Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria

Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria (Maximilian Franz Xaver Joseph Johann Anton de Paula Wenzel, 8 December 1756 in Vienna – 26 July 1801 in Vienna) was Archbishop and Elector Spiritual of Cologne (and as such Chancellor of the Holy Roman Empire for Italy), and Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights. He was the youngest child of the Habsburg ruler of Austria, Maria Theresa, and her husband, Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, for whom he was named. His siblings included emperors Joseph II and Leopold II, the Sicilian queen Maria Carolina, and the French queen Marie Antoinette. He was the last fully functioning Elector of Cologne and the second employer and patron of the young Ludwig van Beethoven.

Archduke Maximilian Francis
Archbishop-Elector of Cologne
Erzherzog Maximilian Franz of Austria
Born8 December 1756
Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna, Archduchy of Austria, Holy Roman Empire[1]
Died26 July 1801 (aged 44)
Hetzendorf Palace, Vienna, Archduchy of Austria, Holy Roman Empire[1]
Full name
English: Maximilian Francis Xavier Joseph John Anthony
German: Maximilian Franz Xaver Josef Johann Anton
HouseHouse of Habsburg-Lorraine
FatherFrancis I, Holy Roman Emperor
MotherMaria Theresa of Austria


Archduke Maximilian Franz of Austria 1762 by Liotard
Maximilian Franz at the age of 6 in 1762 by Liotard

Maximilian Francis was born in the Hofburg Palace, Vienna. In 1780, he succeeded his uncle Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine as Hochmeister (Grand Master) of the Deutscher Orden (Teutonic Knights).

In 1784, he became Archbishop and Elector of Cologne, living in the Electoral residence at Bonn. He remained in that office until his death in exile. In his capacity as chancellor of the Holy Roman Empire for Italy and as the Pope's deputy he crowned as Emperor in Frankfurt first his brother Leopold II in 1790, and in 1792 his nephew Francis II.

At the same time as he became Elector of Cologne, Maximilian Francis was elected to the related Bishopric of Münster and held court in Bonn, as the Archbishop-Electors of Cologne had been forced to do since the late Middle Ages. A keen patron of music, Maximilian Francis maintained a court musical establishment in which Beethoven's father was a tenor, thus playing an important role in the son's early career as a member of the same musical body of which his grandfather, also named Ludwig van Beethoven, had been Kapellmeister.

The court organist, Christian Gottlob Neefe, was Beethoven's early mentor and teacher. Recognising his young pupil's gift both as a performer and as a composer, Neefe brought Beethoven to the court, advising Maximilian Francis to appoint him as assistant organist. Maximilian Francis, too, recognised the extraordinary abilities of the young Beethoven. In 1787, he gave Beethoven leave to visit Vienna to become a pupil of Mozart, but the visit was cut short by news of the last illness of Beethoven's mother, and evidence is lacking for any contact with Mozart. In 1792, shortly after Mozart's death, Maximilian again sent Beethoven on full salary to Vienna to study under Joseph Haydn, Antonio Salieri and others. The Elector maintained an interest in the young Beethoven's progress, and several reports from Haydn to Maximilian detailing it are extant. The prince anticipated that Beethoven would return to Bonn and continue working for him, but due to the subsequent political and military situation his subject never returned, choosing to pursue a career in Vienna.

Josef Hauzinger 002
Maximilian Francis visits with his sister Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI of France. Painting by Josef Hauzinger

Maximilian Francis's rule over most of the Electorate ended in 1794, when his domains were overrun by the troops of Revolutionary France. During the French Revolutionary Wars, Cologne and Bonn were both occupied by the French army in the second half of 1794. As the French approached, Maximilian Francis left Bonn, as it turned out never to return, and his territories on the left bank of the Rhine eventually passed to France under the terms of the Treaty of Lunéville (1801). The Archbishop's court ceased to exist. Although Maximilian Francis still retained his territories on the right bank of the Rhine, including Münster and the Duchy of Westphalia, the Elector, grotesquely corpulent and plagued by ill health, took up residence in Vienna after the loss of his capital and remained there until his death at the age of 45, at Hetzendorf Palace in 1801. The dismantling of the court made Beethoven's relocation to Vienna permanent, and his stipend was terminated.

