Brukenthal National Museum
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SIBIU/HERMANNSTADT, ROMANIA
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. Samuel von Brukenthal
. History of Brukenthal Museum
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. 195 years of history,
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Baroque and Enlightenment
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SAMUEL VON BRUKENTHAL

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Baron Samuel von Brukenthal (1721-1803) was the only representative of the Transylvanian Saxon community who acceded to high public office in the Austrian Empire under the Empress Maria Theresia (1717 – 1780), the first such office being that of Chancellor of Transylvania.
The years spent in Vienna, in this capacity, were the years when the Baron started acquiring his collection of paintings, mentioned in Almanach de Vienne (1773) as being one of the most valuable private collections and generally admired by the cultivated Vienna public of the time.
Baron’s initial collections (comprising the collection of paintings, a collection of prints, a library and a coin collection) were mostly put together in the period between 1759 and 1774. We have scant information as to how they came into being, the earliest records in the Brukenthal family being the archive concerning acquisition of paintings dating from 1770 (by which time the core of the collection of paintings must have been acquired).
Appointed Governor of the Principality of Transylvania, a position that he occupied between 1777 and 1787, Samuel von Brukenthal built a Late Baroque palace in Sibiu, modelled on the palaces in the imperial capital.

 
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