Principal ballet of the century: Oscar Schlemmer and the Bauhaus theatre
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Abakumov Mikhail Georgievich
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Impressionism and Spain, or what happened in Spanish art after Goya and before Picasso
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“Bavarian rose” – Empress Sissi. Ceremonial portraits, drama, life (part 3)

As the years passed, the children grew. Relations with Franz Joseph eventually finally upset: for 14 years, the Emperor had an affair with the wife of a railway employee Anna Nagowski. There is speculation that he fathered two of her children. And his love affair with a “heart friend” actress Katharine of SRTT never disappeared and continued until the last days. It was said that sissy was not jealous of her husband — on the contrary, she introduced him to Katharine to compensate for her constant absence. She was even called the ” uncrowned Empress.”

Anna Nagowski at the age of about 22 years.
Unknown artist. Katarina Schratt, mistress of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph, 1880 Hermesvilla Collection, Vienna.

The Bertalan Székely DSC. Portrait of Empress Elizabeth of Austria, 1869

In addition to her love of travel, sissy had another passion — the desire to keep her beautiful appearance — face and figure — as long as possible in perfect condition. “Auntie worships her beauty like a pagan idol. The contemplation of the perfection of his body brings her a sense of ineffable satisfaction,” wrote the niece of the Empress, the Countess Larish. Over the years, the cult of her own beauty, which she maintained and protected with all her might, turned into a phobia: sissy was afraid of old age and decay. Perhaps because of the delicacy of the Empress was candied petals of violets.

“To grow old… what despair… to Feel how merciless time takes more and more power over you, to see how there are more and more wrinkles… to be Afraid of daylight in the morning and to know that you are no longer desirable…” — Elizabeth complained.

Wilhelm Richter.
Emperor Franz Joseph I and Empress Elizabeth with a hunting party, 1876

Her youthful passion for equestrian sports was replaced by an obsession with physical exercise, which she literally exhausted herself every day. In addition, the Empress slept on a hard cushion instead of a pillow, and her hips at night wrapped in handkerchiefs soaked in a means of violet and Apple cider vinegar. In order to preserve the aspen waist, which was envied by all her European “colleagues”, sissy observed a special diet.

Georg Martin Ignaz Raab. Empress Elizabeth with ruby ornaments and fan, 1879
To not give eternity its losing attractiveness image, after 35 years she has become avoid photographers, and its permanent satellites were the fan, veil and umbrella. But they only emphasized the symbolic wall she had built between herself and the outside world all her life.

It is believed that few photos of the later period — corrected early. The rest of the surviving images are taken from afar and, as a rule, of poor quality. Since her self-esteem and inner state depended largely on her appearance, the mood swings and depressions to which she had inherited from her father became more frequent. It is known that in the late nineteenth century properties of cocaine were recognized psihotehnologii, and many members of the aristocracy used it against spleen (intravenously). Elizabeth was no exception.

In 1889, the son of sissy and Franz Joseph Rudolf was found dead in Mayerling castle: according to the official version, the heir to the throne committed suicide, after killing his 17-year-old mistress-Baroness Maria Veche.

Profile of Maria Evening, drawing Em. Behera 1889. Archive of the Austrian national library, Vienna
Baroness Maria Evenings, the second half of the XIX century. Vienna furniture Museum

Charles Atamian.
Archduke Rudolf, crown Prince of Austria, kills himself and his mistress Baroness Maria Evenings in his hunting Lodge in 1889.
One thousand nine hundred six

“It was my Bavarian-Palatinate blood that killed him,” sissy is said to have said, suggesting that there is a definite link between Rudolf’s suicide and the frequent mental illness of her Bavarian relatives.

According to another version, the crown Prince was the victim of a political assassination in order to deprive the throne of the direct heir. In any case, the goal was achieved: the new heir to the throne was the nephew of the Emperor Franz Ferdinand, whose murder in 1914 in Sarajevo was the formal reason for the outbreak of the First world war.

On June 28, 1914, in Sarajevo, the Serbian schoolboy Gavrila Princip fatally wounded the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife, Duchess Sofia Hohenberg.

But sissy did not know about it: the one who has always been far from politics, was the victim of an Italian anarchist. In 1898, Luigi Luceni killed her while walking with his only companion, stabbing her with a sharpener. They caught him and put him away, but it didn’t bring sissy back to life.

Joseph Christian Leyendecker. The anarchist assassination of the Empress Elizabeth in 1898
Smiling and proud anarchist Luigi Lukeni after the first interrogation about the murder, returns to prison

In the Austrian film sissy, the role of Elizabeth was played by Romy Schneider. One thousand nine hundred fifty five
Philip Alix De Laszlo. Empress Elizabeth of Austria, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia (posthumous portrait)
Philip Alix De Laszlo.
Posthumous portrait of sissy, 1899

Benczur Gyula. Empress Elizabeth Of Austria, 1899

Anton Romako. Empress Elizabeth, 1883

Peter Raut. The Empress Elizabeth, 1896

Empress Elizabeth Of Austria, Sissy

Leopold Horowitz. Portrait of Empress Elizabeth. One thousand eight hundred ninety nine

Franz Seraph Hanfstaengl (after Ludwig Adam Kunz). Portrait of the Empress framed by a bouquet of flowers, circa 1900 Blue pencil, heliography 60 x 48 cm

The statue of Sissi in Madeira, Portugal
In the Austrian film sissy, the role of Elizabeth was played by Romy Schneider. One thousand nine hundred fifty five
Philip Alix De Laszlo. Empress Elizabeth of Austria, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia (posthumous portrait)
Philip Alix De Laszlo.
Posthumous portrait of sissy, 1899
“There is nothing left for me in this world,” Franz Joseph wrote in a letter. Perhaps, in that moment, he understood more than ever the meaning of the phrase that Elizabeth often repeated: “the World is beautiful if you avoid people…” in her case, these words became prophetic.

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