Beethoven planned to dedicate his First Symphony to his former patron, but the latter died before it was completed.

The Electorate of Cologne was abolished by a law of the Holy Roman Empire of 1803.

In conspiracy theories, such as the one promoted in The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, Maximilian Francis was alleged to be the 22nd Grand Master of the Priory of Sion.


Ancestors of Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria[2]
16. Nicholas II, Duke of Lorraine
8. Charles V, Duke of Lorraine
17. Claude Françoise of Lorraine
4. Leopold, Duke of Lorraine
18. Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor
9. Eleanor of Austria
19. Eleonora Gonzaga
2. Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
20. Louis XIII of France
10. Philippe I, Duke of Orléans
21. Anne of Austria
5. Élisabeth Charlotte of Orléans
22. Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine
11. Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate
23. Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel
1. Archduke Maximilian Franz of Austria
24. Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor (= 18)
12. Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
25. Maria Anna of Austria
6. Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor
26. Philip William, Elector Palatine
13. Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg
27. Elisabeth Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt
3. Maria Theresa of Austria
28. Anthony Ulrich, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
14. Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
29. Elisabeth Juliana of Schleswig-Holstein
7. Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick
30. Albert Ernest I, Prince of Oettingen-Oettingen
15. Christine Louise of Oettingen-Oettingen
31. Christine Friederike of Württemberg


  1. ^ a b Hamann, Brigitte (1996). Habsburkové: životopisná encyklopedie (in Czech) (1st ed.). Prague: Brána. p. 408. ISBN 80-85946-19-X.
  2. ^ Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. p. 1.

External links

Media related to Archduke Maximilian Franz of Austria at Wikimedia Commons

Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria
Born: 8 December 1756 in Vienna Died: 26 July 1801 in Hetzendorf
Catholic Church titles
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Maximilian Friedrich von Königsegg-Rothenfels
Archbishop-Elector of Cologne
Duke of Westphalia
Prince-Bishop of Münster

Succeeded by
Archduke Anton Victor of Austria
Preceded by
Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine
Grand Master of the Teutonic Order
Succeeded by
Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen
1790 Imperial election

The imperial election of 1790 was an imperial election held to select the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. It took place in Frankfurt on September 30.

1792 Imperial election

The imperial election of 1792 was an imperial election held to select the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. It took place in Frankfurt on July 5.

Archduke Maximilian

Archduke Maximilian may refer to:

Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (1459–1519)

Archduke Maximilian Ernest of Austria (1583–1616)

Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria (1756–1801)

Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico (1832–1867)

Archduke Maximilian of Austria-Este (1782–1863)

Archduke Maximilian of Austria (1895–1952)

Château de la Muette

The Château de la Muette (French pronunciation: ​[ʃato də la mɥɛt]) is a château located on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne in Paris, France, near the Porte de la Muette.

Three châteaux have been located on the site since a hunting lodge was transformed into the first château for Princess Marguerite de Valois, favorite daughter of King Henry II, sister of Kings Francis II, Charles IX and Henry III and the first wife of King Henry IV, in the 16th century. The first château was extended and substantially reconstructed by Louis XV. Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette lived at this second château, and the first manned flight, in a hot air balloon, set off from the château in 1783.

The old château was demolished in the 1920s to make room for substantial houses, including a new château built by Henri James de Rothschild, which is now part of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's headquarters.

Count Ferdinand Ernst Gabriel von Waldstein

Count Ferdinand Ernst Joseph Gabriel von Waldstein und Wartenberg (24 March 1762 – 26 May 1823) was a German nobleman and patron of the arts. A member of the Bohemian House of Waldstein and an early patron of Ludwig van Beethoven, his political and military roles included the office of a Geheimrat in Bonn, commander (Komtur) of the Teutonic Order, and (briefly) colonel of a light infantry regiment that he had raised.

