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Artist:     Joseph Binder (Austrian, 1805 - 1863)
Title:     From the estate of the Austrian Impress Maria Anna: The legend of St. Florian, the martyr
Item ID   6570
Price:     7000.00 €


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This mythological painting was executed in 1847 by important Austrian historical painter Joseph Binder (1805 Vienna - 1865 Kaltenleutgeben, Lowner Austria).

One of previous owner of this painting was Maria Anna, princess of Savoy and  Empress of Austria (1803 Rome - 1884 Praque), the wife of Austrian Emperor Ferdinand I (1793 Vienna - 1875 Praque) ( see labels and stamp on the backside of the stretcher).

This painting including this Royal provenance was described in the important German  monography  by Friedrich von Boetticher "List of paintings of 19th century”, Leipzig, 1894 , p. 94, under Nr. 10 with original German tile . Here is English translation: 

”The body of St. Florian, carried to the shore by the waves of the Enns, is guarded by an eagle, while St. Valeriana and her companions ship in to bury him. Completed for Salzburg in 1847”.  Last sentence means : Imperial

residence in Salzburg. 

The author of this important painting is Joseph Binder ( 1805 Vienna - 1863 Kaltenleutbaren, Lower Austria).
 He studied at the Vienna Academy (student of Führich) and in Munich from 1827 to 1834. After working as a teacher 
at the Städel Institute in Frankfurt am Main (1835-1839), Binder returned to Vienna (1847), where he worked as a portrait and genre painter.
In 1848 he became a member of the Academy of Fine Arts and received the Reichel Prize in the same year, in 1851 he was appointed as a teacher
at the Academy's elementary drawing and modeling school, and in 1861 he became a member of the Künstlerhaus. According to the iconographic concept
designed by Führich, Binder worked with others on the painting of the Altlerchenfelder Church (he designed the "Creation Story" in the vestibule
based on his own composition).

Legend of St.Florian (from Wikipedia): St. Florian, the
martyr ( born probably in today Zeiselmauer near Tulln in Austria,
died 304 in Lauriacum, today Lorch, district of Enns in Austria).

Florian was head of the office of the governor of the Roman province Ufer-Noricum, Aquilinus. After his retirement - possibly because Florian had become a Christian - he lived in Aelium Cetium - today's St. Pölten. During the persecution of Christians under Emperor Diocletian, governor Aquilinus came to Lauriacum to investigate the Christians.

40 Christians were seized and imprisoned after much torture. Florian found out about this and rushed to Lauriacum to help them. In Lauriacum he was caught by his former military comrades and arrested because he professed to be a Christian and brought before the governor Aquilinus. Because he refused to renounce the Christian faith, he was beaten with clubs and his shoulder blades were broken with sharpened irons. Eventually he was sentenced to death. He should be burned alive. At the torture stake he said that if they burned him, he would rise on the flames to heaven. The soldiers were now afraid to burn him, and on May 4, 304 he was thrown from a bridge into the Enns with a stone around his neck (which later became a millstone). Before his execution, Florian prayed for an hour, so that the soldiers were awestruck and afraid to carry out the death sentence. An angry young man eventually pushed him off the bridge and into the river. The Saint Florian Monastery was later built over his grave.

Eight years after the execution, freedom of religion was guaranteed under Emperor Constantine

Provenance: Austrian noble estate; previous owner - Austrian Royal House, Estate of Empress Maria Anna (1803-1884l), wife oImperor Ferdinand I. 

Literature: all in German: Friedrich von Boetticher “Malerliste des 19.Jahrhunderts”, Leipzig, 1892, Page 94, No. 10; Prof. H.Fuchs " Die Österreichischen Maler", Vienna, 1975; on-line Wikipedia. 

Inscription: signed and dated 1847, middle right, on the back of the stretcher:antique labels : with the title in German "Heiliger Florian”; antique label with old provenance: ”Kaiserin Maria Anna” (Empress Maria Anna ) and inventory number; antique stamp of the Austrian Royal house  with crown and inventory number. 

Technique: oil on canvas. Original period gold-plated frame.

Measurements: unframed w 27 1/8" x h 20 1/2" (69 x 52 cm); framed w 38 1/4" x h 31 1/8" (97 x 79 cm)

Condition: in very good condition.

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