JOSEPH ll EMPEROR OF AUSTRIA 1745-1790
1/10 scale resin bust
Sculpted by: Aaron Brown
Painted by: Jim Johnston
Based on the painting in the Cramer museum
Joseph II was the first emperor of the house of hapsburg-lothringen, the eldest son of archduchess Maria Theresa, who had married Francis duke of Lorraine. Joseph grew up in a relaxed and relatively liberial Viennese court. An environment surprisingly open to enlightenment ideas. He succeeded his father as emperor in 1765 and his mother as king of Hungary and bohemia and ruler of the hereditary states in 1780. Joseph immediately began a program of social and political reform, abolishing serfdom and introducing religiour tolerance, while modernizing the ponderous Hapsburg bureaucracy by centralizing the administration.
Joseph was twice married, first to isabella-maria of bourbon-parma. She died in childbirth after only three years of marriage. The following year he married for a second time to Princess Maria Josefa of Bavaria. Maria Antonette queen of France was his sister.
The bust is based on the painting by Joseph Hickel (1736-1808 Leipa-bohemia) it was painted between 1764 and 1770. The painting was acquired by the Cramer museum in 2002 from the dorotheum auction house Vienna, Austria Joseph II wears the Austrian order of the Golden Fleece neck badge worn on a crimson ribbon. His top breast star is the order of Maria Theresa, as is the red and white sash he is wearing. The lower breast star is the royal Hungarian order of Saint Stephen.