Coronation of Maria Theresa in Hungary

Anton Franz Widemann Austrian

Not on view

When Maria Theresa (b. 1717; r. 1740-80) inherited the Hapsburg empire in 1740, Hungary was the first of her dominions to embrace her as its sovereign. This medal commemorates her coronation in Pressburg (now Bratislava, Slovak Republic) on 25 June 1741. Maria Theresa practiced her equestrian skills for weeks in order to enact the demanding culmination of the Hungarian coronation ceremony that is depicted on the medal’s reverse. Wearing the ancient crown and mantle of Saint Stephen, first king of Hungary, Maria Theresa mounted a black charger and rode up an earthen hill made from all the kingdom’s lands. At the summit, she raised her sword and turned her rearing steed in the four directions of the compass while vowing to defend Hungary against all enemies.

Anton Franz Widemann was Maria Theresa’s most accomplished, preferred, and prolific medalist. He remained in her service throughout her reign executing sensitive, exquisitely refined commemorative portrait medals of the empress and her large family. The Coronation of Maria Theresa in Hungary is one of Widemann’s best-known compositions.

Coronation of Maria Theresa in Hungary, Anton Franz Widemann (1724–1792), Gold, Austrian, Dux 1724-1792 Vienna

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