Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => Italian Royal Families => Topic started by: Marc on October 25, 2005, 06:15:46 PM

Title: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Marc on October 25, 2005, 06:15:46 PM
(http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b375/auersperg22/AmaliaParma11.jpg)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Marc on October 25, 2005, 06:16:22 PM
(http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b375/auersperg22/AmaliaParma12.jpg)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: crotalo on October 27, 2005, 05:05:46 AM
Napoleon was the same devil for the habsburg sisters.
She and Caroline hated him  particularly. So he.
He wanted to chass bourbons from Italy. Although she was foolish, she fighted bravely against these pretensions. But History winned. His husband,opposed to deliver the duchy, was, it seems, poisonned with a chocolate. She did all she could to preserve the duchy, bt finally ran to Viena, where she died much later. there she had a mini-court, and continued to be capricious and haughty. She was loved in Parma by people, for she was eccentric, but good hearted, courageous.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 30, 2005, 10:25:12 AM
Another thing about Maria Amalia. According to her family, she lost her once celebrated good looks early. Archduchess Maria Chrstina wrote to her mother after her staying with her sister Maria Amalia in 1775.

"No trace of the glamour, the beauty remained. Her beautiful figure was changed, her dress and carriage changed even more. She is less gay, less discriminating. Her eldest daughter is the most beautiful child one can imagine, but she has a trace of melancholy so that one can only observe with pity."
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Marc on November 03, 2005, 03:49:08 PM
(http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b375/auersperg22/AmaliaParma1.jpg)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: José on May 31, 2007, 10:59:37 AM
Palazzo Colorno, on the outskirts of Parma.
It was supposed to be the parmesan Versailles

http://www.parmaitaly.com/Colorno-pr.html

Duke Carlos Hugo youngest daughter was titled Marchioness of Colorno.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: ivanushka on August 31, 2007, 11:45:10 AM
I should probably be starting a separate forum with this question (if one doesn't already exist) but do people know much about the character of Amalia's husband, Ferdinand.  I've read somewhere that he had mental problems and didn't discover any details.  Was he physically attractive?  Did he have mistresses?  Any information greatly received.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Princess Susan on September 01, 2007, 04:08:24 PM
I should probably be starting a separate forum with this question (if one doesn't already exist) but do people know much about the character of Amalia's husband, Ferdinand.  I've read somewhere that he had mental problems and didn't discover any details.  Was he physically attractive?  Did he have mistresses?  Any information greatly received.

If you want, you can check on this link wheather was Ferdinand attractive or not: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Ferdinando_de_Parma.jpg
I don't think so, but I mean, that basically is qite dificult to recognize good or bad look on paintings from 18. century.
I don't know about him a lot. He married Maria Amalia on 19 July 1769 when he was 18 and she 23, so Ferdinand was 5 years younger then his wife.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: trentk80 on September 07, 2007, 01:19:50 PM
Ferdinand maintained an affectionate correspondence with his grandfather, Louis XV of France, who always tried to give him good advice. However, the French king didn't seem to like his grandson's wife, Maria Amalia.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: ivanushka on September 07, 2007, 01:25:55 PM
Which is ironic when you think that his grandson, Louis XVI, married Amalia's sister!!!

According to Nancy Mitford's biography of Madame de Pompadour, Ferdinand's mother (and her twin sister who never married) were Louis XV's favourite children and he was very close to both of them - hence his attachment to Ferdinand. 

It's a shame there isn't a good biography of Amalia.  She seems to have been an interesting character and to have had an interesting life.  The same goes for another of her sisters, Caroline of Naples.  I guess that as far as historians are concerned, the lives of each were totally eclipsed by that of Marie Antoinette.

Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on September 09, 2007, 10:42:28 AM
Quote
I guess that as far as historians are concerned, the lives of each were totally eclipsed by that of Marie Antoinette.

Very true, in fact Mrs Bearne, who wrote a book in about 1907 about Maria Carolina, called it "A sister of Marie Antoinette", no doubt as she thought no one would otherwise know who she meant.

I feel sorry for Maria Amalia also.  She made a mess of things in Parma, but it must have been awfully galling to see her sister Maria Christina married to an obscure prince of her choice, her sisters Maria Carolina and Maria Antoinette married to great princes (even if rather unsatisfactory young men), while she was forbidden to marry the obscure prince ofher  choice and had to marry an unsatisfactory young man who wasn't even a monarch, or with prospects of becoming one.  Most of Maria Christina's brothers and sisters were jealous of her - Maria Theresa made no secret of her favoritism and it must have been really annoying for the others who were told very firmly that they must do their duty and buckle under. 
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: ivanushka on October 17, 2007, 10:08:54 AM
I guess that was the problem for pricesses from the major powers such as Austria or France; if you didn't marry into an equally "A list" power then inevitably your new home was going to feel like a comedown.  Only a few years before Amalia's marriage, Princess Augusta of Great Britain (sister of George III) married the Duke of Brunswick Wolfenbuttel, and though initially she was thrilled to be marrying a war hero apparently she was horrified when she finally reached her new home and discovered that compared to London (and possibly even Parma) it was nothing but a dreary backwater.

The Pama government and court must have been furious at Amalia for critisicising her new home and it can't have helped her to make many friends there!
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on October 18, 2007, 07:20:01 AM
Quote
The Pama government and court must have been furious at Amalia for critisicising her new home and it can't have helped her to make many friends there!

A big question is, what was the Parma government and court?  Parma was an independent principality with an absolute ruler.  The 'government' was Ferdinand, the purpose of his court was to provide a setting for him, and if he chose to follow his wife's direction completely, there was nothing Austria, France, Spain or Parma could do about it, at least in theory.  The attraction of a court is to enable noble families to gain access to the ruler, which translated into money, power and priviledge.  By displacing the powerful minister, Du Tillot, and replacing him with her own nominee, de Llano, Maria Amalia signalled to the courtiers that she was effectively the source of all this.  Her popularity with the court would depend on how effectively she dispensed this - was she better at providing for the courtiers than Ferdinand's advisors, did she offer more to more of them?  Moaning about Parma would be irritating, but not necessarily the major factor in how Maria Amalia was regarded by the court.

The foreign powers were furious, because again, working through Ferdinand they were all getting a piece of the government of Parma.  Spain was the patron of the duchy since Ferdinand's right to rulership derived from his grandmother, Elisabeth Farnese.  So they expected Ferdinand to toe their line.  France had supported the establishment of Ferdinand's parents as rulers of Parma as part of the Bourbon family compact and naturally expected Ferdinand to toe France's line.  And Austria expected some of the action by marrying Maria Amalia to Ferdinand, but wanted her to rule in the traditional way, by influencing Ferdinand to do what Maria Theresa wanted, not by Maria Amalia telling Ferdinand to do what she wanted.  Maria Amalia moaning about Parma was just the icing on a very nasty cake for the foreign powers in all this.

Where Maria Amalia's opinions about Parma would really impact would be on the ordinary people - the middle and lower classes who had no part in government and who had suddenly a loud-mouthed foreigner calling all the shots and whingeing about it at the same time!
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: ivanushka on October 18, 2007, 11:16:05 AM
[

A big question is, what was the Parma government and court?  Parma was an independent principality with an absolute ruler.  The 'government' was Ferdinand, the purpose of his court was to provide a setting for him, and if he chose to follow his wife's direction completely, there was nothing Austria, France, Spain or Parma could do about it, at least in theory.  The attraction of a court is to enable noble families to gain access to the ruler, which translated into money, power and priviledge.  By displacing the powerful minister, Du Tillot, and replacing him with her own nominee, de Llano, Maria Amalia signalled to the courtiers that she was effectively the source of all this.  Her popularity with the court would depend on how effectively she dispensed this - was she better at providing for the courtiers than Ferdinand's advisors, did she offer more to more of them?  Moaning about Parma would be irritating, but not necessarily the major factor in how Maria Amalia was regarded by the court.

The foreign powers were furious, because again, working through Ferdinand they were all getting a piece of the government of Parma.  Spain was the patron of the duchy since Ferdinand's right to rulership derived from his grandmother, Elisabeth Farnese.  So they expected Ferdinand to toe their line.  France had supported the establishment of Ferdinand's parents as rulers of Parma as part of the Bourbon family compact and naturally expected Ferdinand to toe France's line.  And Austria expected some of the action by marrying Maria Amalia to Ferdinand, but wanted her to rule in the traditional way, by influencing Ferdinand to do what Maria Theresa wanted, not by Maria Amalia telling Ferdinand to do what she wanted.  Maria Amalia moaning about Parma was just the icing on a very nasty cake for the foreign powers in all this.

Where Maria Amalia's opinions about Parma would really impact would be on the ordinary people - the middle and lower classes who had no part in government and who had suddenly a loud-mouthed foreigner calling all the shots and whingeing about it at the same time!

Thanks for such an interesting response.

One question I have is why would France, Spain and Austria be so keen to control events in Parma, bearing in mind that it was a fairly small, landlocked duchy with a population of only around 300,000-400,000 (and therefore a tiny army if any army at all).  Was its geographic position seen as potentially useful, did it have great reserves of wealth, or was it just a case of "you can never have too many allies"?

Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on October 18, 2007, 12:52:51 PM
Until industrial strength became the criterion for economic success, which was just starting to happen in the 18th century, Italy was extremely wealthy due to its leadership in trade and commerce.  From Renaissance times it was a target for stronger nations such as France and Spain to try for a little empire-building, largely because of it's fragmented states which were not always strong enough to deflect national armies, but at any rate were usually good for a bit of 'smash-and-grab' forays.  By the 18th century, the major nations took the more civilised route of marrying heiresses, and extending influence rather than sending the army in, but Italy was still potentially very lucrative.  We tend to think of Italy in terms of a less industrialised nation compared to those of northern Europe, but it wasn't necessarily considered so at this period.  Austria until Maria Theresa's time had been extending its empire into Bohemia and Hungary and was concerned to ensure the Turks did not encroach, but were now starting to look southward - and they were closer than France and Spain.  Parma certainly didn't offer military advantages in itself, as you say Ivanushka, but it certainly wasn't poor in 18th century terms, even if it wasn't as rich as some of the Italian states.  And once established as a sort of patron state, a stronger nation would be in a really good position to do a bit of territorial aquisition elsewhere in Italy, using Parma as a base, if the opportunity was there.  So it was well worth the while of France, Spain and Austria to jostle each other a little, in a very civilised way, to keep Ferdinand under their thumb - though in the end, none of them managed it, at least not through Maria Amalia.



Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: gogm on October 20, 2007, 12:51:58 PM
There are many cases of an elite turning on its people. The Sicilian aristocracy was deeply involved in forming the mafia to be sure the peasants paid up. Joe Bonano came from an aristocratic family seeking his fortune in the new world's new opportunities.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Mari on April 01, 2008, 08:17:53 AM

I don't think this image has been posted yet.....

http://aeiou.iicm.tugraz.at/aeiou.encyclop.m/m160509.htm     Ferdinand und Maria Amalia von Parma. Stich, 1769. portrait

Does anyone have a specific example of Maria Amalia's eccentric behavior? I have not found any yet that go into detail they just say eccentric or odd.....
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 07, 2008, 04:12:19 AM
So I read a bit on Amalia's first months in Parma and yes, she really hated Du Tillot. My question is, was Du Tillot a good man? I read that he managed Parma for quite some time and he did quite well, yes. Certainly, Louis XV and Carlos III had confidence in him, especially the former.  But how did he treat Ferdinand as a sovereign? Also, I read that his pro-French policies was not well received by the people, especially the ones from Piacenza, not to mention that he alienated the Church....so he had a lot of enemies. 

My impression is that Amalia wrote her mother about certain people in Parma not respecting her husband as a true sovereign and she was regarded even less. Was this Du Tillot?  It's no secret that he did not favor the match between Amalia and Ferdinand and wanted Beatrice of Modena instead (as the French royal aunts of Ferdinand did).... later on, even the ambassadors of France and Spain disliked Du Tillot intensely and urged both Amalia and Ferdinand that Ferdinand should be the master of his house.  In addition, Amalia was not even a free rein on whom to appoint as the head of baby Caroline's staff, which enraged her. It seems that Amalia wrote Du Tillot that in her palace, she is the one giving orders, not him.  ;D  I don't doubt that Amalia wanted to call the shots at Parma but this Du Tillot seems to be overbearing. Even Louis XV acknowledged (in a letter to Ferdinand) that the minister's style can be both inconvenient and indiscreet to his grandson but that he had 'good intentions'....  Later on, even Ferdinand himself was very cold to his minister and asked his uncle and grandfather for an impartial judge and stated his wish to change ministers, they were slow to respond, especially Spain; Du Tillot did not offer to resign, which seems to me that he didn't regard Ferdinand as his master but rather France and Spain.   I also have the impression that Spain treated Parma as a mere province and not as an independent duchy, the way Naples/Sicily was seen as a mere province, too (which, of course, was not acceptable another Habsburg archduchess).    Any thoughts/information?
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on September 07, 2008, 01:53:35 PM
Amalia was a wilful young woman married to a boy, and saw her chance to boss him around. Du Tillot was installed by Louis XV to do the actual ruling for the young boy. The arrival of a beautiful, proud Austrian Archduchess, who was pissed at the arrangement was not doing to respect a royal favourite who was not born royal. She went her own way and refused to be rule by him.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 08, 2008, 06:06:40 AM
Amalia was a wilful young woman married to a boy, and saw her chance to boss him around. Du Tillot was installed by Louis XV to do the actual ruling for the young boy. The arrival of a beautiful, proud Austrian Archduchess, who was pissed at the arrangement was not doing to respect a royal favourite who was not born royal. She went her own way and refused to be rule by him.

Thank you for this, Eric_Lowe!  I figured it out on my own and thanks for this confirmation.... Amalia did not want to take orders from a non-royal. I understand that Amalia (and Ferdinand) could've behaved differently but I also understand their wanting to be independent. The earlier explaination of CountessKate on Parma's sovereignty made a lot of sense to me.

I just found out some other information on the situation in 1771-1773 (from the letters of Maria Theresia to Count Mercy de Argenteau in France):

June 1771- The Empress wrote to Mercy: " The Infanta, my daughter, has written to me of her fresh attempts against du Tillot, but I have answered her that I remember quite well the promise she and her husband gave to the two great Kings, that they would let du Tillot act for four years without interference, and that she ought to respect me more than to speak to me of such a thing. ... I fear that the disorders of Parma are such that they no longer admit of remedy; I believe that France and Spain recognise this, and wish to draw me into the turmoil. I can tell you that I do not want to associate myself with it, for many reasons; you must, therefore, drop any such proposal, for it can never be. They have another idea, as bad as the first, to send the Infant traveling and return me my daughter. I declare that I will never stand that; the young people must remain together. It would be shameful for the Bourbons to desert thus a Prince of their house. I should be very sorry to have to give a plump refusal to my daughter's return; either she must come with her husband (which would be the more natural arrangement), or she stays in Parma or Piacenza. . . . They are all right together just at present: let them remain so. Rather than have them in my house, I can tell you, I would rather they went to Venice."

