Archduke Rudolf of Austria (1788–1831)

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His Eminence
Rudolph Johann Joseph Rainer
Archduke of Austria
Cardinal, Archbishop of Olomouc
Metropolis Archdiocese of Olomouc
See Olomouc
Installed 24 March 1819
Term ended 24 July 1831
Predecessor Maria Thaddäus von Trautmannsdorff
Successor Ferdinand Maria Chotek von Chotkow
Other posts Archduke of Austria
Ordination 19 March 1805
Created cardinal 4 June 1819
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Born (1788-01-08)8 January 1788
Florence, Tuscany
Died 24 July 1831(1831-07-24) (aged 43)
Baden, Lower Austria
Nationality Austrian
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post Coadjutor of Anton Theodor von Colloredo-Waldsee-Mels, Archbishop of Olomouc (1805–1811)
Coat of arms Rudolph Johann Joseph RainerArchduke of Austria's coat of arms
Styles of
Rudolph von Habsburg-Lothringen
External Ornaments of a Cardinal Bishop.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Olomouc

Rudolph Johann Joseph Rainier, Archduke of Austria, Cardinal and Archbishop of Olomouc (8 January 1788 – 24 July 1831), was a member of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, and an Austrian clergyman and noble. He was consecrated as Archbishop of Olomouc (Olmütz) in 1819 and became cardinal in the same year. Rudolph is known for his patronage of the arts, most notably as sponsor of Ludwig van Beethoven who dedicated several of his works to him.


Born in the Pitti Palace in Florence, Tuscany, he was the youngest son of Emperor Leopold II and Maria Louisa of Spain. In 1803 or 1804, Rudolph began taking lessons in piano and composition from Ludwig van Beethoven. The two became friends, and Rudolph became a supporter and patron of Beethoven; their meetings continued until 1824. Beethoven dedicated 14 compositions to Rudolph, including the Archduke Trio, the Hammerklavier Sonata, the Emperor Concerto and the Missa Solemnis. Rudolph, in turn, dedicated one of his own compositions to Beethoven. The letters Beethoven wrote to Rudolph are today kept at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna.

Schubert and Ferdinand Ries also dedicated works to Rudolf.[1]

On 24 March 1819 aged 31 Rudolph was appointed, Archbishop of Olomouc, in the present day Czech Republic but then part of the Austrian Empire. He was made Cardinal-Priest of the titular church of S. Pietro in Montorio by Pope Pius VII on 4 June 1819. He was ordained a priest on 29 August 1819, and consecrated a bishop on 26 September.

In 1823–24, he was one of the 50 composers who composed a variation on a waltz by Anton Diabelli for Vaterländischer Künstlerverein. In Rudolph's case, the music was published anonymously, as by "S.R.D" (standing for Serenissimus Rudolfus Dux).

He died on 24 July 1831 in Baden bei Wien at the age of 43 and was interred in the Imperial Crypt in Vienna; his heart was buried in the crypt in Saint Wenceslas Cathedral in Olomouc.



  1. ^ See IMSLP: Schubert's Piano Sonata No.16 (D.845) and Ries' piano quartet Op.129 in E minor.
  2. ^ Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. p. 109. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Maria Tadeáš von Trauttmansdorf-Wiensberg
Archbishop of Olomouc
Succeeded by
Ferdynand Maria von Chotek