Location: Historic Hall of the Castle
The painting depicts one of the most important social events in the life of Miramare’s court: the arrival of Empress Elisabeth of Austria in Miramare on May 18, 1861 on her return from her long stay in the island of Madeira. The Empress, in a dark mantle, is being welcomed by her sister-in-law Charlotte in the small harbour of the castle, crowded with officers and servants. Her husband, Emperor Francis Joseph is on board a sloop flying a British flag, which can be identified as belonging to the private yacht “Victoria and Albert” given by Queen Victoria to the imperial couple for their sailing trips. Alongside Francis Joseph is Maximilian of Hapsburg, in the uniform of admiral of the Austrian fleet, while the sailors appear lined up with their oars raised by way of salute. This painting belongs to a pictorial cycle commissioned to Cesare Dell’Acqua, a painter of international renown, whose production stands out for the solidity of the scenographic layout and the vividness of the colours.