1771: "As for the Parma affairs, I shall give them up, as I am convinced of the utter uselessness of all my efforts to recall my daughter, the Infanta, to her duty. If I had you ( Mercy) at Parma, there would be some grounds for hope, but as things are there is nothing to do...."

June/July 1773 from Maria Theresia: “The Infants of Parma still continue their gait; nevertheless I admit that they ought to be reinstated in their pensions [Marie Amelie had been reduced to selling and pawning her diamonds] . . . and the arrears made up..."

November 1773: “There are three grandchildren already this year, and a fourth I expect in December. God be praised! . . . I hear my daughter in Parma is moving heaven and earth to come here. The ministers of Spain and France wish it in order to be able to settle the country, and make the Infant travel in France and Spain. This does not suit me at all, and if she cannot follow her husband she will have to stay behind with her children in Parma. That is her place, and we are going to give a flat refusal to her request. ... I am sorry for her with that fool for a husband but I cannot approve of these trips here: it would only increase my troubles of which I have enough...”

MARIE ANTOINETTE'S letter to her mother is the first of the correspondence with which commences the new year. She has just learned that both her sisters, the Infanta of Parma and the Queen of Naples, are awaiting the birth of children. " When shall I be able to say the 13 January 1773 like?”  The Infant of Parma, still in 1773 deepest disgrace, had written the important news to the King, the Dauphin, and his brothers ; but the King had not permitted any one to reply, and Marie Antoinette followed the example of both her families. "It is to be hoped, that when the Infanta sees herself with many children about her, she will learn her duty and try to please her relatives. . . .”

I can't say I agree with the punishment for the two (as declared by Louis XV and Charles III)......and that my sympathies are Amalia and Ferdinand, not with France and Spain.  All this trouble for a small, insignificant and not quite wealthy duchy?  IMHO, Louis XV and Charles III just wanted to assert their power.



 
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on September 08, 2008, 06:36:06 AM
Quote
So I read a bit on Amalia's first months in Parma and yes, she really hated Du Tillot. My question is, was Du Tillot a good man? I read that he managed Parma for quite some time and he did quite well, yes. Certainly, Louis XV and Carlos III had confidence in him, especially the former.  But how did he treat Ferdinand as a sovereign? Also, I read that his pro-French policies was not well received by the people, especially the ones from Piacenza, not to mention that he alienated the Church....so he had a lot of enemies.  

It is rather hard to answer if the definition of Du Tillot as a 'good man' is if he treated Ferdinand as a sovereign.  The consensus seems to be Du Tillot was a good, forward-looking ruler himself, with policies which put Parma on a good economic footing and created a cultural and university centre which brought more prosperity.  His anti-clericalism was not attractive to Ferdinand who was conservatively pious and his lack of tact meant that Ferdinand would not dig his heels in when Amalia wanted to get rid of him.  To a modern point of view he is a much more of a 'good man' in terms of the good he did for Parma, but if you are going on the point of view of his activity as a servant to Ferdinand, his policies were not really what was wanted.  Du Tillot's exile made Parma into a quiet provincial backwater, with stronger links to conservative Austria - but it was what its absolute rulers preferred. 

Quote
Amalia did not want to take orders from a non-royal. I understand that Amalia (and Ferdinand) could've behaved differently but I also understand their wanting to be independent.

While understandable, it's a pity they did so at the expense of someone who actually had a talent for government and for making Parma into something rather special.  Their own personal rule with their chosen minister was not distinguished in any way whatsoever.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 08, 2008, 12:28:50 PM
I think the most beautiful portrait of Maria Amalia was the one in Schonbrunn, one of 4 of the Empreses's daughters that included Antonia (Antoinette), Charlotte (Maria Karolina)and Cristina I think ?
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 12, 2008, 07:31:51 AM
I equally like both portraits actually....  :)

Here's a link to a portrait of "Maria Amalia Duchess of Parma"--as a young lady, perhaps 14 to 16?-- she seemed younger here than the portrait by JE Liotard which was done in 1762 or 1763? It is for auction at Sotheby's.  I  checked and this painter (Rotari) lived until 1762 and he also painted in Vienna. So it's possible that it is of Amalia. You have to sign in (free trial) to view the enlarged image...it's worth the hassle of signing up---I assure you it's very pretty. ;D  It's *sad* that the image is copyrighted! I doubt if Sotheby's will mistake its identity.   Has anyone seen it before?  I  find the features similar to other portraits of her except her eyes seem to be a bit dark colored...?

http://www.artfact.com/auction-lot/circle-of-pietro-antonio-rotari-,-portrait-of-mar-1-c-b3r48kok0e

Another portrait auction -  a much more mature Amalia...auction at Christie's

http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?pos=9&intObjectID=5114950&sid=

The one said to be of Caroline's is very similar.....   

http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=5114948
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 12, 2008, 04:11:38 PM
The mature one had a similar one in Parma. minus the hat on the other picture and change to the black dress...

The other pic seem to be Maria Amalia in her most haughty.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 29, 2008, 08:20:21 PM
Thank you, Eric.  I also think the 2nd portrait was of Amalia.

I've come across this book on Emperor Joseph -- Joseph II: In the Shadow of Maria Theresa.  Page 262 will tell you how he found the Duke of Parma-- apparently he preferred the company of the illiterate, boorish king of Naples to the duke's!  Here is what he wrote his mother about Ferdinand of Parma: 

His looks are quite good but his figure poor, very fat and squat. He is lame on the left leg....He is extremely well brought up, very inexperienced, very knowledgeable, but seems to have no genius and little intelligence, is as tiresome as it is possible to be, leaning on my arm and never leaving me alone for a step.  So I assure Your Majesty that if the king of Naples had been educated like this, it would have succeeded infinitely better than with the duke, and that I would much prefer to spend eight days with the king than with him. 

He added that he thought Amalia would be perfectly happy in Parma 'if she is wise'..... ::) I cannot think of why Amalia can be happy in Parma.   :-\

The link to the book....

http://books.google.com/books?q=joseph+II&btnG=Search+Books


 
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Mari on October 30, 2008, 01:10:29 AM
I finally found it, the link took me into a list of books some looked interesting also. Here is the link with the description:

http://books.google.com/books?id=COw8AAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=joseph+II&ei=oUwJSb2dMobQMo2mqbIO#PRA1-PA262,M1

Yes, I agree with that description and the Duke of Parma's love of playing Monk I cannot think happiness would have been easy at first. Later, they did settle into a compatibility around their Children and other things. I would have spent a lot of time with the Horses also if I had been Maria Amalia. 

.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on November 01, 2008, 03:00:27 AM
My first thought upon reading what Emperor Joseph had to say about Ferdinand of Parma was that they were asking too much of Maria Amalia, who was already angry and heartbroken,  they expected her to somehow find happiness with a younger man who was tiresome, w/ little intelligence as well as unappealing!  Not to mention having strange hobbies as well as poor hygiene (although that improved).  As well as to be stuck in Parma. But then again, they thought it was the duty of princesses to put up with anything (like Caroline in Naples had to put up with her husband doing his morning ritual -- ahem - in front of the court and had the pot passed around his courtiers for them to view and inspect, ugh!). 

Does anyone know if Amalia was told what her intended was like? I know that Caroline knew what to expect from the King of Naples and that Maria Theresia hammered home precepts such as "love your husband' and "marriage is the greatest happiness", etc. to her. Yet reality proved to be worse than they all expected. No doubt the reports on the Bourbon princes were somehow 'sanitized'.  I do think Ferdinand of Parma was a kindly fellow and I somehow sympathize with him for bearing with Amalia's antics..... but then I also don't blame Amalia much either.  To have her mother nag (and criticize) her about everything -which MT did to all her children (except perhaps her beloved Mimi) even if they didn't do anything wrong or on something that can be easily overlooked--on  a weekly basis is, no doubt, unbearable (on top of everything else).     

I think fate, in a way, 'compensated'  Maria Amalia -- Mimi got her love match but her only child died after 1 day and was unable to have more children. Joseph never gotten his much coveted Bavaria (said to be one of the reasons why they vetoed the Amalia/Karl match for they wanted to do some land-grabbing when the Elector of Bavaria died) despite a number of attempts that were bitterly humiliating for him. And of course, having a husband she could control and doing her own thing. 

BTW, has anyone read the book on Marie Antoinette by Evelyne Lever, The Last Queen of France?  I haven't but she described Amalia's husband as a simpleton and a sensualist --- now I don't know what to think!  ;)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Mari on November 01, 2008, 05:51:15 AM
Here is the link to the quote but it is not explained!  The Last Queen of France

http://books.google.com/books?id=Vy2ecA3u_okC&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+last+queen+of+france&ei=pS0MSYDhL4m6zASS-5TeAg#PPA11,M1
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on November 01, 2008, 07:04:52 AM
Well, I just got curious with that noun --- 'sensualist' is not something that I expected to be associated with a someone who wanted to be a monk or loved playing one!  :-\

I also read that Metastasio waxed poetic rapture about young Amalia's 'enchanting voice' and 'angelic figure'   ;)  --- IMHO, it sounds like she wasn't 'ordinary' or not outstanding compared to her sisters as some people (her mother included) thought.   
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Mari on November 01, 2008, 11:45:05 PM
Quote
'sensualist' is not something that I expected to be associated with a someone who wanted to be a monk or loved playing one
Quote

Yes, its an odd combination and does make you wonder! ;)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 16, 2009, 10:22:56 PM
Does anyone have the complete picture of Amalia's feud with Du Tillot? I read at an Italian site that Amalia was furious when Marchioness (Annetta?) Malaspina, one of her ladies-in-waiting, was appointed the head of (baby) Caroline's household... she was  said to be Du Tillot's mistress and acted some sort of 'first lady' at court before Amalia came to Parma. I'm beginning to think that, yes, Amalia wanted to rule Parma, but there are also other reasons for her feud with Du Tillot, such as this appointment. 

Also, has anyone read Maria Theresa by Paul Tabori? I have ordered a previously owned copy but it hasn't arrived yet. It should contain a  section on Amalia and Ferdinand.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Marc on February 17, 2009, 08:28:17 AM
Amalia and her family:


(http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k126/auersperg21/parma.jpg)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 17, 2009, 09:22:11 PM
Thank you, thank you, thank you! :) This is the first portrait I have seen of Amalia's family in Parma.  I'm surprised to see her in a full court dress --- I read she hated and abolished them in Parma.  ;)   I think the children are Caroline, Louis and Marie Antoinette?  I have noticed that Ferdinand does not seem to be much taller than Amalia -- and she is sitting!     
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 20, 2009, 11:56:56 AM
He was actually not that bad, but too childish and easy going for a wife like Maria Amalia, who came with a chip on her shoulder.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Mari on February 20, 2009, 04:41:12 PM
Yes, but what was that playing monk thing all about?  :)

on Du Tillot:
With the accession to the Duchy of the somewhat simple Ferdinand, Duke of Parma (1751 - 1802) and his Habsburg Duchess, Archduchess Marie Amalie of Austria, an alliance organised by her mother, Maria Theresa, Tillot was soon cashiered, in spite of protests from France and Spain. He had made deep political enemies in the Church, and the new Duchess effected a shift away from Bourbon influences towards conservative Austria, though his replacement, Jose de Llano, was Spanish. Tillot was confined under house arrest to his properties at Colorno. He fled on 19 November 1771, intending to reach Spain, but ended his days in retirement in France., where he died in 1774.

The classic biography is U. Benassi, Guglielmo du Tillot: Un ministro riformatore del secolo XVIII (Parma, 1915).

June 1771- The Empress wrote to Mercy: " The Infanta, my daughter, has written to me of her fresh attempts against du Tillot, but I have answered her that I remember quite well the promise she and her husband gave to the two great Kings, that they would let du Tillot act for four years without interference, and that she ought to respect me more than to speak to me of such a thing. ... I fear that the disorders of Parma are such that they no longer admit of remedy; I believe that France and Spain recognise this, and wish to draw me into the turmoil. I can tell you that I do not want to associate myself with it, for many reasons; you must, therefore, drop any such proposal, for it can never be. They have another idea, as bad as the first, to send the Infant traveling and return me my daughter. I declare that I will never stand that; the young people must remain together. It would be shameful for the Bourbons to desert thus a Prince of their house. I should be very sorry to have to give a plump refusal to my daughter's return; either she must come with her husband (which would be the more natural arrangement), or she stays in Parma or Piacenza. . . . They are all right together just at present: let them remain so. Rather than have them in my house, I can tell you, I would rather they went to Venice."

http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=4920.msg336088

Some Authors state that Du Tillot had preferred another for the Bride of Ferdinand, others state that du Tillot rejected the fact that Maria Amalia had lovers that supposedly She openly lived with! But all Maria Theresa's Daughters seemed to have been raised to put Hapsburg influences over their Husbands. But the above statement seems to indicate that Maria Amalia was not honoring an arrangement made with France and Spain and her Mother did not like it. Is there a reference to that source...and thank you prinzheinelgirl for this information also both above and below......

Quote
I read at an Italian site that Amalia was furious when Marchioness (Annetta?) Malaspina, one of her ladies-in-waiting, was appointed the head of (baby) Caroline's household... she was  said to be Du Tillot's mistress and acted some sort of 'first lady' at court before Amalia came to Parma. I'm beginning to think that, yes, Amalia wanted to rule Parma, but there are also other reasons for her feud with Du Tillot, such as this appointment.
Quote
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 21, 2009, 12:14:51 AM
Thanks Eric and Mari!  :)  Well, I guess sources vary --- I read in one source that Ferdinand of Parma was even less appealing than his cousin Naples but I agree, he did not seem to be ugly and was generally described as kind, even if he was quite peculiar.  I'm not sure if Amalia would have done better with Karl of Zweibrucken, who turned out to be a tyrant, a noted spendthrift, and quite cruel (I read that he would punish his servants and his subjects who displeased him by having them whipped).   The letter of Maria Theresa to Count Mercy in June 1771 can be found in the book "Guardian of Marie Antoinette'.

This is what I know:  Du Tillot tried to arrange Ferdinand of Parma's marriage to Beatrice d'Este of Modena (with the view of 'uniting' the duchies of Parma and Modena and also so that the Habsburg influence in Italy would not be so strong) but of course, Beatrice was already promised to an archduke (first Leopold then Ferdinand) --- an arrangement made when the Modena heiress was a mere child.  I've read that he was opposed to the match with Amalia and it seems that he wasn't warm  to her and she complained about not being respected (of course, that slighted the haughty Amalia).  I think she also complained about her apartments --- perhaps Du Tillot did not make them as nice as befits her status, for I would think he made the final decisions of such matters. They were many people against him (except of course, the Francophiles and those he 'sponsored' with state funds), particularly the locals and the clergy, and Amalia did not disappoint them in making sure that he would be dismissed.  Ferdinand did not like his minister and his policies!  Even the Spanish and French ambassadors joined in the fray --- they also did not like Du Tillot. It seems that Du Tillot made it clear to Ferdinand and Amalia who the boss was and it was not them.  Even Louis XV had to write his grandson to make 'allowances' for Du Tillot if he were being too 'overzealous'.  It seems to me that Du Tillot was not a particularly likeable man and it is no wonder that many people wanted him out (not to mention his reforms and policies).

