Fanny VonArnstein

Franziska “Fanny” von Arnstein, who rose to the rank of baroness, navigated the artistic and political upheaval of the Napoleonic Era as a hostess of salons which welcomed celebrities ranging from Horatio Nelson to Schopenhauer. In 1776, Fanny Itzig married Viennese banker Nathan Arnstein, who was made a baron in 1798 for his contributions to the Austrian government’s finances. By the mid-1780s von Arnstein’s salon was a hub for artists, musicians, and politicians, with her charm helping ease the social tensions between guests of different classes and nationalities. A patron of both art and music, she regularly attended Mozart’s subscription concerts. During the Napoleonic Wars from 1805–1815, von Arnstein aided the sick and wounded and financially backed a rebellion against the French occupying force. In 1811 she helped found the Society of Noble Women for the Promotion of the Good and Useful. During the Congress of Vienna from 1814–1815, she brought together intellectuals and politicians in hopes of adding equal rights for Jews to the new constitution for the German Federation, but her allies did not push back when they encountered strong opposition. Exhausted by the war, von Arnstein retired to her country estates after Napoleon’s defeat.

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Fanny von Arnstein portrayed in a Kininger mezzotint after Guerin, 1804.

Institution: Gidal-Bildarchiv im Salomon Ludwig Steinheim-Bildarchiv für deutsch-jüdische Geshichte e.g., Duisberg

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Fanny Baronin Von Arnstein." (Viewed on January 26, 2021) <>.


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