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Glimpses into the Princely Collections
In March 1769 Emperor Joseph II undertook an unofficial visit to Rome together with his brother Leopold, Grand Duke of Tuscany. During this visit, Batoni's workshop produced a double portrait, for which the two aristocrats posed for the painter. Because of its representative character, this is not so much a memento of a grand tour, but rather an official portrait of rulers. The portrait shows the brothers shaking hands, wearing the simple uniforms of their regiments without the insignia of power. They are standing on a terrace, with Castel Sant'Angelo and St. Peter's Basilica visible in the distance behind Joseph's II shoulder. The Emperor is supporting himself by leaning his left arm on a statue of the goddess Roma. In the foreground, an unfurled map of the City of Rome hangs over the edge of a writing desk, indicating that the two are strangers to the city. The workshop copy of the portrait probably came to the Princely Collections as a gift of the Imperial Family to their advisor Prince Joseph Wenzel I of Liechtenstein.