As for his reported mistress, the Marchioness (Annetta?) Malaspina, she was also a lady-in-waiting to the Madame Infante and when Amalia married Ferdinand, she was one of the ladies-in-waiting to her.  She seemed to be quite lovely and cultured but was too much associated with Du Tillot. So, of course, Amalia was opposed to her being appointed as head of (baby)  Caroline's household but she was appointed anyway (Maria Theresa had an envoy convince her daughter to accept the appointment).  If I were Amalia, I would also feel angry at having the 'muse' of my enemy be appointed to such position.  It was also said that there were many satires written about her and Du Tillot.  Later on, Amalia secured a dismissal and an exile for her a few months before Du Tillot was also dismissed.  She was allowed to go back to Parma after some years but was never offered any court post again.  I will see if I can find that Italian site where I read this (with an online translation)... I cannot recall the exact source right now.

Oh, I also read that Du Tillot wrote letter after letter to the courts of France and Spain about the many eccentricities of Amalia -- such as going to market to do the shopping herself! Of course, that was unheard of in princesses back then -- and not so common even now--  and Du Tillot also reported that not only did she go shopping but would also spend half of the morning 'gossiping' with the market women.   Perhaps he was afraid of the market women also complaining about him and/or his policies? Just wondering!  ;)

I shall post any interesting details from the book on Maria Theresa by Paul Tabori when the book arrives.  I've read snippets only online and I remember reading that Amalia accompanied Ferdinand to roast chestnuts and they also played hide and seek!  I guess she was doing what MT told her to do: please her husband (or playing her cards right), LOL.

I would be very interested to read any reliable source that gives definite proof of Amalia's lovers!   I also read that Ferdinand, despite his leanings to being a monk, did not subscribe to 'celibacy' so his grandfather had to go princess/wife shopping for him.  Not sure of the details, but it was said that there were several 'distressing' episodes of him 'helping the peasant girls with the maize harvest'... it does, at the very least, suggest that he made improper advances on girls!     
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Mari on February 21, 2009, 11:09:43 PM
Well, this is further interesting reading about Maria Amalia from Bernini a Historian who describes Maria Amalia in very unflattering terms

http://books.google.com/books?id=AnsOAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA39&dq=maria+amalia+of+parma+and+du+tillot&lr=#PPA39,M1

   
In Triumph's Wake: Royal Mothers, Tragic Daughters, and the Price They Paid ...‎ - Page 195
by Julia P. Gelardi - Biography & Autobiography - 2008 - 432 pages
26 Maria Amalia, who married Ferdinand, Duke of Parma, in 1769, ... Soon Amalia
scandalized her mother and others by taking lovers. ...
Unfortunately I do not have this Book.....
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 22, 2009, 06:31:15 AM
I forgot to add this:

I read that Maria Theresa's farewell letter to Amalia (upon leaving Vienna) contained both a warning and an appeal about Du Tillot.  She knew that many, many people in Parma were counting on her daughter to effect a change in ministers and she advised her to cooperate and respect Du Tillot -- that is, until he gives her a valid reason to not to trust/dislike him.  And what did Amalia write home in her first letter to MT? She said that her husband was not respected and her, even less.  No doubt Du Tillot was one of those people who did not respect them. Sure, she was haughty but she has a valid reason for Du Tillot seemed not to care about their feelings, for he was extremely secure in the patronage of Louis XV and Charles III.  I'm not saying that Amalia was blameless for this mess, but it takes two to tango.  Ferdinand, apparently, did not like his minister at all (even before Amalia came to Parma), and she was blamed for the rift in the duke & minister's relationship.  But certain letters of Louis XV point to the fact that Ferdinand himself disliked him for various reasons.... and the court of France had to send an envoy to induce Ferdinand to like Du Tillot.....  I'm sure Amalia fanned the flames, so to speak, but it wasn't as if she only influenced him to think badly about Du Tillot --- he had his own opinion of his minister.  Besides, the local people (Italians) hated the French and Spanish, the French hated the Spaniards and vice versa.  I do not discount the fact that Du Tillot was said to have the talent to run Parma but all in all,  he and his policies/reforms were not welcome there. I read that the people in Piacenza in particular were ready to have him removed by force if necessary.     
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 22, 2009, 03:17:28 PM
I think Maria Amalia did the right thing to remove him. But she was not crafty like Caroline who did away with her rival in steps. However like her sister, she also took lovers...
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on February 23, 2009, 04:17:03 AM
Quote
I do not discount the fact that Du Tillot was said to have the talent to run Parma but all in all,  he and his policies/reforms were not welcome there. I read that the people in Piacenza in particular were ready to have him removed by force if necessary.

What the people thought was irrelevant in an autocratic regime - and Amalia's replacement, Jose de Llano, was Spanish, so they weren't getting a local Italian which presumably they would have preferred.  Du Tillot was a liberal minister whose policies strengthened trade and enabled Parma to punch above its weight, but his infringement of ecclesiastical privileges were what made Ferdinand turn against him.  Basically, by getting rid of Du Tillot, Maria Amalia and Ferdinand were putting royal power and sovereignity ahead of progressive policies which brought trade and wealth to Parma - but all Maria Amalia could see was that Du Tillot was not her nominee and all Ferdinand could see was that Du Tillot was not sufficiently conservative in religious matters.  It was Du Tillot who turned Parma into a modern, prosperous state, not its rulers - and nobody was grateful to him!
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 23, 2009, 09:27:33 AM
I think Maria Amalia did the right thing to remove him. But she was not crafty like Caroline who did away with her rival in steps. However like her sister, she also took lovers...

Were her lovers the guards? That's the only thing I read that could be connected to her (supposed) lovers.... that she was fond of the guards!  ;)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 23, 2009, 05:49:54 PM
That's why I'm a bit skeptical about Amalia having lovers.... no names were ever mentioned unlike Caroline. ;)  But, considering her circumstances, that's very possible.

Here's a bit on Ferdinand and Amalia from the book Maria Theresa by Paul Tabori (1969):

Maria Theresa was said to have been distressed that Amalia's intended was educated as a philosopher... what would such a prince think of her sweet but not so intelligent daughter? Nevertheless, she agreed to the match. The Spanish ambassador boasted that Ferdinand would be the best educated ruler in Europe. 

Ferdinand had a mistress when Amalia arrived!   Very soon after Amalia arrived at the palace, he took her hand and brought her to the basement kitchen and asked her if she liked roast chestnuts and if she did, he'll get her some... then he introduced his mistress to her and told the two ladies to be friends! He assured Amalia that his mistress doesn't bite!  :o  Amalia, of course, soon recovered her poise and ate the chestnuts and then they played hide and seek.  ;D Ferdinand roamed the countryside all day and came only to the city to ring bells.

Du Tillot's complaints included Ferdinand's preoccupations with ringing bells and roasting chestnuts. Amalia, on the other hand, spent money like water and danced with peasant boys in the main square, went to the market to do the shopping herself and spent half the mornings gossiping with the market women there.  ;D  MT also sent Leopold from Tuscany to preach submission and economy to his sister. Of course, he wasn't that successful (even though Amalia was fond of him).   

MT sent Count Rosenberg to verify the truth of such reports for she could not believe those things of her well-behaved and virtuous (at least in Vienna) daughter.  Amalia told Rosenberg of her troubles there, then called Du Tillot a 'base wretch' and his mistress, the Marchioness Malaspina, a 'stupid goose'. The envoy was shocked-- where did she learn such language? Yes, she dismissed them for she wanted to have fun and wanted fun/gay people around. Then she sent her love to Mama the Empress.

Soon after, MT decided not to write Amalia and also did  not to want to hear about her. It was said that Amalia wasn't bothered by this and the two continued their way of life.  But Charles III was so angry he wanted to send troops to Parma to restore order there.  But MT talked him out of it -- how can an army of occupation prevent the Infante from keeping a mistress and ringing bells and roasting chestnuts? The same would not prevent her daughter from issuing her crazy decrees and fooling around with the yokels.  They could be certified as  crazy but  tha's too much of disgarce to both dynasties so just tet them go bankrupt by stopping the subisidies and perhaps they will change.

Ferdinand talked to Amalia to write MT and do something for they didn't have any money left in the Treasury  and he didn't dare write Spain or France (I think this was the point when Amalia was pawning and selling her jewelry -- MT wrote Count Mercy in Paris about it).   So Amalia wrote her mother, who was moved by her daughter's pleas and promises to change. A few days after, a large sum of money arrived from Vienna. But soon after, Amalia declared that they were happy with their way of life and that no one should interfere and refused to receive her mother's envoy. No messages for Vienna either.   

Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Marc on February 23, 2009, 06:45:21 PM
What was her relation with MT after that...if any?
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 24, 2009, 07:55:24 AM
The book by Paul Tabori said that they never reconciled.  But other sources say that the Empress had made overtures, such as when  Amalia was pregnant with her 4th child, Carlotta.  I'm sure it was during her 4th pregnancy for the envoy, who brought lavish gifts from the MT,  reported that he saw her 3 children as requested (whom he described as 'charming') but that Amalia did not even ask about her mother.  MT was very much aggrieved by it. However, there seemed to be some sort of communication between mother and daughter since Amalia wanted to visit Vienna for years but the Empress feared that she would  refuse to return to Parma and knowing how stubborn Amalia was, she did not agree. They agreed on a compromise to meet in Goritz (near the Italian borders) but the visit never materialized due to MT's ill health.  I think that was in 1776. At any rate, daughter Carlotta (born in 1777)  carried one of her grandmother's names: Carlotta Maria Ferdinanda Teresa.   And later on, MT would send a painter to have a group portrait of her grandchildren in Parma, and said portrait showed a letter to the Empress from her grandchildren so there must be some communication between Vienna and Parma. It's interesting that MT commissioned  group portraits of her grandchildren but, from what I know, only those of Leopold's and Amalia's .
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 25, 2009, 05:03:46 PM
Yes. I know that Mimi (Maria Chistine) visited Maria Amalia in Parma and found her changed. When in the game that her visit happened ?
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 27, 2009, 12:04:00 AM
I've read in one of MT's biographies (I forgot which) that she would send one of her daughters to stay with Amalia from time to time in an effort to make her feel better..... if true, that showed that MT felt guilty about her although she never admitted it aloud. Same with her efforts to reconcile.  I guess Mimi was sent because she was the only one who could freely travel. Marianne was sickly,  Elisabeth too traumatized and angry by her disfigurement, Marie Antoinette was in France.....although I think Amalia visited Caroline in Naples (as well as Leopold in Tuscany). I also don't think Amalia cared much about what Mimi would say. She was, clearly, her own person from the time she arrived in Parma. 

I also read that, among her sisters, it was Marianne and Caroline who were closest to her since moving to Parma. Both, it was said, understood her. Later on, she also visited Elisabeth and Marianne in their convents.     
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 22, 2009, 04:25:01 AM
Some info on Amalia, Ferdinand and their children, Caroline and Louis, in 1773.  From the diary of Lady Mary Coke (1727-1811)....

Sunday Nov 21, 1773

I am so tired of the excessive impositions, and wore out with the continual cross accidents and even misfortunes that constantly attend me, that I repent extremely coming into this Country; I expect no amusement and constant vexations. About one O'clock I arrived at Parma. The post for England went out yesterday, and does not go out again till Tuesday. This is disagreeable, as I had two journals ready to have sent you. I found Lord Huntingdon  and his two Nephews in the same House where I am lodged. I've seen him and he tells me he arrived last night, that he has not been at the Court, as the Infant Duke and Duchess of Parma are in the Country, and he is not sure whether they see Foreigners when they are there, but, he added, to be sure they wou'd see me, being so well acquainted with the Empress; I do suppose they will; not that I had determined to come here when I took leave of Her Majesty, otherwise I imagine She wou'd have done me the honour to have wrote, as She said She wou'd to the other places. Lord Huntington ask'd me where it was I intended making any stay: I told him at Florence provided the Duke of Cumberland did not send me away, for I was determined not to be in the same place, knowing His Majesty's orders. He said he had acted differently, for that he had been to wait on the Duke at Milan. I answer'd I was surprised he had, for his Majesty's orders apart, I felt no inclination to make the visit. He is gone to dine with the French Minister and said he wou'd call on me in the evening; I've received an invitation to dine with the first Minister which I've accepted with reluctance: I've no pleasure in anything.

Parma, (Sunday) Nov. 21 (22) 1773

Sunday. -- I dined at the Minister's, and mentioned the desire I had to be presented to the Duke and Duchess; he said he wou'd let them know. His Lady is very polite: I had a great deal of conversation with her about the Arch Duchess. She says she hardly sees any body or goes to any diversation; her humour seems very different to the rest of her Family, who are all very lively. Her Children are always in the Palace here: She comes now and then to see them, but never stays. I'm going again to the Minister's, where I shall pass the evening. I play'd at Omber for two hours. When I came away the Minister told me the Duke wou'd come to Parma tomorrow and wou'd invite me to dinner, but that I cou'd not see the Duchess for a day or two, as the news of the death of the Princess Charlotte of Lorraine just arrived.

Novr. 22, Monday.

I fancy I dated my last journal wrong, for it was today I dined with the Duke of Parma, and was presented a little before dinner. He has a very handsome face, fair complexion, fair hair, and dark eyes, good teeth, and something agreeable in his countenence, tho' not a look of sense. His figure bad, very short and thick. Civil, but nothing very pleasing in his manner. The Minister's Lady and Madame La Comtesse de Flavigny, the wife of the French Minister, were the only Ladies beside myself. After the dinner was over he stood and talked to us for some time, and then made his Bow, and said he was going into the Country. The Arch Duchess was at Parma, but the Minister said she was ill and cou'd not see me, but the Young Prince and Princess I saw, and they are the most beautiful Children I ever remember to have seen. They are so very handsome, and their features so formed and so regular, that I should question whether they can continue so when they grow up, for they must change and it cannot be for the better: I wish the Empress could see them. The Duke talked of his children with great pleasure, said his little Daughter was three years old that day, and that her understanding was surprising for that age; I am apt to think the Children will take after their Mother's Family, for they have all that sense and spirit in their countenence which is so particular in the Empress and most of her Family. There is at present no public diversion; I pass my evening at the Minister's; both him and his Lady have been particularly civil to me.

Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 22, 2009, 04:28:21 AM
Same source.... from  the diary of Lady Mary Coke (1727-1811)......

Tuesday 23 November 1773

The Minister, the Marquis de Llano, has sent two Gentlemen every morning to attend me to all the Churches, the University, the library etc. If Lord Strafford was here he will remember that the finest picture Correggio ever painted is here. There are several of his painting in the Churches, but most of them very much hurt. The Town is very pretty but not large. The Country, like all the rest of Italy I have seen, exceedingly disagreeable, and for the Climate I think it the worst I know. Lord Huntingdon, as I believe I have already mention'd, is very liberal of his praises when he talks of the Duke of Cumberland and his party, but as I thought they were improperly bestow'd, I told his Lordship how exceedingly he had been condemn'd at Venice for desiring to have all those honours and ceremoneys at Verona, which the Emperor declined when he was in that Town. I ask'd his Lordship whether he thought the Duke and his family had observed that strict incognito which he said was his plan when he went Abroad? and which was certainly his Majesty's intention, as the Secretary of State wrote to all the Ministers at the Foreign Courts, that the King's wishes were that no honours shou'd be offer'd. He was oblig'd to agree that he might have done better; and in the praises I observed a disposition of spite against the King, upon which I believe the commendations were more founded then upon the merits of either the Duke or his Lady.

Wednesday 24 Nov 1773

Lord Huntingdon is gone this morning. I stay till Friday to go the Opera tomorrow at Colorna

Thursday 25 Nov 1773

I went this morning to see the Wardrobe of Monseigneur l'Infant: it consists of many rooms of very fine furniture and other things: among others the furniture of the room which was made for his Father Don Philip's marriage with the King of France his eldest Daughter. It is crimson velvet embroidered with gold, and cost twenty thousand pounds sterling. I saw also the furniture of the room which was made for his own marriage with the Arch Duchess. There are many fine things of various sorts that were presents from the King of France to his mother. I dined at the Minister's, and went with him after dinner to Colorna. 'Tis about ten miles from Parma. We went directly into the Theatre, which is one of the prettiest for the size I ever saw. The Opera was very tolerably performed. The Duke acted the part of the Father, and not ill. When it was over a Gentleman came from the Duke to desire we wou'd come to his Box which is in the front of the stage to see a fire work. He had got on his own Clothes, and we found him in the Box. Nothing cou'd be civiler. The fire work ended, we followed the Duke into an Apartment where the supper was prepared, but before we sat down, he said to me he was very sorry I had not seen Madame l'InFante act in the Opera, for that she had a very pretty voice. He then asked me if I had not seen her at Vienna; I told him no, that H. R. H. was married above a year before my first journey to Vienna. What was the reason she would not see me I cannot tell, but it either proceeded from the Empress being angry that I did not mention it to her, when she did me the honour to ask me where I went to, or from her own caprice of which (she is known). She is very handsome.

Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 22, 2009, 05:40:36 PM
Was the diary of Lady Mary Coke published ?
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 22, 2009, 07:26:25 PM
Oh, yes, it was published in 4 volumes.


Volumes 3 and 4 have some details on her trips to Vienna.  If I remember it right, she displeased MT on her last visit and she thought that Amalia's and Leopold's 'snub' had something to do with that.  I browsed over them and found the details  of her contact and impressions with MT, Amalia & family,  and other Habsburgs quite interesting. At one point, she went to Versailles before Vienna and apparently, Marianne and Elisabeth were eager to hear news about their youngest sister when she saw them.   :)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Marc on March 22, 2009, 08:56:39 PM
Thank you prinzheinelgirl for those details...I find it very interesting to read...Do you maybe know how Maria Amalia got her name?Was it in honor of Archduchess Maria Amalia,youngest sister of Maria Theresia?
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on March 24, 2009, 03:47:39 PM
Quote
Do you maybe know how Maria Amalia got her name?Was it in honor of Archduchess Maria Amalia,youngest sister of Maria Theresia?

I imagine it originally came from Josef I's wife, Amalia Wilhelmina of Brunswick originally, since there were no Amalias before her and one in each generation of Habsburgs of the imperial line after her - her own daughter, her niece the sister of Maria Theresa, our Amalia Maria Theresa's daughter, Leopold's daughter Amalia, Franz II's daughter Amalia - after which the name died out.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on April 02, 2009, 11:27:40 AM
Yes. It comes back.

I was trying to find a portrait of Maria Amalia's daughter Caroline, but cannot locate one.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on April 03, 2009, 12:22:25 AM
You mean Caroline of Parma as an adult?  The only one I know of was a portrait done at the time of her wedding in Dresden although I have not seen it.   

This is the sort of welcome Amalia got from Ferdinand when she arrived in Parma.... (from the book on Maria Theresa by Paul Tabori):

In Parma, a tousle-headed, barefoot youth was tolling the bell in the tallest tower of the city.  Then he got tired of it, rushed down the spiral stairs and made posthaste for the turn of the road to spy on the arrivals.   When the travelling party appeared, he jumped from under a tree, began to pound his knees and laughed at the Archduchess, who was peering through the glass window of the coach.  She stared, amazed, at the uncouth lout, who, as soon as the coach rolled on, picked himself up and ran back to the city.

Within the palace there was total chaos. Duke Ferdinand had disappeared.  The court dignitaries, thin Du Tillot and fat Malaspina, his mistress, led the girl to her apartments in obvious embarrassment. Amalia showed no surprise. She stood in the middle of the large room and examined curiously the ancestral portraits of the Parma dynasty.  Suddenly, the door opened and the barefooted, dishevelled youngster whom she had noticed through the window of the coach burst in.  "You are my bride?" he demanded.  "I'm Ferdinand."  The girl stared at him, mouth agape.  The boy took her hand and led her down the basement kitchen.

"Do you like roast chestnuts?" he asked her. "If you do, I'll get you some..... Beatrice!" he shouted at a barefoot, olive-skinned girl whom Amalia hadn't even noticed and who stood with large, brilliant eyes full of hate next to the hearth.  "My mistress," Ferdinand presented her to his bride. "Make friends, you two.  Don't be afraid, she won't bite," he reassured Amalia. The archduchess, who was trained not to show surprise at anything nor form any hasty opinions, soon found her poise.  Half an hour later, they gaily munched the roast chestnuts.  Then Amalia proposed a game of hide-and-seek.

================
A rather unforgettable welcome, I might say.  ;) 
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on May 03, 2009, 03:11:41 AM
For those who haven't seen it yet -- portrait of a young Amalia by Pietro Antonio Rotari, done when she was 16 or younger (the painter died in 1762):

http://www.prices4antiques.com/paintings/oil-on-canvas/Rotari-Pietro-Antonio-Oil-on-Canvas-Circle-of-Portrait-of-Duchess-of-Parma-D9844732.htm
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 03, 2009, 09:31:34 PM
Maria Amalia depicted in pastel......sorry, PDF files only (from www.pastellists.com)

http://www.pastellists.com/Articles/Bernard.pdf  (page 2)

http://www.pastellists.com/Articles/Hagelgans.pdf  

http://www.pastellists.com/Articles/German.pdf   (see page 7 as a child and another as an adult; the same page also shows her sister Marianne, her aunt Maria Anna of Austria,  Karl of Zweibrucken's wife, Maria Amalia of Saxony,  as a young lady and his sister, Maria Amalia of Zweibrucken, as a much older adult)              
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 17, 2009, 10:33:20 PM
Does anyone have any details on the relationship, if any, between Maria Amalia and Karl of Zweibrucken after the latter left Vienna?

I have just read part of the memoirs of Madame du Barry, who mentioned that she and Karl of Zweibrucken had a sincere friendship (he offered her asylum in Zweibrucken, if ever) and were likewise rumored to be lovers (just slander, she said). It appears that Marie Antoinette as Dauphine was cold to Karl and his brother Maximilian, particularly to the latter who spent more time at Versailles. Madame Du Barry said that Prince Maximilian was never invited to the Dauphine's parties until Louis XV made it known that he was to be included.  Even so, the Dauphine would ignore said guest.  Madame du Barry thought Marie Antoinette's attitude was due to the prejudices instilled by Maria Theresa..... I wonder if the rumors about Karl and Madame du Barry ever reached Amalia in Parma......  

A tiny town in Lower Austria is named after Maria Amalia....... Amaliendorf-Aaflang. The website in German.....

http://www.amaliendorf.at/
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 29, 2009, 01:20:50 AM
Excerpts of Maria Amalia's letter to her mother when MT sent Count Rosenberg to Parma to make her daughter conform to expectations/good or 'correct' behavior. My own loose translation from Italian.  Amalia's replies are in italics while MT's criticisms are in bold font.  Original text in Italian from the book, I primi Borboni a Parma by C. Fano (1890).  I have grouped the replies according to the issue on hand.  

On the meddling of France and Spain and their criticisms:  From the beginning adopted the habits I have never liked.  I find it  quite ridiculous that a prince of a small (sovereign) state must submit to the annoyances of the Kings of France and Spain.  I find it well that when we are in public, we comply with the labels such as on Sundays, but in other days of the week it becomes excessive.  When I'm with the Infante, I will do what he wants but alone, I do not follow anyone.  The House of Bourbon is not in Parma, and I am neither in France nor in Spain. Otherwise,  I do not need the Minister to give me lessons.  

On her giving excuses as to being ill/seeking solitude and giving her husband Ferdinand supposedly bad advice:  Procure to remain constant all along with the Infante, not to depart under pretext of withdrawing into solitude or illness, etc.   I try to merit the esteem and friendship of the Infante in all circumstances, and would die rather than to the contrary in the things that seemed right and reasonable. I never sought solitude, until 18 August, the mournful death  of my father. I'm sure I do not abuse, that the Madame L’ Infante is acting above the husband, causing him to commit things against the established order, and the deference that lies to the Council from his ministers and the authority of the leaders of his Court. Why it is so implausible as to remove any possible censures?   Neither the firmness of my decision I would be changed.  I do not give reasons or excuses that I am ill, though you should already know that I am sometimes indisposed especially in the middle of summer and winter. I believe that the Infante can regulate himself and not in need of myths or advice, I do not ask anything.  But I am sure that many, except me, led him to perform actions that are hazardous  and hasty . I want nothing more so that he can enjoy public esteem. Therefore I believe that if the Infante was in need of advice, he goes to me  to me rather than to anyone else

On her giving orders in their household:   The Minister, unfortunately, sometimes trying to achieve preferences  for their interest and support its power. Every (sovereign) prince has the right and power to change the order and be the chief authority in his court.  I do not meddle in affairs of State or Government, militia, guards, officers, except in cases where I believe in suspending a punishment, pleading to be able to grant a pardon, or if anyone is missing to my person, and in this case I have every right to punish disobedience and no respect in carrying out my orders.  Concerning the officers of the stable and  keeping the same, I take care of myself all the time, seeing that  they do not know what they should do and how neglected the service is.  Thus  for the same reason, for everything concerning the house I always impart my orders, inasmuch as to scrupulously observe the customs and rules established and stability  court life; to conform completely to the labels of the house of Bourbon and adopt the decision of the minister. The Minister directs of the affairs of the state, not of these trifles.   So long as I am the wife of the sovereign, I will continue to give orders and to whom I please.

As for the guards and the lackeys:  After the arrival of Mr. de Chauvelin, I have not mixed up in  things about the guards, what he ordered about their service has not undergone any changes. I have allowed only changes in the evenings in which I spend with my daughter.  Now you want me to allow to make changes designed to make them remain in the first hall, not to speak to them in the building, or outside, unless absolutely necessary.

Not to prefer any particular lackey for the service of Infante and the Princess.  Not to grant protection to persons seeking employment, even if they were badly considered by the Minister.  I declare I will always chose the lackeys, for we are better served  by people who know how to serve, rather than the less fit for service for I demand to be served well.    

On the Minister (del Llano):  I can estimate him only after considerable facts and that I better know his personal merit. I do not want to give confidence to any person whom I do not know. I want to be told the truth, and I will not submit myself to blindly accept advice.  The  Minister can be sure that  I can also speak with confidence, but I will not be the  first, he has to do it. Give the Minister a little confidence and encourage him to explain quite openly in circumstances where he  can find fault with the conduct of Madame L 'Infante?

On the reports about her behavior and spies : Hath not anything more disgusting to listen to such reports or spies, it is this breed that today and tomorrow betrays one another.  It can be assumed that if one does not listen to such, many fights and unpleasantness would have been spared. So I have not ever listened and I will never do so.  

On her spending and supposed debts: I was wrong to make the expenses increase, to settle debts and make a second request from available means. But I have never borrowed money nor contracted debts with merchants or with the workmen.

On her household, finances, estates and staff: I always thought of entrusting to someone the administration  of my funds and also that of my two properties, but I find it inconsistent that they should be people who exclusively please the Minister as administrators. Any individual has the right  to select his agent.  On the other hand you do not want me to enjoy any privileges not permitted in private. The first condition is unfair, not being able to handle the people involved in my land, herds, stables and hunting.  I want to be treated as a private (individual).  

Again, I repeat, only the Infante and I recognize the right to give orders to my troops.  To treat the officers of the Court and the people with noble distinction to their due, according to the different degrees,  not give preference to low staff and waiters, not to accuse a pretext to prevent access to the maid and  the ladies of the palace, grant them to serve each  according to its rotation; of previously accustomed to give his orders to the heads of the house and stable, that is to say to the butler and the first squire, for when Madame L’  establishes her meals in the carriage, on horseback or on foot, and not forward these directly to cooks or squires. The trouble with this thing, besides being inconvenient also harms the good order and economy.  

Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 29, 2009, 01:42:14 AM
Part 2 of 2 of Maria Amalia's reply to MT when Count Rosenberg went to in 1772 (afterwhich MT stopped communicating with her for about a year). Same source I Primi Borboni a Parma (1890). My own loose translation from the original text in Italian.

On her preference for certain people:   I always acted in a gentle manner to please everyone  but with regard to preferences, I would rather attach myself to the honest people, or at least those I believe as such whether they are servants, attendants or assistants to the Court, farmers or ministers.  I never needed  an excuse like in my maid, for if I'm okay, I see all willingly, and only when I have indisposed or have something to do that they can not enter. Why do you think I'm making excuses, when I know I can do it freely with my own will, without resorting to subterfuge?  As for the orders to be given to the stable and kitchen, I repeat,  I want to issue orders to the most appropriate people and not to people who are not worthy to receive them.

On her conduct, her ladies in waiting and on forgiveness: The ladies cannot be offended if Madame L’Infante might have (preference)  for one or the other of  her ladies. To induce the Madame L’ Infante to establish an agreement with the Minister, a plan  of conduct, with dignity and decorum to appear at parties and not  admit other people, to honor his choice.  Forgive generously, and with all sincerity to those who have  had, inevitably, the misfortune to displease or disgrace.  The resentment is too strong a thing unworthy of a princess.  

