The lost portrait of the Emperor

In August 1913 the Israelite Religious Community discarded the original plan to put up a bust of the Emperor at the ante-room of the Synagogue. Instead, the painter Emil Krausz from Graz, who had spent his childhood in St. Pölten, was commissioned to paint a portrait of Emperor Franz Josef for the price of 50 crowns. This painting was long considered "lost".

In summer 2000, however, Martha Keil was able to identify a portrait of the emperor at the St. Pölten Stadtmuseum (Municipal Museum St. Pölten) that had often been used for exhibitions as the lost portrait: at the left bottom corner, an inscription referred to the donors Samuel and Bertha Mandl. The merchant Samuel Mandl had been a board member of the religious community and of the construction committee for the Synagogue. It has not been handed down to us where the portrait had been hanging but it is one of a number of impressive proofs for the loyalty of St. Pölten’s Jews and in general of Jewish subjects within the Habsburg Monarchy towards the emperor.