Christiana Maria Elisabeth “Christl“ Mautner Markhof / 3.1.1928 – 13.6.2018
Born in Vienna as the daughter of Manfred I Mautner Markhof (1903-1981) and Maria Anna “Pussy” Kupelwieser (1900-1990), she grew up with her brother Manfred II, her younger sister Eleonore and her cousins Heinrich “Heini“, and Marius “Titi“ first in Floridsdorf, on the site of the St. Georg brewery, later the family moved to Vienna Simmering. She spent the summers of her childhood in Brioni, her mother’s home. In her first marriage to Johann Heinrich Freiherrn von Tinti (1919 – 1986) they had the children Isabella (married Prosoroff Bss.Wettberg) and Alexander. Her second marriage was to Georg Graf von Schönborn-Buchheim (1906 – 1989), whom she cared for until his death. She had moved the centre of her life to the castle’s idyllic garden shed. Before the expropriation by the Soviets, Count Schönborn-Buchheim owned huge estates with almost 2,500 square kilometres of land in the Ukraine and Christiana herself never lost contact with that area in the difficult times that followed. Until the end she collected donations for the population of the former lands and felt not only personally connected, but also as an honorary citizen obliged to support the needy.
Art had been an integral part of her life from the very beginning. Growing up in a parental home where artists like Richard Strauss, Karl Böhm or Gottfried von Einem were welcomed at any time, Christiana was also a much-valued art patron and Grande Dame of Austrian cultural life until her death. Every month, young top artists met in her home in the city centre of Vienna to give house music concerts in front of a diverse audience. To be allowed to appear in those salons of the Last Salonière was like an ennoblement. So she took an active part in modern life into old age and liked to surround herself with young artists who also lived with her for a while in Schönborn/Weinviertel.
Christiana Schönborn-Buchheim: Die letzte Salonière, Dokumentarfilm © ORF 2016