Franz van Stampart – Official Portrait of King Charles III in Barcelona –
Charles VI (1 October 1685 – 20 October 1740; German: Karl VI., Latin: Carolus VI) succeeded his elder brother, Joseph I, as Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia (as Charles II), King of Hungary and Croatia, Serbia and Archduke of Austria (as Charles III) in 1711. He unsuccessfully claimed the throne of Spain following the death of his relative, Charles II. In 1708, he married Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, by whom he had his four children: Leopold Johann (who died in infancy), Maria Theresa (the last direct Habsburg sovereign), Maria Anna (Governess of the Austrian Netherlands), and Maria Amalia (who also died in infancy).
Four years before the birth of Maria Theresa, faced with his lack of male heirs, Charles provided for a male-line succession failure with the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713. The Emperor favoured his own daughters over those of his elder brother and predecessor, Joseph I, in the succession, ignoring the decree he had signed during the reign of his father, Leopold I. Charles sought the other European powers’ approval. They exacted harsh terms: Britain demanded that Austria abolish its overseas trading company. In total, Great Britain, France, Saxony-Poland, the Dutch Republic, Spain, Venice, States of the Church, Prussia, Russia, Denmark, Savoy-Sardinia, Bavaria, and the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire recognised the sanction. France, Spain, Saxony-Poland, Bavaria and Prussia later reneged. Charles died in 1740, sparking the War of the Austrian Succession, which plagued his successor, Maria Theresa, for eight years.
Frans van Stampart (born in Antwerp 12 June 1675 – died 3 April 1750 in Vienna) was a Flemish portrait painter, printmaker and publisher. The artist established a reputation as a portraitist of European rulers, aristocrats and higher clergy. He had an international career, which brought him to the court in Vienna where he worked as court painter of the Imperial court. He is also known as the co-publisher of two publications with reproductions of the Imperial art collection in Vienna for which he also made some of the engravings.