I do not complain and draw a distinction between those that must accompany me to walk in the mornings, but they complain  themselves, because they are old or delicate, and I must necessarily select those that may follow me. (The plan of conduct) It is something that is within the functions of the Minister, and that I, knowing the difficulty in setting (it), I could not interfere. The plan of conduct that Madame L'Infante will perform in public I will follow but privately I will continue to do what I do. It's very true that we must forgive, it denotes a generous spirit.  When you're right, forgetting soon after receiving offense shows little firmness of mind.

On what a princess should do:  Dispense with pleasure and do everything to heart for every command, and want to find supporters among the people. This is not what a princess should do, the wife of a sovereign and must only take care of pleasing her husband, to inspire good feelings in the princess (daughter Caroline), to earn the confidence of the Minister, pleasing and easy to order services to all those assigned to the service of his person, to be  love the people honest and respected by all.

It's now two years, seven months that I have given up any idea  command and to govern the state, but for all that concerns my person, I always have the right to decide after the Infante. I try to gain the love the people as much as possible, they are always praying for us and give us blessings from heaven.  I constantly strive to inspire good feelings in my daughter and I think the Minister should rather try to get my  confidence.  I will try to make my personal service easy and pleasant, but so long as it is not an  obstruction to my system, (which) I myself want to direct.  I also want to be loved and adored like my dear husband, the Infante, is estimated by honest people.

    

Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on September 29, 2009, 07:39:38 AM
I'm not surprised Maria Theresa stopped writing for a year.  Maria Amalia gave as good as she got, which wouldn't at all have suited the Empress!  No doubt she was expecting meek apologies, or excuses and explanations, like the sort of thing she received from Marie Antoinette when she sent her stern letters.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Mari on September 29, 2009, 10:32:08 PM
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I find it  quite ridiculous that a prince of a small (sovereign) state must submit to the annoyances of the Kings of France and Spain.  I find it well that when we are in public, we comply with the labels such as on Sundays, but in other days of the week it becomes excessive.  When I'm with the Infante, I will do what he wants but alone, I do not follow anyone.  The House of Bourbon is not in Parma, and I am neither in France nor in Spain. Otherwise,  I do not need the Minister to give me lessons.
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Her replies sound like good common sense to me. The problem was that Parma was too small to defend itself against larger Countries so there always had to be this delicate balance.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on September 30, 2009, 03:42:15 AM
Maria Theresa was in a difficult position with regard to Maria Amalia, because under 18th century royal convention, although your parent and sovereign had to be obeyed, there were exceptions, and one of these was that your husband and sovereign had to be obeyed first.  Hence Maria Amalia's frequent references to the Infante - if her husband had no problem with what she was doing, where were Maria Theresa's arguments?  Parma was, at least technically, an independent state; although Ferdinand owed respect and duty to his grandfather the King of France, and his uncle the King of Spain, they were not his sovereigns and could not command him.  His mother-in-law had even less particular respect or duty to call upon, except from her daughter, but could never argue with a husband's basic right to command a wife.  So basically Maria Theresa had realise that she really didn't have the power either up front or behind the scenes to demand obedience from Maria Amalia, as long as Maria Amalia was shielded by Ferdinand, and she had no relationship with Ferdinand to call upon.  But cutting off communication forever was also out of the question - a hostile Parma was no part of the Habsburg-Bourbon partnership plan.  Hence a period of dignified withdrawal to show she wasn't going to take this insolence from her daughter, followed by a reconciliation at the next possible opportunity.

I've always thought that Maria Theresa was one of those people who genuinely thought she was always absolutely open and honest, but her children lied to her and she had to take steps to find out the truth - hence the spies.  But her children lied to her because she was always interfering with them and playing favorites and was astonished when they had the temerity to argue.  I don't think she thought she was being dishonest when she said she was "neither inquisitive nor demanding" - she really thought she wasn't, she just thought she had the right to command her children to tell her every minute of the day what they were up to and at any point to tell them what to do.  And I also think she had no guilt at all about Maria Amalia - she justified it to herself that Maria Amalia and her husband were completely unreasonable and the best thing to do was leave them alone for a bit to come to their senses.   She wouldn't admit to herself or anyone else she had been soundly beaten!
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 30, 2009, 08:16:14 AM
Thanks, CountessKate!

I agree with your opinion that Maria Theresa saw herself as honest and open --- and had the right to demand obedience from all her children, whether they were married or not, fully grown adults or children, or Queen, Grand Duke, Duchess or Emperor. etct. And to know everything on what her children did. IMHO, the problem with such was that  (most of the) reports given to her seemed incomplete, partial or at times completely false (we see Joseph II commenting on the reports on him after MT died). And she never seemed to have taken the time to reflect on the particular situations of her children. Isabella wrote Mimi about how MT was suspicious of her children (Isabella reckons that it was transference of her own distrust of herself) and I think there is a grain of truth in it.  MT views vs reality seem a bit off (for lack of a better term) to me, at least at times. For instance, at her deathbed, I've read that claimed she had sacrificed her children to God.  Of course, we know that MT's children had faults of their own so their familial problems couldn't be entirely MT's fault.  

Oh, I recall now MT calling Amalia and Ferdinand as 'the grimaces of Parma' or similar so it is likely that MT indeed justified her decision to cut all communication by saying that both her daughter and son-in-law were completely unreasonable. And yes, she was soundly beaten in this. Amalia seemed to want to be free of MT's  control and Ferdinand rebelled against everything he had been forced to accept by France and Spain (Parma's archives states this), so it appears that the two supported each other.  

If I remember it right, in signing off this particular letter that so incensed MT, Amalia simply wrote "Amalia", nothing else. Not even 'your daughter'. At least, that's how it was presented in the source but I don't know if the author has taken certain liberties with her work.  
  
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on October 05, 2009, 05:13:44 AM
While most royal families of the eighteenth century worked hard at trying to put a romantic gloss on their members' marriages, the reality was that for most, marriage then was more like a job than the romantic partnership that it is perceived as in the twenty first century, and it was the only profession open to a woman.  Maria Theresa dangerously changed expectations for her children by marrying herself for love, and allowing one of her daughters to do so, but basically normal expectations for royal daughters were that they would be married off to appropriate princes, with rank and power and children compensating for any deficiencies in the spouses.  Once Maria Amalia had got over her (to my mind, quite understandable) anger and humiliation at being married off to a not very attractive and imature boy instead of the handsome prince she had set her heart on, she did what most of them did - settled down and got on with the job.  She achieved ascendency over her husband, threw out the minister who was challenging her power, saw off her powerful mother, husband's grandfather and uncle, and had the family for whom she seemed to have genuine affection.  She basically made a success of her job/marriage.  Similarly, Maria Carolina and Marie Antoinette both survived being married to individuals without any great personal attractiveness with whom they had little in common, and in the end their marriages, if not romantic, were no worse than others of the time.  They also eventually succeeded in gaining political power and had children whom they loved.  No wonder poor Maria Elizabeth was upset - all she basically had to look forward to was a stultifying existence at her mother's court, and when her mother died, Joseph practically banished her to a convent.  Any husband was better than none at all, and it wasn't as if the convent offered a job in which she had any interest.   
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Mari on October 07, 2009, 01:45:17 AM
Maria Amalia married a man in Joseph II's description  who was lame, fat, squat, inexperienced,no genius, little intelligence and is tiresome as can be! He did add he was well brought up and his looks were good. However, he saw no reason "if Amelia was wise she should not be perfectly happy." from Joseph II in the Shadow of Maria Theresa,1741-1780.

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In Marie Antoinette :The Last Queen of France by Lever "Through their marriages, the young Princesses were sacrificed to their Mother's Diplomacy. The prospective Husband's Personality was irrelevant as long as the Empress considered him a major player on the political scene. Wanting the Hapsburgs represented in Naples, she had offered one of her Daughters to a sovereign who was considered feeble minded.'so long as she fulfills her duty toward God and her Husband and earns her salvation,even if she is to be unhappy,I will be pleased.' Maria Theresa wrote concerning her young Daughter. In 1769 she gave Amelia to Ferdinand, Duke of Parma, a simpleton and a sensualist who was five years her junior.
Quote
 

http://books.google.com/books?id=OVaeF4RT4f0C&pg=PA10&dq=maria+Amalia+duchess+of+Parma#v=onepage&q=maria%20Amalia%20duchess%20of%20Parma&f=false

So this explains why Maria Theresa said  paraphrasing "she had sacrificed her Daughters to God." I think that Maria Amelia if She was going to be sacrificed would have much rather had France. However once the French Revolution started and Maria Antoinette was killed she may have considered it a lucky escape at that point.  But certainly Louis XVI would have been a much greater match and as courteous. Maria Amalia wouldn't have started out contending with a Mistress as she did in Parma. True She would have had trouble with the Politics and less influence at the French Court, but then Maria Amalia was a better match for it on the other hand. It was fashionable in France to be young, beautiful and in debt. Marie Antoinette wanted to be fashionable. I think Maria Amalia would have been less prone to the negative influences and advice. If you read many of the Memoirs of the time Marie Antoinette was trying hard to please and did not realize that the Court was divided into factions, that detested her as an Austrian, and were jealous of any access to Louis XVI. The Aunts for one gave her bad advice.

 I haven't read anything yet that states Maria Amalia started out being hated just for her Austrian birth at Parma! Has anyone else?

Again in Joseph II: In the shadow of Maria Theresa the author states" that Maria Theresa belonged to the tradition of Louis XIV, that Sovereigns should be extravagant,ostentatious,and formal." She cites all the different large sums spent on Palaces. I have not been able to find exact sums of Maria Amalia's spending does anyone know of any documents?

http://books.google.com/books?id=COw8AAAAIAAJ&pg=RA1-PA194&dq=maria+Amalia+duchess+of+Parma#v=onepage&q=&f=false
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 07, 2009, 09:00:57 PM
Very interesting, Mari!  

It would not have been easy being married off to someone else when she wanted to marry another. But Maria Amalia was lucky in the sense that her husband was good natured (even if he wasn't always faithful to her) and allowed her to do whatever she wanted. She had no interfering relatives to contend with, at least no one she lived in the same palace with; the kings of France and Spain interfered but they were far from Parma (although she appeared irritated by letters from Madrid).  

I have not read the exact sums of what she spent either but her spending was mentioned in some sources-- and she herself admitted that she was wrong in increasing expenses, in settling debts (of other people) and in making second requests. I've read some of the letters of English ambassador in Tuscany and he discussed the Duchess of Parma a number of times.  For example, he said that the finances in Parma was in disorder and one of the reasons cited was that " she was as generous as the Empress".   So Leopold was being sent to Parma to preach submission and economy to his sister.  With Amalia's confession that she was wrong in settling debts and that remark, we can assume that most of Amalia's extravagance was not spent on clothes, jewelry. etc. for herself but on other people. We know that Maria Theresa was extremely generous to her staff and ministers - she settled their debts as well.  It appears that Amalia did the same and she took after her mother in that respect.  We also know that she allowed beggars/paupers to live in the palace, more or less on the same excuse (generosity).  At some point, I've also read that she would distribute money to the poor and they crowded the palace. I've also read that she was fond of parties so she must've spent a pretty sum on those (as well as on her horses, which Joseph would mention later on). Amalia also mentioned of having two properties in Parma -- one of which was the Casino dei Boschi, a hunting lodge/villa.  I've posted a link of its pictures in part I of this thread...
( http://www.flickr.com/photos/ilguidoz/325309543/ ). It was her private retreat and served as one of her residences.  It was built from 1775-1789 so it appears that it was done very gradually (later on, Empress Marie Louise would buy (and expand) it from her heirs so it was a private property and not owned by the state like the Petit Trianon of Marie Antoinette). Amalia also traveled to Tuscany, Milan, Naples, Rome and Austria... that should add to her spending!

I think only the minister Du Tillot's camp was anti-Austrian or anti-Amalia, for that matter.  He was hoping to match Ferdinand with Maria Beatrice of Modena but it appears that it was only him aiming for that; Maria Beatrice was engaged, at a very young age, to Leopold then to Ferdinand, brothers of Amalia.  From what I have read, in Parma's court at that time, the French hated the Spanish and vice versa while the Italians hated both.  I'm not sure how the Parma's nobility felt about having an Austrian consort for their duke. I do know that Du Tillot's mistress, Marchesa Malaspina, was the chief lady at court until Maria Amalia arrived. She was a lady-in-waiting to the Ferdinand's mother and she acted the same to Maria Amalia. There would be friction later on for Du Tillot insisted on having his mistress appointed as head of baby Caroline's household, which of course didn't please Amalia. At any rate, Ferdinand signed the papers for her exile (as well as a few others) the following year, before Du Tillot himself was dismissed.  So I think with regard to any anti-Austrian sentiments or intrigues, Amalia dealt with them effectively through her husband.  As for the masses, we know that Amalia made friends with them!

I agree that Maria Amalia would've been less prone to the negative influences and advice had she been at Versailles.  Amalia had many faults but she didn't appear to be clueless like her sister in France.  It is understandable if she felt she deserved more than the Duke of Parma (if she was being sacrificed for state reasons anyway), most older royal daughters had greater matches than the yoiunger ones.  But as CountessKate pointed out in Part I of this thread, there weren't any other suitable princes for her so she had to make the best of it.  
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on October 08, 2009, 03:39:14 AM
A very masterly summing-up from the two posts above.  I've always regretted the sacking of du Tillot - he seemed to be a genuine innovator, and brought trade and prosperity to Parma at a level it wasn't to see again for a long time.  But under an absolute sovereign, a politician has to please the rulers, and du Tillot was silly to get on the wrong side of Maria Amalia.  I don't think he was anti-Austrian so much as he was pro-French, and had been basically ruling Parma in Ferdinand's name and resented a wife who was not his own nominee coming in and trying to take charge.  If he had cut his losses, agreed with everything Maria Amalia said, and tried to steer her rather than tell her what to do and complain about her to others, it might have had a better result.  But he had been so used to calling the tune with Ferdinand, he had become arrogant and consequently lost his place. 
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 09, 2009, 10:58:46 PM
Yes, I also think Du Tillot erred in not conciliating and flattering Maria Amalia (and Ferdinand). I think it reached to a point where both truly hated him. The English ambassador in Tuscany at that time wrote there was a plan of some 'cooling off', to send Du Tillot somewhere for a short period of time or a graceful, gradual  exit for him but he noted that "the Duke and Duchess would not be inwardly satisfied with such; they want him (openly) punished."  Both (especially Amalia), he said, could not forget the humiliations they received and how they were forced to submit, especially during the mission of Monsieur de Chauvelin (Dec. 1770).  Du Tillot may have meant well in restoring order to the court and trying to make both Amalia and Ferdinand straighten out their chaotic lifestyle but IMHO, just like Empress Maria Theresa, his methods were not effective.  All those reports to Vienna and Versailles would not endear him to both Amalia and Ferdinand.

