The Statue of Peace (the seated figure on the right of the photo) was donated to the city of Udine in 1819 by Emperor Francis I to commemorate the peace Treaty of Campoformido. It is located in the Piazza Liberta. Udine is in the far northeast of Italy, not far from where Italy meets Austria and Slovenia, about 80 miles north of Venice.

This statue is an interesting test of the hypothesis that most monuments tell a story about the time that they were erected rather than the event that they commemorate. On the face of it, the Treaty of Campoformido was nothing to celebrate. Signed by France and Austria in 1797, it was named after a village west of Udine, ending the War of the First Coalition. The peace held for just over a year. The Napoleonic wars were to continue until his final defeat at Waterloo in 1815. Campoformido was particularly unfortunate for Italy. Venice, until then an independent city state, was partitioned between Austria and France. It wasn’t a moment worth celebrating for Francis I, either: the treaty specified that he give up all claims to Italy.

Francis I of Austria started out as Emperor Francis II (Franz II), the head of the Habsburg monarchy and ruler of the Holy Roman Empire. He led Austria into the French Revolutionary Wars, and later joined the Second and Third Coalitions against Napoleon. After Napoleon defeated the Third Coalition at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, Francis dissolved The Holy Roman Empire and was demoted to being Emperor Francis I of Austria. In 1810 his daughter, Mary Louise, was married to Napoleon Bonaparte.

In 1813, Austria joined Britain, Russia and Prussia and other members of the Sixth Coalition in the war against Napoleon. Francis, through his proxy, Metternich, presided over the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815), a reactionary initiative that solidified the power of the traditional monarchy and put an end to emerging national and liberal movements. It also brought a measure of peace.

The statue on the column on the left of the photo is the Statue of Justice (1614.)

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