Husslein-Arco, Agnes

Prince Eugene (1663–1736) was one of the most esteemed and powerful military commanders of the Austrian dynasty, and a crucial tower of support to its Empire in Europe. As an ardent patron of the arts, the sciences and philosophy, with the means to feed his passion, Eugene left a large imprint on the world of science and the arts. This extensive volume examines the life and legacy of Prince Eugene. An Italian by descent, a Parisian Frenchman by birth, Prince Eugene Francis of Savoy-Carignan-Soisson (1663–1736) became, after his meteoric rise and glorious career as a military commander, 'the greatest and best Austrian ever to have served the noble imperial house'. The book-exhibition on the prince and his legacy does not just follow his heroic deeds as a commander and diplomat in the Europe of continued Turkish incursion, and the Wars of the Spanish and Polish Successions, but also - and in particular - looks at a collector and patron of the arts. Even Voltaire praised the scrawny general: »He shook the grandeur of Louis XIV and the power of the Ottomans; he ruled the Empire, and in the course of his victories and in his administration of the state he despised pomp and wealth in equal measure.« In the course of the five decades spent travelling throughout Europe as a commander, statesman and diplomat, Eugene accumulated a vast collection of paintings, etchings, prints, illuminated manuscripts and books. He also maintained correspondendes with contemporary artists, philosophers and builders. The book presents exponents of his collection, and gives insight, among other things, into the people he knew, the buildings he built and the wars he waged.

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