Franz Joseph Maximilian von Lobkowitz

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Franz Joseph Maximilian von Lobkowitz on an oil painting by August Friedrich Oelenhainz

Prince Franz Joseph Maximilian von Lobkowitz (born December 7, 1772 in Raudnitz an der Elbe / Roudnice nad Labem, †  December 15, 1816 in Wittingau / Třeboň) was a Bohemian - Austrian major general , art lover and patron .


In addition to military achievements, he stood out above all for his pronounced patronage in the fields of art, literature and music. Even musically inclined and a good violinist, he particularly endeavored to promote poor composers and a broad reception of their works. He commissioned Joseph Haydn , among others, and had Ludwig van Beethoven's works performed in public concerts, the proceeds of which went to the artist. On his country estates in Roudnice nad Labem (Raudnitz) and Eisenberg, as well as in his Viennese palace , Lobkowitz had his own orchestras, in which he also took part. As a co-founder of the Society of Friends of Music in Vienna and the Society for the Promotion of Music Culture in Bohemia, as well as a member of the Vienna Theater-Entrepreneurship Society, he also promoted access of bourgeois circles to music, literature and art. Lobkowitz's generous patronage brought him financial difficulties in the last years of his life.

In 1792 he married Princess Maria Karoline von Schwarzenberg (1775–1816), daughter of Johann I von Schwarzenberg . The marriage had twelve children.

In 1804 he had Beethoven's Eroica performed for the first time by his court orchestra in his Raudnitz Castle on the Elbe .

In 1809 he was made a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece .

On January 24, 1816, Lobkowitz's beloved wife Maria Karoline, initiator (1810) and head (1811) of the philanthropic society of noble women for the promotion of the good and useful, died in Prague . In the days that followed, the prince was “in a terrible state, as if destroyed”. Several researchers suspect that Beethoven composed his song circle An die ferne Geliebte op. 98, which according to the autograph was written in April 1816 and was dedicated to Lobkowitz, directly on behalf of the prince, who wanted to use it to erect a memorial to his deceased wife. In 2011 Birgit Lodes proved for the first time that both the text and the title page of the first edition actually point to a woman in the “afterlife”.

Lobkowitz only survived his wife by less than a year.

Dedications by Haydn

Joseph Haydn dedicated his two string quartets op.77 Hob.III: 81 and III: 82 to Prince Lobkowitz in 1799.

Beethoven's dedications

No other composer dedicated such a large number of outstanding works to Lobkowitz as Beethoven. The following are to be mentioned:


Web links

Commons : Franz Joseph Maximilian von Lobkowitz  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Die ZEIT of July 5, 2012, p. 18
  2. ^ Entry Schwarzenberg, Maria Karoline in Austrian Biographical Lexicon
  3. Beethoven in the Diaries of Johann Nepomuk Chotek , ed. by Rita Steblin , Bonn 2013, p. 221
  4. Birgit Lodes: On the musical accuracy of fit of Beethoven's compositions with dedications to aristocrats. “To the distant beloved” op. 98 in a new interpretation , in: Dedications by Haydn and Beethoven. People - strategies - practices. Report on the international scientific congress in Bonn, September 29 to October 1, 2011 , ed. by Bernhard R. Appel , Bonn 2015, pp. 171–202