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Work: 55,5 x 36 cm
Frame: 71 x 51,5 cm
The monogrammed (left bottom corner) work bears also the inscription 'Vivat Carolus Archidux Austriae Liberator Germaniae Vivat 1796', most probably referring to the success of archduke Charles Louis John Joseph Laurentius of Austria in the war against the French army, as at the end of the 18th C. he was considered as one of the best generals in Europe.
Archduke Charles Louis John Joseph Laurentius of Austria, Duke of Teschen (5 September 1771 – 30 April 1847) was an Austrian field marshal, the third son of Emperor Leopold II and his wife, Maria Luisa of Spain. He was also the younger brother of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor. Despite being epileptic, Charles achieved respect both as a commander and as a reformer of the Austrian army. He was considered one of Napoleon's more formidable opponents and one of the greatest generals of the French Revolutionary Wars. He began his career fighting the revolutionary armies of France. Early in the wars of the First Coalition, he saw victory at Neerwinden in 1793, before being defeated at Wattignies 1793 and Fleurus 1794. In 1796, as chief of all Austrian forces on the Rhine, Charles defeated Jean-Baptiste Jourdan at Amberg, Würzburg and Limburg, and then won victories at Wetzlar, Emmendingen and Schliengen that forced Jean Victor Marie Moreau to withdraw across the Rhine. He also defeated opponents at Zürich, Ostrach, Stockach, and Mannheim in 1799. He reformed Austria's armies to adopt the nation-at-arms principle. In 1809, he entered the War of the Fifth Coalition and inflicted Napoleon's first major setback at Aspern-Essling, before suffering a defeat at the bloody Battle of Wagram. After Wagram, Charles saw no more significant action in the Napoleonic Wars. As a military strategist, Charles was able to successfully execute complex and risky maneuvers of troops. However, his contemporary Carl von Clausewitz criticized his rigidity and adherence to 'geographic' strategy. Austrians nevertheless remember Charles as a hero of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. (link)
The way in which the portrait is built up - a seated man in a window opening - is a clear nod to the oeuvre of Gerrit Dou (1613-1675).