History paintings

An enormous cycle of history paintings depicts the story of the world from its mythical origins within ancient Greek and Roman culture, and Biblical stories up until the events of Early Modern history. All of the most important role models from the great periods of human history are gathered here: ancient, mythical heroes and heroines, Biblical kings, and generals and other figures from Christian history. They all personify princely and civic virtues or vices. A panoply of vedute, cityscapes, maritime scenes and pastoral landscapes convey a vivid impression of the Prince’s urbanity and the Grand Tour he undertook. Images of emblems denote the ethical ideals to which he felt himself obligated.


Mucius Scaevola as a steadfast hero


The Roman, Gaius Mucius was sent to kill the Etruscan king, Porsenna. His attack failed and he was arrested. Fearless in the face of the threat of death, he put his right hand into a sacrificial flame and allowed it to burn. Impressed by Mucius’s bravery, the king allowed him to go free, and made peace with the Romans. Mucius was given the honorary name of “Scaevola”, meaning left-handed.

Marcus Curtius sacrificing himself for the good of the state


A poisonous vapour, which was rising from a crevice that had opened up in the ground in the Roman Forum, was spreading plague throughout the city. In order to bring a halt to the dying, so said the oracle, Rome would have to sacrifice its greatest treasure. Marcus Curtius interpreted this as its brave youth, the future of the city state. Thereupon he sacrificed his own life, throwing himself into the abyss. This caused the crevice to close up again, and Rome was freed from the plague.

Timoclea of Thebes


The young Theban woman, Timoclea became known for her virtuous courage and intrepidity in dealing with one of Alexander the Great’s soldiers. When he asked Timoclea about hidden treasure, she quick-wittedly led him to a well and threw him into its depths. Alexander allowed her to go free as a token of his esteem for her bravery.

Jael slaying an enemy of her people


The Israelites were being besieged by hostile Canaanites. The prophetess, Deborah called upon the people to resist the oppressors and pronounced that the fame of victory would fall to a woman. In the course of battle, a storm came to the aid of the Israelites and they were able to vanquish their enemies. The Canaanite commander, Sisera had to flee and was offered refuge in Jael’s camp. When he fell asleep exhausted, she stabbed him through the temple with a tent peg. She offered up the dead enemy and was feted as a heroine of Israel.

Cambyses punishing a corrupt judge


The Persian tyrant, Cambyses is said to have ordered the flaying of a corrupt judge and for his skin to be stretched over the judge’s seat. In addition, the son of the dead man was obliged to pronounce judgement as his father’s heir, in order never to forget his guilt.

The ignominious end of Emperor Nero


After a successful start, the Roman Emperor Nero’s reign increasingly succumbed to corruption, which was subsequently blamed as the reason for the notorious Great Fire of Rome. Following a revolt by the Praetorian Guard, he was forced to flee. On discovering that he had been declared a public enemy, he sought in vain amongst his companions for someone prepared to kill him. Finally he stabbed himself, in order to avoid being taken prisoner and being humiliated. He thus came to be seen as the quintessentially bad and unworthy ruler.

Schloss Eggenberg

Eggenberger Allee 90
8020 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9560 und -9532


Opening Hours

The state rooms
April to October, exceptions may apply

Guided Tours: Tue-Sun, public holidays at 10am, 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm, from May to September additionally at 5pm or by prior appointment .

Park and Gardens
15 March to 31 October daily from 8am - 7pm
1 November to 14 March daily from 8am - 5pm

Alte Galerie, Archaeology Museum and Coin Cabinet
April to October Tue-Sun, public holidays 10am - 6pm 
1 November to 17 December admission only with guided tour by prior appointment

Please contact us: +43-316/8017-9560
or info-eggenberg@museum-joanneum.at