Leopold Wilhelm, Erzherzog
Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, engraving
Leopold Wilhelm, b. Wiener Neustadt (Lower Austria), Jan. 6, 1614, d. Vienna, Nov. 20, 1662, Archduke, Bishop of Olmütz (Olomouc), Halberstadt, Passau, Strasbourg, and Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, 2nd son of Emperor Ferdinand II. In 1639 was given supreme command of the Imperial army (Thirty Years´ War), drove the Swedish out of Bohemia in 1640, and in 1645 out of Franconia. During his time as governor of the Spanish Netherlands (1646-1656) made peace with the United Provinces and fought against France with varying degrees of success. Was a great collector of paintings and supported by the Flemish painter D. Teniers the Younger collected around 1,400 paintings (mainly property belonging to the British crown and aristocracy sold at auctions in Brussels during the time of Cromwell) as well as sculptures, bronzes and tapestries he had brought to Vienna in 1656, which he bequeathed to Emperor Leopold I. These collection pieces still constitute the basis collection of the Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum (Main works of 16th and 17th century Venetian masters, Dutch School).
Literature: R. Schreiber, Erzherzog L. W. Kirche, Krieg und Kunst, master´s thesis, Vienna 1998; NDB.
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