Marizza von Liechtenstein 1923
¾ Portrait seated, view slightly sideways, the upper part of the body turned towards the viewer, looking into the distance. In casual sitting pose, with her left lower leg resting on the sofa stretched under her right foot. Her left arm rests on the back of the sofa, her right arm on her thigh, the fingers of her left hand clasping a long string of pearls. The portrayed woman wears a beige silk dress with a wide neckline, over her left torso a dove-blue coverlet, on both ring fingers rings, around her right wrist, a narrow gold bracelet. The brunette hair is kept short and wavy. The background of the picture is composed of colors only, suggesting a wide open landscape.
Oil on canvas 130 x 89 cm
Signature: John Quincy Ɑdams 1923
Private collection France.
Illustration: composite from private photos and B/W reproduction from 1925.
Mária Gabrielle "Marizza" (Maritza/Mariza) von und zu Liechtenstein, née Countess Andrássy, 7.12.1886 Budapest to 14.12.1961 Vienna.
Marizza Andrássy was born into the well-known Hungarian magnate family of Andrássy, which produced a large number of important statesmen (including the last foreign minister of the monarchy). She spent her youth in Betlér Castle (Hungary, now Betliar, Slovakia), the ancestral seat of the Andrássy family, and in Budapest. In 1906, her engagement to Prince Johannes of Liechtenstein (1873-1959) was announced, and the wedding took place on September 6, 1906, at the University Church in Budapest. Wedding gift from her father was Nový Vítkovec (New Castle) castle and manor in Zahrádky u České Lípy (New Garden, today Czech Republic). In 1907 son Alfed Géza (see his Adams portrait), in 1908 son Emanuel, in 1910 son Johannes, and in 1911 son Constantin were born. Due to the naval officer career of her husband, constant change of residence between the Adriatic ports of the k.u.k. navy, Budapest, Betlér, and occasionally Vienna characterized the family’s lifestyle. After the end of the First World War, Marizza took main residence in Vienna (first in the palace in Löwelstrasse, then from 1924 in Schloss Liechtenstein near Mödling) and actively participated in social life and in the organization of charitable events (balls, Christmas parties, Berlioz Requiem in St. Stephen's Cathedral), in between numerous trips. Due to her love of life and prominence, Marizza Liechtenstein is often reported about in the Viennese press. Twice she graces the cover of magazines (Wiener Salonblatt 28.6.1919 and 7.9.1934). As examples of the busy social activities of Marizza Liechtenstein main events are listed here for the year 1930: Participation in the Austrian Golf Championship in Vienna; participation with husband Johannes in the Concours d'Elegance in front of Schönbrunn Palace, where the couple received two prizes (golden ribbons) for their Austro-Daimler automobiles (cabriolet and limousine) (besides Count Ulrich Kinsky, see his portrait, also John Quincy served as judge); participation in the competition "The Lady and her Dog" with her Pekinese Wang-Li-Tu; as well as organization of a park festival in the garden of the Theresianum (a former Imperial palace in Vienna’s 4th district), where she appeared as Empress Maria Theresia in the Empress's original carriage, an appearance she repeated in Budapest in 1935. With the increasingly serious political situation in Austria, the couple's center of life shifts to Budapest around 1934, where Marizza introduces the American Cocktail Party. In 1936 she signs over the property in Neugarten to her son Emanuel (expropriated in 1945). The glamorous social life comes to a halt with the war and the loss of large estates in Hungary and the Czech Republic after the war. In 1956 the couple was still able to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary together with the family at Hollenegg castle. Marizza died in 1961 soon after her husband (1959) and was buried in Liechtenstein's princely crypt in Vaduz.
The 1923 portrait of Marizza of Liechtenstein is an example of the artist's late phase, with the sitter depicted in an informal, casual pose and is comparatively less glamorous than the portrait of her relative Kátinka Countess Karoly, née Andrássy, painted by Adams in 1918. It also lacks any accessories such as interior decoration or a figurative background, which gives the portrait its modern character and precedes later portraits (such as of Prince Alexander Dietrichstein from 1927). At the same time as the portrait, Adams also produced a strong head portrait study of the teenage son Alfred Géza (see cross-references). It is noteworthy that Adams did not exhibit the portrait at the Vienna Künstlerhaus, despite the prominence of the sitter. Nevertheless, the portrait was publicized soon by the press in the artist's portrait "The Painter of Beautiful Women" (Sport im Bild 1925 Vol. 15, p.984). The portrait was commissioned probably via the social connections between the artist and the portrayed, both of whom frequented the same Viennese circles of the former high aristocracy as well as artists and sports enthusiasts. As a Hungarian, Marizza von Liechtenstein was undoubtedly well acquainted with the Hungarian artists' colony in Vienna, as was Adams (as evidenced by an album sheet signed by artists such as Emmerich Kálmán, Franz Lehár, Maria Jeritza, Selma Kurz, Arthur Schnitzler, Hugo von Hoffmannsthal, as well as the painters Angeli, Schmutzer, Darnaut, and also John Quincy Adams, among others, from about 1925). Fischer (2020) assumes that the portrayed person was the eponym for the operetta Gräfin Mariza by Emmerich Kálmán (premiere 1924), an assumption that cannot be confirmed in historical sources. Rather, the characters in the operetta were modeled after persons from Kálmán's own family, especially his sisters Ilonka and Milike, both of whom fell victims to the Shoa.
Cross-referencesPortrait Alfred Géza von Liechtenstein (son) 1923
APH, catalog raisonné JQA 1995, p. 182, cat.#149, fig.#102.
Gerhard Fischer, 200 Jahre Haus Liechtenstein in der Weststeiermark, 2020.
Her family descendants.
Private collection, France.