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18th Century Meeting of Joseph II and Pius VI Austria
Historical antique, 18th century hand colored engraving printed on paper
unsigned , Meeting of king Joseph II and pope Pius VI
overall 19 1/2 x 21 3/4in (49.5 x 55cm)
Joseph II was Holy Roman Emperor from August 1765 and sole ruler of the Habsburg lands from November 1780 until his death. He was the eldest son of Empress Maria Theresa and her husband, Emperor Francis I, and the brother of Marie Antoinette
Pope Pius VI, born Count Giovanni Angelo Braschi, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 15 February 1775 to his death in 1799. Pius VI condemned the French Revolution and the suppression of the Gallican Church that resulted from it.
Soon after his accession he took steps to root out the Gallican idea of papal supremacy which had been spread in Germany by Hontheim (see FEBRONIANISM. Joseph II forbade the Austrian bishops to apply to Rome for faculties of any kind, and suppressed innumerable monasteries. Pius VI resolved to go to Vienna; he left Rome on 27 Feb., 1782, and arrived in Vienna on 22 March. The emperor received him respectfully, though the minister, Kaunitz, neglected even the ordinary rules of etiquette. The pope remained at Vienna until 22 April, 1782. All that he obtained from the emperor was the promise that his ecclesiastical reforms would not contain any violation of Catholic dogmas, or compromise the dignity of the pope. The emperor accompanied the pope on his return as far as the Monastery of Mariabrunn, and suppressed this monastery a few hours after the pope had left it. Scarcely had the pope reached Rome when he again saw himself compelled to protest against the emperor's unjustifiable confiscation of ecclesiastical property. But when Joseph II filled the vacant See of Milan of his own authority, Pius solemnly protested, and it was probably at this occasion that he threatened the emperor with excommunication. On 23 Dec., 1783, the emperor unexpectedly came to Rome to return the papal visit. He was determined to continue his ecclesiastical reforms, and made known to the Spanish diplomat, Azara, his project of separating the German Church entirely from Rome. The latter, however, dissuaded him from taking this fatal step. To avoid worse things, the pope granted him the right of nominating the bishops in the Duchies of Milan and Mantua, in a concordat dated 20 Jan., 1784
Circa: Mid 18th century
Condition: In great condition
Color: Brown, beige, yellow, white
Country of Origin: AT
Manufacturer: Austrian School