Moritz Michael Daffinger

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Moritz Michael Daffinger
Moritz Daffinger.jpg
Lithograph, 1856
Born(1790-01-25)25 January 1790
Died21 August 1849(1849-08-21) (aged 59)
Vienna, Austria
Known forMiniature painting, sculpture

Moritz Michael Daffinger (25 January 1790 – 21 August 1849) was an Austrian miniature painter and sculptor.


Daffinger was born in Vienna, the son of Johann Daffinger (1748–1796), a painter at the local Vienna Porcelain Manufactory. The eleven-year-old likewise was accepted as an apprentice and later went on to study at the Academy of Fine Arts, where he attended painting lessons with Heinrich Füger. He returned to work at the factory as one of the leading painters.

Portrait of Countess Ferdinandine Karolyi, c. 1840

From 1809 he worked only on portraits, specializing in miniature painting on ivory, and small gouaches on paper. In 1812 was employed as a portraitist by the Austrian Foreign Minister Klemens von Metternich and became curator of the extensive portrait collection of Metternich's third wife Princess Melanie. In 1819 he painted a portrait of Metternich's daughter, Klementine, posed as the goddess Hebe. He was influenced by Jean-Baptiste Isabey and even more strongly by the English portrait painter Thomas Lawrence, who visited Vienna in 1819. In his late years he concentrated on the painting of flowers.

Daffinger died in 1849 during a cholera epidemic in Vienna and was buried in the St. Marx Cemetery. In 1912 his mortal remains were transferred to an Ehrengrab in the Vienna Zentralfriedhof. Daffinger left more than a thousand portraits, many of which were owned by the Austrian imperial House of Habsburg-Lorraine.

Detail from a Vienna porcelain tray painted by Daffinger, after 1808, Cecrops' Daughters Discover Erichtonius

His portrait graced the obverse of the Austrian 20-schilling banknote that circulated until the introduction of the euro in 1999.