At this time he became a much celebrated artist amongst aristocracy and Nobility, and travelled throughout Europe painting Nobility and Royals. He quickly came to the attention of Maria Theresa and became her favourite artist.
She appointed him the Official Portraitist for the Imperial family in 1732. (with 14 surviving children, that was a virtual full time undertaking!)
Martin van Meytens self portrait
Artist Martin van Meytens was born in Stockholm Sweden on June 24th 1695, he died on March 23rd 1770 at the grand age of 74.
His father was artist Martin van Meytens the Elder, a Dutch artist born in the Hague but who moved to Stockholm.
Martin van Meytens was sent by his father on a European Study, akin to the Grand Tours of the period when journeys around Europe and especially Italy would take several years. His journey took him to London, Vienna and Paris, before going on to Italy where he spent a number of years also working, in Turin and Rome.
This grounding would have given the Stockholm native a vast spectrum of art in the 18th century as well as experiencing the countless creations in Europe over the past 400 years.
He started by painting miniature enamel portraits, a hugely difficult undertaking even with modern day equipment.
It would not be until 1731 that he moved to painting in oils after he became resident in Vienna, where portraits were for demonstrating social standing, not for private miniatures.
Martin van Meytens was not only an artist of talent but a businessman.
He started his own manufacturing company for producing very specialised pigments and minerals needed by demanding artists, and also owned artist orientated studios.
Clearly he looked to make money, but also was looking to help meet the needs of upcoming artists.
He would become one of the most highly regarded artists of Austria.
Unlike most artists, he was personally liked by his students and followers for his open manner and wide spread interests without any arrogance. Even his contemporaries appreciated his art and indeed his personal manner.
In 1759 he was appointed Director of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.
His works can be seen in galleries and museums in:
Martin van Meytens covered the major occasions of Maria Theresa, Austria and the Habsburgs almost as the general media would in the 20th century or social media in the 21st.
Francis Stephen I with Maria Theresa and children.1764
Holy Roman Emperor Francis Stephen I 1745
Holy Roman Emperor Francis Stephen I
Archduchess_Maria_Josepha and Archduke Ferdinand with Archduchess_Maria_Amalia 1763
Empress Maria Theresa with Archduke Joseph, Princess Isabella of Parma and Archduchess Maria Christina. 1763
Maria Theresa with family. 1758
Maria Theresa and family. 1756
Order of St Stephen investiture ceremony
Order of St Stephen Investiture Ceremony
Court banquet at the Redoutensaal celebrating the marriage of Joseph II
These paintings are only a few of the creations by Martin van Meytens as the favourite artist of Maria Theresa. He would of course be painting for others across Europe, creating an impressive number of artworks.
Archduchess Maria Carolina of Austria
Entry of the Bride. (Marriage of Joseph II to Isabella of Parma) 1760
Painting 1 from a series of 5
The Wedding Supper. 1760
Princess Isabella of Parma and Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor
Franz I Stephan -
Maria Amalia of Habsburg Lorraina Parma
Marie Antoinette in 1767
Emperor Francis I and children
Johanna Gabriele of Habsburg Lorraine
Holy Roman Empress Maria Josepha of Bavaria
The Coronation Procession of Joseph II
The Coronation Banquet of Joseph II
Maria Theresa. 1742