December 8

December 8 is the 342nd day of the year (343rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 23 days remaining until the end of the year.

Franz Hilverding

Franz Anton Christoph Hilverding (1710–1768), aka Hilferding, was an Austrian choreographer and dancer. For a time Hilverding served as the director of the Imperial Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. Hilverding, simultaneously as his contemporaries Jean Baptiste de Hesse, and own assistant Gaspare Angiolini, contributed to the development of the Ballet d'Action, for which Jean Georges Noverre would get lasting credit with the publication of his Letters on Dancing and Ballets. Ballets d'action emphasized a cohesive dramatic and expressive element to performances, with costumes, plot, and movement all serving the purpose of the story. Hilverding studied in Paris from 1734 and 1736, and may have been inspired by the ballerina Marie Sallé, who was one of the first to explore this notion of cohesive dramatic ballets. He started creating dramatic ballets as court choreographer in Vienna in the 1740s, many using the stories of mythological lovers. Hilverding reworked Rameau's Le Turc Généreux (1758) from Lés Indes Galantes, which is immortalized in a print by Bernardo Bellotto entitled Le Turc Généreux. Ballet Pantomime executé à Vienne sur le théâtre de la cour, le 26 Avril 1758, in the British Museum. Invited by Czarina Elizabeth in 1758, he became court choreographer in St Petersburg. He brought his dancers with him to Russia, and did much to progress the talent of the Russian dancers. He tried to use Russian themes in his ballets, and depicted Russia as the "Defender of Virtue" in his "Virtue's Refuge." Hilverding returned to Vienna in 1764 and staged "Le Triomphe de l'Amour" which starred Marie Antoinette and her brothers Ferdinand and Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria.

Gerhard von Kügelgen

Franz Gerhard von Kügelgen (6 February 1772 – 27 March 1820) was a German painter, noted for his portraits and history paintings. He was a professor at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts and a member of both the Prussian and Russian Imperial Academies of Arts. His twin brother, Karl von Kügelgen, was also a painter of note.

Hendrik Frans de Cort

Hendrik de Cort or Hendrik Frans de Cort (1742 in Antwerp – 28 June 1810 in London) was a Flemish landscape painter and draughtsman. His international career brought him to Antwerp, Paris, England and Wales. He is mainly remembered for his topographical paintings and drawings of English castles, country houses, parks and ruins.

Il re pastore

Il re pastore (The Shepherd King) is an opera, K. 208, written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to an Italian libretto by Metastasio, edited by Giambattista Varesco. It is an opera seria. The opera was first performed on 23 April 1775 in Salzburg in the Rittersaal (knight's hall) of the Residenz-Theater in the palace of the Archbishop Count Hieronymus von Colloredo.

In 1775 the opera was commissioned for a visit by the Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria, the youngest son of Empress Maria Theresa, to Salzburg. Mozart spent six weeks working on the opera. It consists of two acts and runs for approximately 107 minutes.

Metastasio wrote the libretto in 1751, basing it on a work by Torquato Tasso called Aminta. The libretto was picked up when Mozart (just 19 at the time) and his father saw a performance of it set to music composed by Felice Giardini – Mozart's version, however was two acts rather than Giardini's three, and has a few substantial changes. Each act lasts for around an hour in performance. The Salzburg court chaplain Varesco was largely responsible for this editing of Metastasio's libretto.

It is often referred to not as an opera, but as a serenata, a type of dramatic cantata. The appearance of a quartet of lovers (Aminta and Elisa, Agenore and Tamiri) of somewhat dubious fidelity automatically puts a modern audience in mind of Così fan tutte. The principal psychological theme of the opera is, however, the demands of love against the demands of kingship, as Aminta, the shepherd-king, tussles with his conscience, and in this Il re pastore is closer in theme to Idomeneo than any other of Mozart's operas. Indeed, Idomeneo was the next completed opera that Mozart wrote after Il re pastore, after his six-year-long break from the stage. Furthermore, the theme of qualities for kingship appears in another opera, La clemenza di Tito, his last one.

