Raunacher Rooms

In the course of the refurbishment five rooms were endowed with particularly charming painted wall coverings. The dark north wing of the building is notably enhanced and enlivened by bright scenes depicting aristocratic society at the time with illusionistic views of the garden and the open countryside. They illustrate the pastimes and amusements of those who had commissioned the work and show how the rooms themselves were used.

This is where the Graz painter Johann Baptist Anton Raunacher (1729-1771) decorated five rooms with large scale wall paintings from 1757 to 1761. Educated at Vienna’s Academy of Painters after 1751, Raunacher received a commission to work in Eggenberg on five “salons” which were situated on the less attractive, dark north side. During the daytime, his colourful series of pictures create the illusion that the rooms are larger and brighter than is actually the case. The rooms appear even more suggestive in the evening – which was when they were chiefly used – in flickering candlelight.

The movable furnishings in these salons were similar and could be adapted to suit various requirements. They consisted solely of seating furniture, guéridons (small occasional tables which held candlesticks) and no less than 25 different tables for various board games and even gambling. This offers us a strong clue to the ways people entertained themselves in the evenings during the Rococo period. They certainly had an inordinate passion for playing cards, it would seem. Equally, the furnishings clearly indicate that the salons were used for small, intimate social groups rather than to stage major social events. All the pictorial themes revolve around the narrow circle of interests pursued by the limited number of users, who sought and found relief in hunting, in games and gambling, in comedies or at garden parties. Raunacher paints a colourful and multifaceted picture of this world. Frequently, his scenes allude to the venue and the commissioners of the various pictures. In one picture, Schloss Eggenberg appears in the background of a scene portraying a hunt; and dog collars bear the initials of the master of the house. Another room whisks us away into a formal Rococo garden, inspired by how the Eggenberg garden would have appeared at the time.


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"Wer Cinquille spielt, ist eifrig zu gewinnen, Und wer mit Damen zieht, braucht alle seine Sinnen."



"Seht ein vergnüglich Paar das durch die neuste Tracht Der Jugend holden Reiz noch viel beliebter macht."



"Stellt sich nur eine Layer ein! / So sind wir schon zum Tanz geflissen: Ja daß die Lust sey ungemein / Beweißen wir mit Hand und Füßen."



"Was unter andrer Lust zur Herbst-Zeit wohl gefällt, Ist: daß man auf der Jagd in Wäldern Tafel hält."

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