A letter dated May 1769 from Louis XV to Ferdinand advised his grandson not to despise the counsels of his minister and reminded him of how Du Tillot served his parents well.  Furthermore, there was no one to replace him, claimed Louis XV. So it seems that the problem with Du Tillot started before Maria Amalia came and of course, grew worse after she arrived. It seems that he wasn't  very respectful to Ferdinand either. For example, he reproached his duke: "When one is a prince, one cannot be a monk (without being ridiculous)"!  I don't think even an immature prince would appreciate being told something like that. And Amalia wrote home to Vienna about her husband not being respected and not being treated as a sovereign, and that she (in her mind, she was the most important person in the duchy after her husband) was even treated with less respect.
  
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on October 13, 2009, 04:25:36 AM
Poor Ferdinand never seems to have resisted domination - first Du Tillot and then Maria Amalia - but in fact the evidence seems to be that he actually disliked Du Tillot, or at least the latters' anti-clericalism, so he may have found Maria Amalia's actually helpful in giving him the necessary courage to dismiss Du Tillot and incidentally stand up to his grandfather.   But it is unfortunately true that weak characters can both admire and resent those who dominate them, so Ferdinand may both have found Maria Amalia both a strong support, to help him do what he couldn't have done by himself, but may also have resented the fact that he couldn't stand up to her where her views ran counter to his - and may possibly have burst into tears! 

Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Mari on October 13, 2009, 11:58:40 PM
Ferdinand had a Mistress when Maria Amalia first arrived in Parma! In fact he was so immature he invited Maria Amalia into the kitchen to roast chestnuts with the two of them.                    quote from Prinzheinelgirl April 02, 2009, 10:22:25 PM #350


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This is the sort of welcome Amalia got from Ferdinand when she arrived in Parma.... (from the book on Maria Theresa by Paul Tabori):

In Parma, a tousle-headed, barefoot youth was tolling the bell in the tallest tower of the city.  Then he got tired of it, rushed down the spiral stairs and made posthaste for the turn of the road to spy on the arrivals.   When the travelling party appeared, he jumped from under a tree, began to pound his knees and laughed at the Archduchess, who was peering through the glass window of the coach.  She stared, amazed, at the uncouth lout, who, as soon as the coach rolled on, picked himself up and ran back to the city.

Within the palace there was total chaos. Duke Ferdinand had disappeared.  The court dignitaries, thin Du Tillot and fat Malaspina, his mistress, led the girl to her apartments in obvious embarrassment. Amalia showed no surprise. She stood in the middle of the large room and examined curiously the ancestral portraits of the Parma dynasty.  Suddenly, the door opened and the barefooted, dishevelled youngster whom she had noticed through the window of the coach burst in.  "You are my bride?" he demanded.  "I'm Ferdinand."  The girl stared at him, mouth agape.  The boy took her hand and led her down the basement kitchen.

"Do you like roast chestnuts?" he asked her. "If you do, I'll get you some..... Beatrice!" he shouted at a barefoot, olive-skinned girl whom Amalia hadn't even noticed and who stood with large, brilliant eyes full of hate next to the hearth.  "My mistress," Ferdinand presented her to his bride. "Make friends, you two.  Don't be afraid, she won't bite," he reassured Amalia. The archduchess, who was trained not to show surprise at anything nor form any hasty opinions, soon found her poise.  Half an hour later, they gaily munched the roast chestnuts.  Then Amalia proposed a game of hide-and-seek.
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Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 14, 2009, 11:38:18 PM
Yes, so Maria Amalia got a husband who was so immature, had a mistress at the outset, was fond of low company and whose hobbies include chestnut-roasting and bell-ringing, and according to Joseph II, possessed no genius and little intelligence. It appears that reports to Vienna on Ferdinand were, 'sanitized'. J. Alexander Mahan, one of Maria Theresa's biographers, wrote that the prince's virtues were magnified.  Ferdinand seemed good natured and easy-going but what other virtues there might be?  Excellently educated, pious, what else?  At least Maria Carolina knew what her husband Ferdinand of Naples was like and appeared to be kind of relieved when she found out that his character was better than reported.  But Amalia, it seemed, was in for shock.

Ferdinand appears to unfaithful -- but a very pious one.  Amalia complained of her husband's infidelities to MT. Two books (The House of Habsburg: 600 Years of a European Dysnasty by Adam Wandruska and Twayne's Rulers & Statesmen of the World Series, volume 18) mention this. How could many authors say Amalia had liaisons but failed to mention (or did not know) Ferdinand's own infidelities is a mystery to me.....  
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 15, 2009, 08:49:05 PM
Well, perhaps most authors thought of it that way -- royal and noble men were 'expected' to have mistresses at that time.  All I want to point out is that, apparently, Maria Amalia wasn't fine with it.  She was upset enough to plague him with jealous outbursts and complain to Maria Theresa. That likely contributed to her extravagant behavior and her own liaisons. But it gets little mention, if any at all. So I wonder if the authors were just too pro-French or pro-Spanish.....The only books that I know that mention Ferdinand's infidelities are from Austrian, American, Hungarian/British, and Polish authors.    

Ferdinand was the first to be unfaithful, not Amalia.  So, putting the blame entirely on her is not fair, at least from that point of view. She had many defects, yes, but she had many good qualities as well. And Ferdinand himself had many defects as well.   If some people insist that Amalia was so god-awful as a wife, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in her 33 years of marriage with Ferdinand (despite proof that she wasn't) and she never cried or was never hurt about their marital problems, then I'll just have to drop this subject because I cannot see it that way.   :)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 18, 2009, 12:53:56 PM
I think most people supposed that being forced to marry against her will (Ferdinand was not the man of her choice) to a boy much younger than herself. She would exert herself (which she most certainly did) and boss him around. Amalia bitched about her situation and complained so much, which is very different from her sisters Josepha (who had a much gentlier nature) or Antonia (who was sweeter but immature). It would be easy to point her out as a trouble maker and not the ideal wife.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 18, 2009, 08:17:14 PM
Eric Lowe, I understand what you are saying.....it would be easy indeed to point Maria Amalia as a trouble maker and not the ideal wife if we look at the early years or certain situations.  That she had a dominating nature, I do not doubt at all.  I also think she had a lot of resentment being sent to Parma instead of marrying the prince of her choice but as CountessKate pointed out, after she got over her anger and humiliation at being married against her will, she got on with the business of her job/marriage.

Maria Amalia in fact had a gentle nature (you can find such praise from Maria Theresa's farewell letter to her when she left Parma): " The advice I give you come from a loving heart, and since I have some experience in life, they can be useful to you.  I wish nothing but happy to see you, how you make it through the kindness and gentleness of your character and your uniform and virtuous behavior.  You also have incredibly great deal of patience and a very good-natured character.  These great features you need to maintain and further develop them, because they are lucky your life. . ."   So Maria Amalia had such traits in her. MT knew the characters of her children quite well although IMHO, she was quite wrong in distrusting them so much (a transference of her own distrust of herself according to daughter-in-law Isabella) and such affected her dealings with them.  Now if she lost her temper and bitched about her situation, that is quite understandable in the early months or early years.  Neither Parma nor her husband was very appealing, were they? IMHO, she had much to try her in Parma --- a very immature and silly husband who had a mistress who was described by many as either a simpleton or an idiot, Du Tillot, the Franco-Spanish interference/influence, the scoldings from Vienna, among others. But that doesn't mean she did not even try to be nice to her husband or make her marriage work.  I'm not saying Amalia did not deserve her share of the blame in whatever problems she had with her husband.....but to point all the blame on her or say all she did was cause trouble to her husband is untrue. I have a suspicion that reports on her behavior focused only on the bad side, Amalia  certainly knew that her faults-and only her faults-where being singled out: "Give the minister confidence so that he can find fault with the conduct of Madame L'Infante?"  

It's interesting to know how Maria Josepha would've coped with Ferdinand of Naples or with Ferdinand of Parma had Maria Johanna lived. Indeed,  Maria Antonia seemed sweeter (at least in the early years when she was still Dauphine) but she was also capable of bad temper and many mood swings. I think the archduchesses were subject to a lot of strain.  For example, I've read of an account by Ferdinand of Naples, writing to his father about how Caroline screamed at him: " I don't care if you die or burst, for at least a year, I refuse to get pregnant."  , afterwhich he claimed she jumped into him like dog and bit him (he still had the scar on his hand, he said).  Then Caroline proceeded to scream at her old ladies-in-waiting like an eagle. I don't know, perhaps the account was a bit exaggerated......

Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 19, 2009, 02:58:41 PM
I agree. Both Maria Josepha (the real favourite sister of Joseph II) and Maria Johanna seemed much more decoile than Caroline or Amalia. It is interesting that only Amalia was punished by her mother by breaking off correspondence (which also included those with her sisters Caroline & Antonia). That was pretty harsh for someone with such a close knit family. Caroline in comparison was bossy but she appear to know the limits she could with Vienna, while Amalia was painted as the wild child.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 19, 2009, 09:26:34 PM
I have always thought Maria Theresa was beyond petty - although it was her prerogative as a sovereign and head of their family - when she told all members of the family to stop correspondence with Parma.  Why drag all the others into it?  But perhaps it was the only recourse she could think of.  She did write Count Mercy about how the Infanta rejected all her proposals (during Count Rosenberg's mission) and that she had commanded everyone else to stop communicating and that "we will see the results".     If she thought it would make Amalia obey her, she badly miscalculated. It appears that Amalia had never forgotten such harshness from her mother either.

As CountessKate pointed out earlier, MT basically realised she had no power to make her daughter obey her either upfront or behind the scenes so she had to show she won't take such insolence from her daughter, hence the cutting of communication.  Basically, Amalia answered that she would only make a few concessions - and subject to certain conditions - to her mother's demands.  I don't know, IMHO,  some of MT's complaints were not worthy of such fuss, such as the choosing of the lackeys and how Amalia shouldn't give orders to the cooks, squires and stable persons, etc. Those issues are on a petty, domestic level but MT wanted to regulate all aspects of her children's lives.  I think Maria Amalia was able to answer all of the complaints/demands  pretty well, explaining why she doesn't agree or why she gives orders, denying some accusations and admitting her mistakes. I was expecting her replies to be capricious (as she was widely described to be) but they were not.  I found  nothing 'wild' or capricious about what Amalia insisted on, at least judging from her replies (which are posted earlier in this thread).    But MT wanted to be obeyed and to save face, so she punished her daughter. Her daughter-in-law Isabella certainly thought MT did not make wise decisions at times, especially those taken at the height of anger.  I also think the tone of Amalia's letter was not 'conciliatory' or  even a bit 'remorseful" -- it is likely that MT took offense on that. I think Amalia was wrong in that, but after 3 years of never-ending criticisms (and accusations that were not true at times), one could hardly be in good humour.....

I've read that Caroline was also threatened (later on) by her mother that communication will be cut off but it never happened.  Perhaps Caroline conceded on certain issues and/or MT did not want another daughter to be estranged from her... also after Mimi, I think it was said that Caroline was her next favorite daughter. MT appeared to have a blind spot about her favorites, a glaring example is Mimi (who was, from many accounts, a nasty person and gained her mother's 'approval' by telling on her siblings) and also her extremely incompetent brother-in-law, Charles of Lorraine.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 19, 2009, 10:18:51 PM
Yes. Amalia was less of a favourite to MT than Mimi, who was sharp tongued. She told her mother that Amalia "lost her good looks and glamour, but her daughter was very beautiful". After years of fighting and bickering, one could really see why the Duchess of Parma looked wretched. It was her bad luck that she got Parma instead of France or Naples. I wondered about Amalia's last years. Not a lot of books picked up on that (after she was exiled from Parma).
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 19, 2009, 10:55:29 PM
Well, Mimi seemed only interested to get her siblings into trouble or report bad things about them to 'score' good points with MT. Two portraits of Amalia painted after Mimi's visit to Parma do not show that Amalia lost her good looks nby 1775 --- one was the family portrait (Amalia, Ferdinand, Caroline, Louis, and Maria Antonia) painted circa 1775-1776 and the other, the one by Alexander Roslin in 1778. Roslin wasn't known to flatter his sitters, was he?  So I doubt (very much) Mimi's words.  Both potraits are posted in part I of this thread. I don't know, when Count Colloredo visited her in Parma in 1777, he reported to MT that Amalia was contented with her life there.

An English noblewoman in Rome met Amalia in 1784 in Rome and this is how she described the Duchess of Parma: "Tall and well-made, but not as handsome as the emperor.  Ill and oddly dressed, but with a certain hauteur. "  Not as good looking as Joseph II maybe but she did not seem to have lost her good looks altogether.... hmmm?  I don't think she cared much about clothes and stuff later on --having dressed oddly-- and I've read that when Joseph criticized her headdress as unbecoming she merely replied: "Oh, it is good and pretty enough for a monk!" (an obvious reference to her husband). So, the glamour might be gone---but she did not turn plain, at least by 1784. By 1991 (portrait painted by Johann Zoffany), Amalia seemed to have aged prematurely. I mean, she was only 45 years old then but looked much older and she was so thin, her hair was completely white, no trace of her good looks at all except her fabulous white skin.  I am wondering whether the personal tragedies/grief in 1789-91 were responsible for her premature aging......we saw it happening with Marie Antoinette.  

Indeed, not much was written about her exile in Prague. It seems that she went first to Venice, then Vienna, then settled into Prague.  But she was already in ill-health. I have always wondered why she settled in Prague...... perhaps she wanted to be near daughter Caroline, who visited her. The only living sibling she had in Austria by then was Archduchess Elisabeth--but didn't she stay in Linz? I think it was nice that she stayed in Prague Castle and a lot of her Italian servants went with her.  It seems that she got money from her son Louis to support her (the money that was her dowry) for Duke Ferdinand died deeply in debt due to the Napoleonic wars.   The Governor of Bohemia, Count Chotek, seemed to have taken care of her, or at least flattered her by giving fetes in her honour.  I only know that she had some form of rickets deformation, made her will, took the last sacraments and after a few days died.  Oh, I've also read that her funeral was solemn. There is a very nice B & W (young) portrait of her at Prague Castle.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on October 25, 2009, 07:56:54 AM
I agree, there was something rather bitter about Marie-Christine and indeed you would have thought she would have been perhaps more of a family peacemaker; however, like her mother she was not very discreet or tactful - possibly because of her privileged position she felt no need for this. 
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 25, 2009, 09:18:45 PM
That's why I find it quite hard to like Marie Christine--I'm a huge fan of almost all of  Maria Theresa's daughters but so far with her beloved Mimi, I cannot say I like her...... perhaps if I read something more positive about her (there is an old biography of her but in German, I think), I will change my mind.