Kaspar Fürstenau

Kaspar Fürstenau (26 February 1772, Münster – 11 May 1819, Oldenburg) was a German flautist and composer. He wrote about sixty compositions for his instrument among rondos, fantasias, suites and concertos. Together with his son Anton Bernhard Fürstenau he traveled extensively around Europe always with acclaimed success.

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette (; French: [maʁi ɑ̃twanɛt]; born Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna; 2 November 1755 – 16 October 1793) was the last Queen of France before the French Revolution. She was born an Archduchess of Austria and was the penultimate child and youngest daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. She became Dauphine of France in May 1770 at age 14 upon her marriage to Louis-Auguste, heir apparent to the French throne. On 10 May 1774, her husband ascended the throne as Louis XVI and she assumed the title Queen of France and Navarre, which she held until September 1791, when she became Queen of the French as the French Revolution proceeded, a title that she held until 21 September 1792.

After eight years of marriage, Marie Antoinette gave birth to Marie Thérèse, the first of her four children. A growing percentage of the population came to dislike her, accusing her of being profligate and promiscuous and of harboring sympathies for France's enemies, particularly her native Austria. The Affair of the Diamond Necklace damaged her reputation further. During the Revolution, she became known as Madame Déficit because the country's financial crisis was blamed on her lavish spending and her opposition to the social and financial reforms of Turgot and Necker.

Several events linked to Marie Antoinette during the Revolution, after the government had placed the royal family under house arrest in the Tuileries Palace in October 1789. The June 1791 attempted flight to Varennes and her role in the War of the First Coalition had disastrous effects on French popular opinion. On 10 August 1792, the attack on the Tuileries forced the royal family to take refuge at the Assembly, and they were imprisoned in the Temple Prison on 13 August. On 21 September 1792, the monarchy was abolished. Her trial began on 14 October 1793, and two days later Marie Antoinette was convicted by the Revolutionary Tribunal of high treason and executed by guillotine on the Place de la Révolution.

Maximilian of Austria

Maximilian of Austria may refer to the following members of the Habsburg dynasty:

Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (1459–1519), who obtained the Burgundian lands by marriage

Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor (1527–1576), king of Bohemia, king of Hungary, and emperor of the Holy Roman Empire

Maximilian III, Archduke of Austria (1558–1618), fourth son of Emperor Maximilian II and Maria of Spain

Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria (1756–1801), Archbishop-Elector of Cologne

Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico (1832–1867), member of the Imperial House of Habsburg-Lorraine, emperor of Mexico

Archduke Maximilian Eugen of Austria (1895–1952), son of Archduke Otto Francis of Austria

Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine

Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine (French: Charles Alexandre Emanuel de Lorraine; German: Karl Alexander von Lothringen und Bar; 12 December 1712 in Lunéville – 4 July 1780 in Tervuren) was a Lorraine-born Austrian general and soldier, field marshal of the Imperial Army, and governor of the Austrian Netherlands.

Wenzel Anton, Prince of Kaunitz-Rietberg

Wenzel Anton, Prince of Kaunitz-Rietberg (German: Wenzel Anton Reichsfürst von Kaunitz-Rietberg, Czech: Václav Antonín z Kounic a Rietbergu; 2 February 1711 – 27 June 1794) was an Austrian and Czech diplomat and statesman in the Habsburg Monarchy. A proponent of enlightened absolutism, he held the office of State Chancellor for about four decades and was responsible for the foreign policies during the reigns of Maria Theresa, Joseph II, and Leopold II. In 1764, he was elevated to the noble rank of a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire (Reichfürst).

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