The City’s Loss of Importance:
The painting shows a parade of the Graz Civic Corps, which was performed for Emperor Leopold II in 1790. The Graz Civic Corps had its origin in the medieval vigilantes. Beside taking part in the military campaigns of the territorial rulers, the latter were responsible for fortifying and defending the city, and safeguarding law and order. Maria Theresia centralised these functions by means of standing armies. The vigilantes lost some of their importance, and thus the cities their military self-administration. Only when the French occupied Graz in 1797, 1805 and 1809, did they reappear to ensure public safety, and prevent looting and violent clashes.
Oil on canvas
frame: 79 × 105 cm
Graz Museum / Photo: Edin Prnjavorac