Alexandre Evariste Fragonard
Maria Theresa Presenting Her Son to the Hungarians
Salon of 1822 - oil on canvas
Louvre Museum – on loan to Villa Musée Fragonard
Inv. D 1974.1.4
Freed from the influence of his master, Alexandre Evariste Fragonard became under the Empire one of the young artists most appreciated by those in power, particularly since he was able to take charge of any type of order. He was also an architect, sculptor and decorator. He served both Napoleon and Louis-Philippe.
This painting illustrates a historical event. In 1742, Maria Theresa (1717-1780), Empress of Austria and queen of Hungary, called together the Hungarian governmental bodies at Presbourg and presented her son, the future Joseph II, to them. She asked for their help in the struggle which opposed her to the Elector of Bavaria, usurper of the imperial title.
Maria Theresa also had ten daughters, one of whom became Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France.