Horses seem to have replaced clothes in Maria Amalia's priorities. The English ambassador in Tuscany during Leopold's reign mentioned Amalia in his letters quite a lot, he said that she was the perfect Amazon and would give details of her visits to Tuscany (Florence, Pisa and Livorno). He wrote that while Amalia participated in many of the Florence's social events on her visits, the most enthusiastic participation he witnessed was on the horse-racing and that the duchess also took a great deal of pleasure (and time) in her brother Leopold's royal stables.  

I also have two questions on Maria Amalia's portraits and would very much appreciate any answers or leads: has anyone ever seen her 1770 portrait by Francois-Hubert Drouias (even in an artbook perhaps) and what year was her portrait (as Diana) painted by Carlo Angelo dal Verme?  
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Mari on October 28, 2009, 01:23:25 AM
Quote
I also have two questions on Maria Amalia's portraits and would very much appreciate any answers or leads: has anyone ever seen her 1770 portrait by Francois-Hubert Drouias (even in an artbook perhaps) and what year was her portrait (as Diana) painted by Carlo Angelo dal Verme?
Quote

In 2000 the Painting of Maria Amalia by Drouias was in a private collection owned by John Loring who is Design Director for Tiffany & Company in New York. That may help a little....if you wanted to contact him I am sure he would know I could not find anything else.
http://www.nytimes.com/2000/04/09/style/prince-princess-you-re-on-candid-camera.html?pagewanted=1

http://www.itisgalilei.parma.it/itis/nostri%20progetti/parco%20ducale%20e%20tiglio/parcoducale/Nome/GIARDINO4/s-maria%20amalia.htm

This site translated from Italian states There are numerous portraits throughout history of  Maria Amalia,  a controversial and fascinating character, who lived above the line... with momentum and spontaneity so much and  gained the sympathies of her subjects who called her the nickname "La Mata" and while She had the antipathy of many historians, as well as her husband who says he was publicly abused by the "lady." Exuberant, sexy, rude, outlandish and always contrary to the  origins of her husband. She claimed never to feel politically inferior to the spouse , something quite unheard of at that time."
My Italian is atrocious so the above is the gist of the paragraph I hope....I have read ugly, mannish and too horse crazy recently in another area so I thought it interesting...exuberant and sexy.

Louis XV, referring to Maria Amalia wrote to his nephew: "Your wife is an extravagant woman, and I will not hide, no one in the family loves her." Chiunque sentendo tali parole avrebbe almeno tentato di cambiare atteggiamento e invece la Duchessa continuò a comportarsi secondo il suo istinto. Anyone hearing these words would have at least tried to change their attitude and instead the Duchess continued to behave according to her instincts. Non era bella: capelli rossicci e arruffati, naso adunco, occhi cerulei, spesso trasandata nel vestire, voce aspra e modi spicci; era tuttavia un "personaggio" che colpiva l'attenzione, se Lord Pembroke arrivò a scrivere: "io non conosco nulla di più curioso di Maria Amalia. Preferirei vedere lei piuttosto di tutti i Correggio messi insieme." She was not beautiful with tousled sandy hair, aquiline nose, blue eyes, often slovenly dressed, rough voice and a sharp manner; however,  she was a "personality" that caught the attention, and Lord Pembroke came to write "I do not know anything More curious to Maria Amalia. I'd rather see her all the  Correggio's put together. "

Among her other defects she was remembered as a "spendthrift" and squandered large sums of money. Maria Amalia però, per quanti difetti avesse, è ricordata da tutti come madre affettuosa e premurosa con i figli: Carolina (1770-1804), Ludovico (1773-1803), Maria Antonietta (1774-1841) e infine Carlotta (1777-1825). Maria Amalia, however,despite her many faults he is remembered by all as a loving mother and caring of her children:






at that site it stated that the Painting as Diana is at the Parma Gallery Nationale so that site could be contacted:
I could not find any date on the Web perhaps someone else but the Curator at the Nationale would know!

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=it&u=http://www.artipr.arti.beniculturali.it/htm/Galleria.htm&ei=tdznSsX-DoXP8Qbls4GQBw&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAsQ7gEwAA&prev=/search%3Fq%3DParma%2BGalleria%2BNationale%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26hs%3DQdM
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 28, 2009, 08:42:57 AM
Many, many thanks Mari!

The reason I'm interested in the portrait by Drouias (said to be the most expensive French painter at that time) is that said painter was originally selected to do the portrait of Marie Antoinette in Vienna but Joseph Ducreux (less expensive) was substituted at the last minute, of course due to some court intrigue at Versailles. So apparently, whoever commissioned that portrait of Maria Amalia was willing to pay very good money for it while the future Dauphine (and Queen) of France was assigned a less expensive painter. I doubt if Maria Amalia commissioned it herself; I've read that she hated anything French. I also think it is one portrait of Amalia that is not very well known.   I do know some Italian so perhaps I will email the Galleria Nazionale di Parma on the 'Diana' portrait of hers. All I know is that Carlo Angelo dal Verme was a nobleman-painter who was from Milan, I think.

I've read ugly, mannish and horse crazy (as well as with dogs, too)... I've even read her being described as a Messalina or Agrippina and that she had live wolves brought to her to kill. I think such accusations are outrageous. While she was outlandish and very contrary to Maria Theresa, Spain and France, Maria Amalia was not evil. I think most historians/authors who paint(ed) her as 'evil incarnate' (or similar) simply forgot (or overlooked the fact) that Parma was a sovereign state and Ferdinand and Amalia could do whatever they wanted with the duchy.  And both wanted to be free of France and Spain. As for her not obeying her mother, well, it was already pointed out in this thread  that she didn't have to obey Maria Theresa or France's wishes or Spain's; she was, after all, under the authority of her husband. IMHO, I think Maria Theresa has done much worse things than her, such as the partition of Poland, the Seven Years War, her severe oppression of the Jews and Protestants, etc.  Of course, that doesn't excuse Maria Amalia's faults - she had many and was certainly no angel (Maria Theresa herself thought 'angels' such as Leopold's wife were only to be admired but not imitated) - but l think most historians have judged her quite harshly (the very reason I got interested in her in the first place).  If she was so awful, why did Parma's people love her or how could she have earned their sympathy? She must have done something right.

As for Louis XV saying those words against her, well, his words doesn't seem true.  Marie Antoinette's departure for France was deliberately moved to an earlier time in the hope that it would avoid the extent of the distress that happened during both Caroline's and Amalia's departures from Vienna. That doesn't sound like the departure of an unliked family member. One must also remember that Amalia seemed to be the only archduchess who was close to the older set of siblings as well as the younger set. I'm talking about Marianne, Elisabeth, Caroline and MA in particular.  And she also received visits from her brothers Leopold, Maximilian, and Ferdinand. IMHO, Louis XV was fed up with Amalia at that point. And did Ferdinand heed him despite his words?  France and Spain wanted to break them up but nothing happened to such plans.

Amalia's eyes were described as cerulean/azure blue. I think she was also described as having a beautiful figure so 'sexy' does fit. I wonder about that rough voice. I've read some accounts where Amalia was praised for her beautiful singing voice. Certainly, Il Parnasso Confuso (which she performed together with her sisters Elisabeth, Josepha, and Caroline during Joseph's wedding to Maria Josepha of Bavaria in 1765) was technically challenging; opera singer Julianne Baird in recent times recorded said opera and she said that they (the cast and other musicians) were surprised at the 'vocal acrobatics' of the opera----and pointed out that they were professional singers, unlike the archduchesses. Metastasio also waxed poetic rapture about Amalia's enchanting voice. Dorothy Gies McGuigan in the book The Habsburgs  described her as a coloratura (soprano). And Duke Ferdinand certainly thought his wife had a very pretty voice and expressed his deep regret about how a visitor (Lady Mary Coke) wasn't able to see her perform at the opera.
 
I've read that after Tuscany, Parma was the next best governed state in Italy, despite the fact that the reforms were stopped after the dismissal of Du Tillot. Seems like Ferdinand and Amalia did quite well, despite being on the conservative side and not being 'enlightened'.  An English noblewoman described Parma in 1790-91 as quite prosperous and said that Ferdinand was kind ruler-- i.e. no new taxes imposed and no petition was denied.  It is no wonder the people of Parma helped the ducal couple pay Napoleon's demands in 1796.      
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Mari on November 10, 2009, 02:57:37 AM
comes of reading two sources at the same time.  Yes it was Bavaria they were eyeing. So, as I understand it Maria Amalia would not have been married to Karl of Zweibrucken because if he inherited... it would have been embarrassing to annex Bavaria! That makes the refusal more understandable but I wonder why such a harsh tone with Karl of Zweibrucken? see prior post!

exact quote below.....


Quote
If the Elector of Bavaria died without a male heir it was planned to annex a part or all of the Electorate to Austria, and the Court wished to avoid disinheriting a member of the Queen's family.
Quote
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on November 10, 2009, 03:45:04 AM
It's hard to know why he was so scoffed at - his sister was good enough for the royal house of Saxony and his mother was from yet another line with potential rights to Bavaria and descended from the Neuburg line from whom the Hapbsburgs themselves descended.  Perhaps he had to be comprehensively sneered at in order to ensure that he wasn't taken seriously, which certainly suggests there was some Habsburg pre-planning to take over Bavaria going on.  Not surprisingly, it took quite some time for the Zweibrucken line of Bavaria to become chummy with the Austrians again - over 40 years I think.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on November 10, 2009, 08:08:44 PM
Well, from what I've read, Prince Kaunitz (who scoffed at Karl's proposal), was unbearably arrogant and rude.  That should (at least partly) explain the disdain he showed Karl.  Kaunitz and Joseph II, both very ambitious to have new terrorities, were the main architects of the plan to annex Bavaria and Kaunitz 'managed' Maria Theresa, who was said to have favored Karl for her daughter, at least at first.  I'm not sure how Kaunitz managed it but it was suggested that some compensation for the loss of Silesia was played at, because this was always an irresistible argument to Maria Theresa.  Later on, she claimed that she vetoed the match against all her (favorable) instincts and feelings.    

Karl hardly had anything much to offer Amalia at that point and most likely got support from the other Wittelsbachs for his marital plans.  His uncle was the duke of Zweibrucken and Karl was his heir but it seemed that Karl didn't plan to stay in Zweibrucken.  I hope I remember it right, but I've read from a German source that Karl planned for them to settle in Neuberg an der Donau in Bavaria (this town was  under the Palatinate branch of the Wittelsbachs).  I don't know if it was of any significance, but the palace there belonged to the Wittelsbach-Neuberg line and Amalia and Karl were both descended from this line. He eventually settled there with the wife (Maria Amalia of Saxony) forced on him in 1774.

Indeed, Zweibrucken was smaller and most likely more of backwater than Parma was.  And very bankrupt too.   Perhaps they counted on Amalia's not-so-bad dowry to live on and Karl had some income in France (from his regiment) and most likely an increased allowance from the Zweibrucken line until Karl became duke.  Karl was certainly ready with his proposals for their establishment when he met with Kaunitz.  But yes, they would've had a very modest establishment.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 11, 2009, 09:11:19 PM
I wonder if there are any internal photos of the palace of Colono in Parma. Would love to see if the grand appartments were still in tact.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on November 11, 2009, 09:40:08 PM
I wonder if there are any internal photos of the palace of Colono in Parma. Would love to see if the grand appartments were still in tact.

No grand apartments but here are a few photos of a staircase, throne room and astronomical observatory.  From Parma's tourism website, click on the pics on the right side to enlarge......

http://turismo.parma.it/page.asp?IDCategoria=260&IDSezione=1094&ID=34604
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on November 13, 2009, 01:32:26 AM
I believe Amalia disliked the ducal palace in the capital, the one in Parma (city). Sorry if that wasn't clear.  It was described as small, more like  a villa and certainly not a palace in her view; her apartments there were said to be cramped. I did read (from another source much earlier) that she was complained and complained about it, saying it wasn't good enough for her rank. Yes, there was another palace for them in Colorno and although it couldn't compare with Hofburg and Schonbrunn, it was/is nice enough.  I don't know, maybe she was just being a pain regarding their home in the capital. Because she liked staying at Sala Baganza a lot and the villa/hunting lodge there was rundown (later on, she had a new villa built).

As for Amalia's final home(s), this is what I remember:  the palace in Colorno is now home to a famous culinary school, and her estate/hunting villa in Sala Baganza (with plans of being restored for eco-tourism purposes) is part of nature park.  I'm not sure what happened to the ducal palace in Parma (capital city).  Most of the furnishings and artworks at the palace in Colorno were carted off to various palaces elsewhere in Italy when Parma was integrated into the Kingdom of Italy in the late 19th century.  That is why said palace has only a few of its original furnishings/artworks.  I saw at the Louvre's website a cabinet on diplay that was owned by Amalia and it was made in Sicily (and presumably used at her villa in Sala Baganza because of its markings/labels); it must have been a gift from her sister Caroline. I've read that Amalia did bring the family's personal possessions with her when she left Parma but not sure how many she could've brought. Perhaps only the ones that mattered to her dearly.    
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Mari on November 13, 2009, 06:45:26 AM
I came across a small reference to Maria Amalia trying to sell a Diamond Necklace in the later years of her life in my notes but no source. Does anyone know anything further about this?
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on November 13, 2009, 04:01:31 PM
Maybe during her last years. Where did she live when she went back to Austria ? Did Amalia took much back with her ? (I guess jewelry would be part of the cash objects she got back).
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on November 13, 2009, 07:37:26 PM
From what I remember, Amalia went to Venice, Vienna then went to Prague in Bohemia.  She lived at Prague Castle there. She was, after all, a Princess of Bohemia through Maria Theresa. I'm not sure but in Marie Antoinette's marriage contract, she had the option to stay in France or in any of the Habsburg domains upon widowhood. I suppose Amalia had the same provision in her marriage contract.

Re: Amalia's cash flow in the later years and upon widowhood, I've read  it was her son Louis who paid back the dowry she brought in her marriage. Duke Ferdinand died deeply in debt due to the French occupation of Parma. The archduchesses had the same dowry (except Mimi, who was given a much larger one, of coursei) 200,000 crowns and an equal amount worth in jewels from what I remember.  Amalia did sell and pawn her diamonds when France and Spain stopped their pensions in the early 1770s. And the selling and pawning of crown jewels and personal jewels also happened during the French occupation. Duke Ferdinand and Amalia were anxious and did everything they could to alleviate the suffering of the people. For example,  I've read that half of the people in Colorno were dependent in some way to the ducal pair for their survival.  It also explains  the doing away with some of their workers and retinue....Amalia's long-term baker from Vienna found himself unemployed in 1796 (but was allowed to set up his own business -- fortunately a success -- within the premises of the palace in Colorno).      
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on December 09, 2009, 08:44:22 PM
At a French forum, it was said that the Comte de Flavigny, France's long-time minister in Parma, was Amalia's lover....... and Ferdinand himself wrote his cousin Louis XVI not to recall such minister from his post!  Surely if the accusation was true, Ferdinand would not defend the minister to his cousin and insist on him remaining on his post?  Parma's court (and indeed the country itself) was pretty small, I imagine nothing was kept private for long....Ferdinand would have known and even a simple-minded person (as he was reported to be) would not have defended a lover of his wife.  Upon receipt of the request for de Flavigny to remain on his post, Louis XVI remarked to his minister (either Maurepas or Vergennes) how 'inept' his cousin was......  

