficult period 1938-1945/1955 (Anschluss and extinction of Austria, dissolution of the “Fideikommiss” institution by the Nazis, war, and after the war most of the family possessions in the Russian occupation zone). However, it can be assumed that Marie Gräfin Traun mastered this period, which led to both economic and family problems and tensions (due to the NSDAP membership of son Johann Adams). She died in 1966 and is buried together with her husband and two of her children in a (in contrast to the Absperg-Traun family tomb located in the remarkable Romanesque round chapel in Petronell) modest tomb in Maissau.

The Adams portrait of Marie Gräfin Traun, painted in 1919 during difficult times, is aptly described by Nikolaus Schaffer as "regal". The noble, distinguished elegance that the portrait exudes, as well as the refined use of color and color juxtapositions in the clothing and objects that Adams realized in the portrait, make it one of the artist's major works and a high point of portrait painting in the final phase of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The life-size format and elegant staging Adams chose probably served the purpose of evoking nostalgic memories of past glory days in a time of political upheaval and economic catastrophe (1918/1919 was the time of famine and energy shortages as well as the beginning of galloping hyperinflation), and the mature beauty and the noble appearance of the 40-year-old Countess Marie Traun provided the perfect model for this. The portrait was accordingly also much noticed, exhibited two times at the Vienna Künstlerhaus (and again in the 1986 Adams exhibition) and published in color on the cover of the magazine Moderne Welt (2.3.1920, p.21). At the same time as the portrait of the mother, Adams also made a head portrait study of her eldest son Johann/Hans (see his catalog entry), a procedure he also chose for other portraits (such as Marizza and Alois Liechtenstein).


The Abensperg-Traun family ca. 1914

Head portrait study Hans Traun (son) 1919 (no picture available).

Countess Alice Harrach 1919


1920 Künstlerhaus Vienna (EL 1919/20 Vol.64 #2359).

1921 Künstlerhaus Vienna (EL 1921 Vol. 67 #46).

1986 Academy Schillerplatz Vienna, Viennese Society in Portrait, Catalog #44.


Schaffer/Eisenburger 1986, exhibition catalog #44 (w. color ill.)

APH, catalog raisonné JQA 1995, p. 170, cat.#137, ill.#93.


Her family descendants.
Private collection, Austria.