The Schloss Hof, Garden Side (1759-60)
One of the hallmarks of absolutist rule in the Baroque era was the construction or refurbishment of elaborate summer residences. One such palace was Schloss Hof in Lower Austria, about 30 km (20 miles) east of Vienna. In the 1720s, Prince Eugene of Savoy, the victorious Austrian general in the Turkish wars, hired the famous Baroque architect Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt (1668-1745) to design Schloss Hof as a country seat and hunting retreat. (Not only had Hildebrandt already completed other building commissions for Eugene, including the Belvedere palace in Vienna, he had also served under him as a volunteer engineer in three military campaigns in Piedmont in 1695-96.) This painting shows the palace in 1759-60, approximately five years after it was purchased by Empress Maria Theresa. Oil on canvas by Bernardo Bellotto (1720-80), 1759-60.