Christian Standhartinger

Porträt von Christian Standhartinger


Christian Standhartinger holds a master’s degree in History and Romance Studies (Spanish Philology and Literature) from the University of Vienna. He spent one semester abroad at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid as an Erasmus student. Since 2017, he has been a scientific assistant in a project centered around the editing and publication of letters of empress Maria Anna (1606-1646), directed by Katrin Keller and Andrea Sommer-Mathis. In 2020, he worked as an administrative trainee at the Austrian State Archives (Allgemeines Verwaltungsarchiv, Finanz- und Hofkammerarchiv). He is associated member of the research project „The Interpretation of Childbirth in Early Modern Spain“ (FWF P 32263-G30), directed by Wolfram Aichinger at the Institute of Romance Studies at the University of Vienna. Since January 2021, he is a PhD candidate and a member of the research project „Der Wiener Hof um 1800. Eliten, Herrschaft und Repräsentation (1790-1835)“ (FWF P 33221) at the IHB.

Research interests: history of the imperial court in Vienna, letter correspondences and ego-documents of the nobility, cultural history of pregnancy and childbirth, emotional history

Current research project: The Viennese Court at 1800. Elites, Government and Representation (1790-1835) (FWF P 33221): Today's appearance of Vienna and a considerable part of its tourist attractions are characterized by buildings, gardens and collections, which in their origin are connected with the courtly society of the 19th century. In contrast to the Viennese court of the Baroque and during the government of Maria Theresa, however, little is known about the imperial Austrian court, especially of the first half of the 19th century. Did it function according to the same rules as 100 years earlier? Were the same families from the same lands of the monarchy present? Did the Habsburgs of the time, above all Emperor Franz II/I and Emperor Ferdinand I, use the same ceremonies for representation, did they have the same audience in mind as Emperor Charles VI three generations earlier? And above all, what role did the ruler and his court play within the Habsburg monarchy in times of social and economic change? In view of the fact that Europe as a whole was dominated by monarchies until 1918, one may assume that the ruler and the court were certainly more than relics of a brilliant past, that they had an important function in the slowly changing political system of the so-called Bürgerliches Zeitalter.

The project aims to investigate these and similar questions for the first time for the court in Vienna, focusing on the turbulent Napoleonic period and the years up to 1835. The French Revolution had fundamentally challenged princely rule, but unlike many princely contemporaries, the Habsburgs’ rule had never really been threatened. What changed, nevertheless, in their support among the noble elites of the individual Habsburg lands during this period? We hope to contribute to answering this question by compiling as comprehensive an index as possible of all the office-holders of the Viennese Court up to 1835. This will be made freely available to all interested researchers as part of a larger database on the Viennese court personnel.

Traditionally, the relationship between the ruler, the dynasty and the people was represented in a festive form during homage ceremonies for the inauguration of the reign and imperial weddings. Here, the question arises whether in the period after the Congress of Vienna, in a time when railroads were built and factories were founded, new forms of mutual assurance of support and loyalty were arising. These and similar questions will be investigated in the project in order to draw a more precise picture of the Viennese Court between the French Revolution and the Biedermeier era.



  • Embarazo y nacimiento en las cartas de Mariana de Austria, Avisos de Viena (Viennese Siglo de Oro Journal) 3, 2022, pp. 105-108.
  • Das Italienische Departement der k. k. geheimen Hof- und Staatskanzlei und seine Vorläuferinstitutionen: Neuordnung und Verzeichnungsarbeit des Bestandes im Finanz- und Hofkammerarchiv, Scrinium (Zeitschrift des Verbandes Österreichischer Archivarinnen und Archivare) 75, 2021, pp. 56-64.
  • With Wolfram Aichinger: Midwife Diplomacy. The Recruitment of a Midwife for Empress Margarita María Teresa de Austria (1666-1673), Memoria y Civilización 23, 2020, pp. 1-20.