Franz Anton von Zauner
Although his parents were poor, they supported his desire to become an artist and a local sculptor helped him develop his woodcarving skills. When he was ten years old, he was apprenticed to an uncle who had a masonry workshop and remained there for ten years. In 1766, he was enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, where he became a teacher in 1781 and a Professor in 1796. One of his first projects after graduating involved a series of anatomical figures for the famed ophthalmologist Joseph Barth. He was offered a permanent position as an anatomical sculptor at a good salary, but had higher ambitions and turned it down.
A commission from Prince Kaunitz for fountains at the Schönbrunn Palace enabled him to a stay in Rome from 1776 to 1781, initially under the sponsorship of Anton Raphael Mengs. While there, he became dissatisfied with what he felt were the superfluous mannerisms of the most popular sculptures and sought to create a purer Classical style. His equestrian statue of Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor, won him a knighthood from Kaiser Franz I. It later became the subject of a poem by Anastasius Grün. He is also well known for a monument to Leopold II in the Augustinian Church and the tomb of Field Marshall Ernst Gideon von Laudon at the Schloss Laudon.
In 1894 a street in Landstraße was named the "Zaunergasse" in his honor.
- * Constantin von Wurzbach: Zauner Edler von Falpatann, Franz. In: Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich. Vol.59, Verlag L. C. Zamarski, Vienna 1890, pgs.203–207. 
- Hermann Burg, Der Bildhauer Franz Anton Zauner und Seine Zeit, Verlag Anton Schroll (1915) Full Text Online @ Internet Archive
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Franz Anton von Zauner.|
- Link to Franz Anton von Zauner in: Austria-Forum, the Austrian knowledge network – online (at AEIOU)
- Kunst und Kultur in Wien: Tomb of Field Marshall Laudon