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Oeding, who lived a hundred years later, took the image from a portrait of Piccolomini in Joachim von Sandrart’s famous painting of the peace banquet of 1649, where the prince is shown in the foreground as the highest ranking person present.
Prince Piccolomini is seen as one of the best examples for the rise of a commanding officer during the Thirty Years’ War. He was one of the few who took part in it from beginning to end, soon playing an eminent role.
On October 24th, 1648, the Thirty Years' War had ended with the Treaties of Münster and Osnabrück, concluded between the German Empire, France and Sweden. This "Peace of Westphalia" had far-reaching consequences both for the German Empire, and for the balance of power in Europe. A few months later, various unresolved issues and many details of the implementation of the Westphalian peace treaty were negotiated during a major diplomatic congress held in Nuremberg 1649/1650. Representatives of the German Emperor, of Sweden and France, as well as of numerous German territories discussed the demobilisation and withdrawal of troops from the war zones. Piccolomini was the Emperor’s envoy at this "Nuremberg Implementation Congress".
After months of negotiations, in September 1649, first results had been achieved, and "interim provisions" were signed. On this occasion, Count Palatinate Karl Gustav of Zweibrücken, the representative of Sweden, later to become Swedish King himself, hosted a banquet on September 25th, 1649, a feast which went down in history as the "Nuremberg Peace Banquet". Representatives of all negotiating parties gathered for a sumptuous banquet in the beautifully decorated Nuremberg City Hall in order to demonstrate unity and newly forged friendships. This symbolic event with its message of peace was intended as a sign of hope for a better period in German and European history.
The event was commemorated in a monumental painting by Joachim von Sandrart (1650; today at the Fembohaus Museum in Nuremberg), which in turn was reproduced in a number of prints. Oeding would have known this huge painting (measuring 290 × 445 cm). A print by Wolfgang Kilian after the painting gives us the names of all 150 participants in the banquet. As the most important person present Piccolomini is listed as no. 1.
Philipp Wilhelm Oeding (1697-1781) entered the Nuremberg Academy of Painting in 1721 as a pupil of Johann Daniel Preissler. He married into the family of Preissler, who were prominent as painters in the town over several generations, and remained in Nuremberg until 1741, when he received a call to become court painter to the King of Denmark. The miniature under discussion was painted during his Nuremberg time. Oeding is known as a painter in oils. Hardly any enamels by him seem to have survived; however, the present portrait proves him to be highly accomplished in that technique.
|Height||64.00 mm||(2.52 inches)|