Elssler, Fanny

BORN 23 Jun 1810, Wien: Hofmühlgasse 17 - DIED 27 Nov 1884, Wien
BIRTH NAME Elssler, Franziska
GRAVE LOCATION Wien: Hietzinger Friedhof, Maxingstraße 15, Hietzing (Gruppe 06, Nummer 12a)

Youngest of the three daughters of Johann Elssler (1769-1843), the valet and copyist of Joseph Haydn. In 1825 she departed with her mother and her sister Thérèse to Napels, where she was taught dancing by Gioja. she became the mistress of Prince Leopold of Salerno and their son Franz was born when she was 17 years old. It was kept a secret and the child was placed in a foster home to enable Fanny to continue her already promising career.

In 1830 she gave successful performances in Berlin. She was praised by the great Rachel and soon found herself famous. In Berlin she fell in love with her old friend Anton Stuhlmuller and in 1833 they had a daughter, Therese, who was raised by Harriet Grote, the wife of a British Member of Parliament.

In 1834 the opera director Véron asked her to come to Paris and there she rivaled Marie Taglione. Véron also asked for her hand. He was refused but she had many other suitors. With the diplomat Henry Wikoff and her companion Kathi Prinster, in 1840 she travelled to the US and to Havanna. There she attracted large audiences for two years.

After her return to Europe her place in Paris was taken by Carlotta Crisi, but she successfully toured in Austria, England, Germany, Italy, England and Russia. In she left the stage as a rich woman with a final performance as Perrot's "Faust" at La Scala. In 1848 she was invited by Nicholas I (whom she had met in Vienna) to return to the stage in Russia and she appeared in "Giselle" for two years. On 21 Jun 1851 in Vienna she said goodbye to the stage once more.

She lived for three years near Hamburg before she returned to Vienna, where shelived with her son Franz and her companion Kathi Prinster. Franz committed suicide in 1873, aged 47. Her daughter Theresa married Baron Victor Weber von Webenau. Fanny died in her native Vienna in 1884. She was buried at the Hundsthurmer Friedhof in Vienna, but later her remains were moved to the cemetery in Hietzing.

Related persons
• cooperated with Cerrito, Fanny
• is cousin of Elssler, Hermine
• was drawn by Kriehuber, Josef
• is cousin of Prinster, Kathi
• was pupil of Vestris, Auguste


The grave of Fanny Elssler at the Hietzing cemetery in Vienna.
Picture by Androom (24 Jan 1999)


The grave of Fanny Elssler at the Hietzing Cemetery in Vienna.
Picture by androom (15 Aug 2006)


The grave of Fanny Elssler and her cousin Kathy Prinster at the Hietzing Friedhof, Vienna.
Picture by Androom (26 Aug 2014)


• Bauer, Werner T., Wiener Friedhofsführer, Genaue Beschreibung sämtlicher Begräbnisstätten nebst einer Geschichte des Wiener Bestattungswesens, Falter Verlag, Wien, 1991
Andros on Ballet
Fanny Elßler – Wikipedia

Elssler, Hermine

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 25 Apr 2022