Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt

Palais Kinsky, commissioned by Wirich Philipp von Daun, is one of Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt’s most important works. A domed vestibule adjoins a grand staircase – attributed to theater architect Antonio Beduzzi – whose ceiling contains a fresco by Marcantonio Chiarini and illusionist architecture by Gaetano Fanti. The fresco de­picts genii presenting vict­ory’s laurels to war heroes as they enter the realm of immortality – an apotheosis of the client, to whom the stone trophies of war embellishing the facade are dedicated. The ceiling fresco in the oval main salon is the work of Carlo Carlone.

In 1746, Wirich’s son Leopold sold the palace to Johann Joseph von Khevenhüller, who passed it on to Ferdinand Bonaventura Harrach in 1764. During Maria Theresa’s reign, the Swiss Guards lived here. The Kinsky family came into the picture through a mar­riage to Harrach’s daughter Rosa. In the 1930s it belonged to Ulrich Ferdinand Kinsky, a race car driver and amateur pilot. After the war the palace hosted the British officers’ club; later it became the seat of the Chinese and Argentinian embassies. The palace remained in the possession of the Kinsky family until 1986; in 1996 the Karl Wlaschek Privatstiftung had the building restored and modernised.