Schönbrunn was a wedding gift to Maria Theresa from her father, Charles VI, after her marriage in 1736. Over the years other rulers had added and modified the palace. When Maria Theresa decided to use it as a summer home, she found it dilapidated and in need of repairs. In addition, she remodeled it throughout the 1740s and 1750s. One person in the late 1800s described the palace as having “wings to the front and at end each of the main building…it is… whitish-yellow [in] color, and…too flat and squatty for good architecture.” However, it became one most popular country estate of the Habsburg’s under Maria Theresa’s reign.
Inside the Schönbrunn Palace, walls were adorned with wonderful paintings, murals, and medallions, and when the hunting lodge was converted into an imperial residence, its dining room was converted into what was called the Blue Staircase. Fortunately, when the staircase was added, the glorious ceiling—a fresco painted by the Italian artist Sebastiano Ricci in 1701-02—remained unaffected.
Another room with unusual artwork is known today as the Breakfast Room. It has appliqued medallions completed by Maria Theresa’s mother, Elisabeth Christine. She created these medallions from fabric scraps, assembled them into floral bouquets, and sewed them onto silk moiré, complete with insects.(Read more.)Share