Christopher Kovacs - Fine Art
April 17, 2024   9:39 am NL Time

Austrian Palace

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Austrian Palace


Status of Original Painting – For Sale

All prices are in Canadian dollars

Size: 15 x 20  inches

Price: Inquire

Medium: Watercolour on 300 lb Arches


This is the palace Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria. Originally constructed in 1736 for the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, it changed owners multiple times and was eventually declared an historical monument. It presently houses a luxury hotel…and the heart of its original owner, buried in the chapel.

It is famously associated with the 1965 musical film The Sound of Music, which starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, and was directed by Robert Wise. Local tours and the hotel itself tell you that Leopoldskron was used as a major film location for the Von Trapp family home.

However, it wasn’t. Not really. Instead, other properties and Hollywood magic made it only seem like the Leopoldskron was in the movie. An adjacent property, known then as the Bertelsmann, was used for exterior shots and views of the lake, including the creation of a replica of the Leopoldskron’s terrace and horse gates that lead to the lake. Another palace called the Schloss Frohnburg served for exterior shots of the front of the home and for use of its ballroom. Other interior sets were created on sound stages back in Hollywood. Even the famous gazebo at the Leopoldskron property was duplicated on a sound stage in Hollywood.

I didn’t know all this when I set out to paint it. I just thought it was a gorgeous Austrian scene that begged for me to paint it. But things aren’t always what they seem or claim to be.

Full disclosure: I don’t like musicals. My mom loves them and so I was subjected to Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and others when growing up. There’s something about characters breaking out into song and dance at a serious moment that breaks more than the suspension of disbelief for me. My mom told me I’d love the modern Romeo and Juliet retelling in West Side Story – but when the rival tough gangs broke out into ballet moves and song to start their fierce rumble and knife fight, that was more than enough for me. I was out of there! – But then again, I attended a live performance of Mama Mia! in San Francisco and I loved it. The audience was clapping, stomping feet, and singing, and I found myself doing so too, despite not considering myself an ABBA fan. And so there are exceptions to everything.

The reference photo for this painting was taken in 2017 by Susan MacDonald while on one of those Sound of Music tours that include the enticement of a meal at the Von Trapp home in the Leopoldskron.

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