An Allegory of the Coronation of Emperor Charles VI as King of Bohemia in Prague on 5th September 1723, signed and dated on the reverse, oil on canvas, 117 x 89 cm, framed
Emperor Charles VI’s Coronation as King of Bohemia was a politically important moment, and one of great significance in the history of the Habsburg Empire. This signed and dated painting is one of the exceptionally rare surviving representations of this highly symbolic event. As Dresden court painter Böhm’s first work commissioned by the Emperor to appear on the market, it is both an important rediscovery in terms of its art historical value as well as of historical importance as an allegorical representation of the Coronation. At the centre of the painting sit Emperor Charles VI and his wife Elisabeth Christine of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel under a cloth of state decorated with Imperial emblems and monograms. They are surrounded by personifications of the virtues intended to characterise the reign of the new king. Amongst them charity, with the city arms of Prague representing Prague as the capital and residential city. Pheme floats above this group with the trumpet of fame. In the right foreground Chronos, the God of time, pulls back the curtain of history to permit a view of the events taking place in the courtyard of the Hradschin.
Here Böhm has captured an important historical event in a painting, also documenting his activity for the imperial court in Vienna. In 1739 the respected Saxon portrait painter was appointed court painter to the Electors of Saxony and Kings of Poland.
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