Franz Ignaz von Holbein

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Franz Ignaz von Holbein, lithograph by Josef Kriehuber , 1849

Franz Ignaz von Holbein (born August 27, 1779 in Zistersdorf , Lower Austria , † September 5, 1855 in Vienna ) was an Austrian playwright and theater director .


Franz Ignaz von Holbein (Edler von Holbeinsberg) was supposed to devote himself to civil service, but followed his adventurous spirit and, earning his living by singing and playing guitar, went around the world under the name "Fontano".

In Fraustadt he took on engagements at Döbbelins Theatergesellschaft, later at the Court Theater in Berlin , then became the husband of Countess Lichtenau and took up residence in Breslau , where he composed the play Fridolin based on Schiller's Der Gang nach dem Eisenhammer .

After divorcing after five years of marriage, he moved around with a guitar he had improved until Count Ferdinand Pálffy appointed him as a theater poet at the Theater an der Wien , where in August 1808 he also became the court theater director with a salary of 1,000 guilders. He also made guest appearances in Regensburg , Stuttgart and Nuremberg , where he received a letter from the Bamberg doctor Adalbert Friedrich Marcus , with the request to make a guest appearance in Bamberg and to take over the management of the theater there. The Bamberg guest performance took place from April 1st to 24th, 1810, in autumn Holbein actually took over the management of the theater there and made ETA Hoffmann the post of music director. The opera singer Elisabeth Röckel also belonged to his ensemble at the beginning . In Bamberg he wrote his acclaimed tournament at Kronstein and, after having also directed the Würzburg Theater from 1812 to 1813 at the same time as the Bamberg, went to Hanover in 1816 as a director . From there he moved to Prague as director in 1819 and again to the Hoftheater in Hanover in 1824, where he remained director for 16 years.

Appointed to the Hofburgtheater in Vienna in the same position in 1841 , he stayed here until the end of 1849, at which time Laube entered; In 1853 he gave up the management of the court opera theater .


Franz Ignaz von Holbein was married three times. In 1802 he married in Breslau the Countess Lichtenau , was again separated from the 1806th His second marriage was in Prague in 1820 with the actress Marie Johanna Renner (1775-1824), with whom he had the daughter Marie von Holbein , who also became an actress. He married his third wife in 1827: Johanna Göhring, who became known by her husband's name as Johanna von Holbein . From this marriage came three sons, all three of whom were officers in the k. k. Austrian army, including Franz von Holbein-Holbeinsberg .


Holbein wrote a large number of pieces which, by virtue of their practical design, achieved temporary success with no intrinsic value. Collected they appeared as

  • Theater (Rudolstadt 1811, 2 vols.),
  • Newest theater (Pest 1822–23) and
  • Amateur stage (Vienna 1826).

The story of his life and endeavors contains the first and only part of his German stage design (Vienna 1853).


In 1898 the Holbeingasse in Vienna- Favoriten was named after him. You can also find Holbeingasse in Zistersdorf, next to his birthplace (demolished around 1904 to build the new town hall in the same place). There is still a memorial plaque at this point today


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. New General Intelligence Journal for Literature and Art , Leipzig, No. 35 of August 20, 1808, Col. 553 (digitized version)
  2. Bamberg State Library, Theater Journal 1802–1814, fol. 14r – 14v (digitized version )  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  3. ^ Ludwig Eisenberg : Large biographical lexicon of the German stage in the XIX. Century . Verlag von Paul List , Leipzig 1903, p. 445 ff., ( Textarchiv - Internet Archive ) (there as Franz von Holbeinsberg-Holbein )