If Amalia indeed had lovers, I believe such affairs happened after 1772. And she was thought of having lovers (the guards?) within months of her arrival. But as Umigon pointed out in part I of this thread, there was never any proof of such. Suspicious reports about Amalia were likely to have been taken as truth by her mother as Maria Theresa herself had a very suspicious nature.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on December 15, 2009, 07:50:11 AM
Miniature of Maria Amalia, anonymous, from the Museo Lombardi......click on the image to enlarge.

http://www.museolombardi.it/sitolombardi/museolombardi/right.asp?IDTipologia=3&Tipologia=Oggettistica%20Varia&IDOpera=112 (http://www.museolombardi.it/sitolombardi/museolombardi/right.asp?IDTipologia=3&Tipologia=Oggettistica%20Varia&IDOpera=112)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on January 05, 2010, 09:53:15 PM
Unfortunately, I think there is not much written about Amalia and her relationship with her siblings or at least I have not read much of it yet. Like I said, Amalia visited Caroline in 1783, the same year she visited her sisters Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth at their convents. I'm thinking those trips were sort of a reward for producing a child after 6 years and a second son at that (Prince Philip Maria)?

Many of Marie Antoinette's early letters (1772-73) to Maria Theresa indicated her 'disapproval' or as someone put it 'sanctimonous expressions of displeasure' (because MA wasn't also being obedient to MT regarding the Du Barry, etc.) of Amalia's actions in Parma. It was pointed out in part I of this thread that MA seemed to have done so because she wanted to show her mother than she was better behaved than her sister. MA's immaturity at that point may have played a part in that as well.  But she did express great happiness at the complete reconciliation between Parma and France (but at the same breath expressed how sorry she was Amalia didn't inform her mother about it and that her sister might not have been sufficiently informed about it or it was due to the shame she thought her sister felt?).   That said, it is possible that MA's early displeasure over her sister's actions/decisions in Parma may have faded in time......
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on January 06, 2010, 04:30:44 AM
I'm afraid it was I who thought Marie Antoinette was sanctimonious on this issue - I just felt that since she regularly lied to Maria Theresa about her activities which she knew her mother disapproved of (riding, etc - although Maria Theresa knew perfectly well what was going on), the tone of shock in her letters about her sister's misbehaviour was rather insincere! 

Maria Amalia did not share the close childhood friendship of Marie Antoinette and Maria Caroline, but she was married to the Dauphin's first cousin, it was important that her mother and grandfather-in-law were pleased with Parma (and uncomfortable when they were not), and she wasn't her mother's spy or personal critic like Marie Christine, so once the official ban was lifted, I can't think of a reason why Marie Antoinette wouldn't have felt mildly friendly towards Maria Amalia - not only a blood relation but part of the extended French Bourbon family into which she had married.  She may even have felt a secret fellow-feeling of sympathy at another who had suffered the weight of her mother's displeasure!  I am also sure that Maria Amalia would also have thought it a good idea to keep on amicable terms with a younger sister who might eventually have children who would be top marriage prospects for her own family, or at any rate would be in a position to help out by obtaining commissions in the French army for penniless younger sons, etc. 
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on January 18, 2010, 08:56:49 AM
Link to the official website of the Ducal Gardens and Palace in the city of Parma.  Restoration work is said to be on-going......the website has an English version as well.

http://www.servizi.comune.parma.it/giardinoducale/index.html
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on January 25, 2010, 06:16:13 AM
In another thread, it was mentioned that Maria Amalia was suspected of having affairs with the soldiers/guards but no proof whatsoever of her (alledged) affairs. Does anyone know of any specific incidents that may have pointed out to such.....from another forum, it was mentioned that Du Tillot complained that she was very fond of them and that she wasted a lot of money on them.  Anything more specific than this?  From my own 'research', all I came up was that she danced with the lieutenant guards, etc.;  one of them was a trumpeter and also sang at court events and at church. When his son was born, there was lavish fanfare (presumably paid for by Amalia) and she was the godmother to the child (the future musician Ferdinando Paer).  Amalia named the child after her husband. So she was fond of the guards, spent freely on them, anything more conclusive as to having affairs?  For me, Maria Theresa's suspicious do not count for she had a suspicious nature and was even suspicious of her children even when they were mere children/adolescents in Vienna and were under her control.....
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on January 25, 2010, 11:31:00 AM
I think I've written elsewhere that it was standard in the eighteenth century to accuse powerful royal women of affairs with those they patronised, whether they were actual 'favourites' - the recipients of the most substantial patronage, who often (but not invariably) took both a sexual and political role with the ruler - or just friends or servants.  Du Tillot's nose was thoroughly out of joint due to Maria Amalia's assumption of power and he naturally resented it and was basically indulging in the normal aggressive tactic of denigrating her morals.  I believe that if he could have provided evidence of actual misconduct by citing witnesses, he would undoubtedly have done so - but all he could do is accuse her by inference and at least suggest she was behaving in an undignified manner.  Maria Theresa may have had her suspicions, but I don't think any spies she may have had in Parma would have been any better than a hostile du Tillot, in ferreting out genuine evidence of wrongdoing, so it very likely was not there to be found - though Maria Amalia's defiance of her mother and grandfather-in-law were probably almost as bad as adultery in their eyes!
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on January 25, 2010, 06:10:52 PM
Thanks for your replies!   :)

I forgot to add in the earlier post that Du Tillot complained of Amalia's fondness for the guards and spending money on them so he had one regiment replaced.  I've also read that she played blind man's bluff with them.  But didn't she also play with the beggars she allowed to live in the palace? So playing with the guards do not amount to outright affairs. Later on, she was also accused of having affairs with the grooms/stable boys, who were 'hunks'.  ;) Well, Du Tillot's successor de Llano was also said to have 'entreated' her to end her 'immoral' lifestyle.  I don't know where I read this, I think in Wikipedia much earlier. But how could de Llano do or say such a thing to her when both did not have confidence in each other? And he himself had a mistress. Amalia replied to Maria Theresa that she didn't want to give her confidence to anyone she did not know (and de Llano should be the first to earn her confidence, not her) and even alluded to de Llano's private life in stating her reasons for not trusting him (Maria Theresa demanded this).  

At the forum I mentioned earlier (a French one), it was said that she tried to 'forget' her marriage with said affairs.  A charge highly unlikely since we see her declaring in 1772 that she loved her husband very much (in spite of Ferdinand's infidelities).  In the same forum, I've read that Maria Theresa in 1772 thought Amalia continued to misbehave on 3 counts:  1) she continued to dominate her husband; 2) she continued to meddle in political affairs (despite her denials); and 3) there were entertainments at Sala Baganza (where she had her country house/hunting lodge) and at the palace in Colorno that Maria Theresa thought were unsuitable or inappropriate.  We know the replies of Amalia to her mother's accusations based on replies #18 and 19 of this thread, when MT sent her that list of prescribed rules on her behavior through Count Rosenberg.  But I don't think anyone can classify any of the accusations MT made against her as evil or 'mortal sins'.  
        
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on January 28, 2010, 01:45:24 AM
Some information/video on another of Amalia's country houses in Parma........

Castello di Rosenna became Amalia's private property in June 1772 (earlier bought by the Farnese family).  Originally a defensive military structure, the castle has been transformed into a summer mansion in the 18th century although it retained a predominantly military architectural character.  The surrounding landscape looks very nice, though......Empress Marie Louise later on also owned the castle.  

A video link (in Italian) to the castle.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwaNYqGtsdc


The castle's official website (in Italian only)........

http://www.castellorossena.it/  

and its own YouTube channel...... http://www.youtube.com/user/CastelloRossena
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 28, 2010, 11:11:55 AM
Hard to think Maria Amalia who loved the comforts of Schonbrunn would love a fortress like that. so devoid of luxury land resemble a medivel castle.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on January 29, 2010, 01:21:13 AM
Yes, it looks like a fortress, not a royal residence. However, it was said to be used in the summers. So perhaps its elevation was the main attraction, and the surrounding landscape looks quite lovely.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on January 29, 2010, 11:42:14 AM
I think most likely Amalia took furniture with her when she moved up there. The place is too bare even for 18th Century standards. I suspect that was her version of the Petite Trianon, and way from the court gossip and drama.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on January 31, 2010, 02:57:43 AM
Not sure but I think Amalia's other estate in Sala Baganza was like her equivalent of the Petit Trianon; that one she had completely rebuilt. Although it would never qualify as a palace but rather a large villa, the interiors looked lovely and quite luxurious, even judging from the ruins. Nevertheless, both the estate in Sala Baganza and the Castello di Rossena are both in the hill country, afforded plenty of opportunities for riding and hunting, and had fine views - which I think would be the main attractions for her.    
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on February 02, 2010, 06:38:29 AM
Riding must have represented real freedom to the archduchesses and was essentially a pursuit which could be undertaken only by an individual - even with courtiers alongside, you could occupy yourself with the horse and be unable to sustain a prolonged conversation without discourtesy.  Similarly older (and duller) persons could be left behind under the appearance of concern for their well-being, if they didn't excuse themselves.  Of course it could be criticised in a young wife, as it was considered to inhibit conception, and it involved Marie Antoinette in a fair bit of lying to her mother, who highly disapproved, especially since no children came along for such a long time.  That criticism couldn't be sustained for Maria Amalia in the same way, of course.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 02, 2010, 08:35:23 PM
Riding must have represented real freedom to the archduchesses and was essentially a pursuit which could be undertaken only by an individual - even with courtiers alongside, you could occupy yourself with the horse and be unable to sustain a prolonged conversation without discourtesy.  Similarly older (and duller) persons could be left behind under the appearance of concern for their well-being, if they didn't excuse themselves.  Of course it could be criticised in a young wife, as it was considered to inhibit conception, and it involved Marie Antoinette in a fair bit of lying to her mother, who highly disapproved, especially since no children came along for such a long time.  That criticism couldn't be sustained for Maria Amalia in the same way, of course.

I agree.  I also read that Ferdinand and Amalia would roam the countryside together, on horseback and on foot.  I also read that she once rode - on a sudden urge/whim -  on horseback from her country estate in Sala Baganza to the palace in Colorno. a distance of 17miles. Maria Theresa, if she was still alive by then, would've been furious at that (a carriage would've been a lot more dignified).  
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 04, 2010, 10:43:14 PM
I forgot to add that Ferdinand giving Amalia that country estate in Sala Baganza and a castle (Castello di Rossena) as her personal properties early on is another proof that they got along better than assumed...... as far as I recall, giving such gifts to wives was not mandatory and not all princesses got estates as their private property (wasn't there a big fuss over Chateau Saint Cloud being Marie Antoinette's private property? But Joseph II was pleased because it was considered a proof of Louis XVI's affection/esteem for MA; of course, Amalia's estates could not compare in value or beauty to Chateau Saint-Cloud but they were gifts that were not mandatory nevertheless). I mean, Caroline in Naples never even got as much as a garden (something which she always wanted to have) from her Ferdinand!  
  
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 24, 2010, 07:27:00 PM
I think Amalia decided to love the husband that was given her (what other route could she had taken ?). Also the mistress was a challenge to her to see if she could win him over to her (she was after all one of the more beautiful sisters of the family). After the birth of her children she calmed down and began to live life. It seems Parma was a very busy stop over place for travellers, and sure Amalia benefitted from their company.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 24, 2010, 11:29:59 PM
I think Amalia decided to love the husband that was given her (what other route could she had taken ?). Also the mistress was a challenge to her to see if she could win him over to her (she was after all one of the more beautiful sisters of the family). After the birth of her children she calmed down and began to live life. It seems Parma was a very busy stop over place for travellers, and sure Amalia benefitted from their company.

Whatever her reasons for loving Ferdinand, it doesn't appear to be a lukewarm kind of love....her jealous outbursts point to that.  At least she was smart enough to know and decide she didn't have to be so miserable after all (contrary to what has been written).

Ferdinand didn't seem to be hesitant to consummate their marriage, despite having a mistress.  It was her who didn't want to due to (presumably because of) his poor hygiene. I've read that despite the best efforts of the court to clean him up, it took more than 2 months for their marriage to be consummated. Amalia also complained of various sicknesses, not to mention tiredness from the long journey from Vienna.... I'm not sure if she was really sick or playing some game with Ferdinand, you know making him wait for it (sex)? Maybe both... after all, she was pretty and, to use a modern term, sexy. Ferdinand was a sensualist - it was impossible he wasn't pleased with her, at least looks-wise. Louis XV was of the opinion that small illnesses such as her complaints shouldn't put off their being man and wife, he was annoyed with his grandson. Nevertheless, the domination started even without the sex..... you have to give her credit for being, well, 'creative' and playing her cards right.

I know much has been made about Amalia being so meddlesome and a disaster politics-wise (but only in the eyes of France and Spain, for MT was secretly pleased despite her denials and scoldings) but it appears that once she got rid of Du Tillot, she seemed to have withdrawn on politics  considerably and seemed contented to run their household. Certainly nothing much can be found on her political activities around 1775 onwards. As early as 1772, she appeared to change her priorities--- she wrote Maria Theresa in 1772: "I do not need lessons from the Minister for it (household matters) is the only thing that I handle."   and "The minister directs the affairs of the state, not of these trifles (household matters)".   It was her wish though that her husband, not some minister (de Llano) appointed by Spain, to be the 'maste'r.  Again, the entire blame was put on her but Parma's records categorically states that Ferdinand himself wanted to choose his own minister and to rule.  Amalia wrote MT the following when the latter scolded her for still meddling in politics: "I believe that if the Infante was in need of advice, he goes to me rather than to anyone else." One could hardly blame her if that was the case.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 25, 2010, 09:33:22 AM
I think Ferdinand understand if he wants independence from Spain & France, his Austrian wife with her political backing from Vienna would give him the leverage to do so. Also any political change would be blamed on her door, while he was able to remain in good terms with his uncle and grandfather aboard. I agree that Amalia was actually rebelling to be left alone (like her sister Antoinette in France) and do her thing. After Du Tillot was gone, she was free from his spying and interference in her life. In short, Amalia wasn't the political animal that MT and Carolina was.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 26, 2010, 04:41:20 AM
Ferdinand's biography in Parma's online library mentioned that his marriage afforded him to do what he was truly inclined to. It also mentioned that his character was weak to stand up to the more powerful people so he led a life of dissimulation for a number of years (before Amalia came).  The English ambassador in Tuscany also mentioned that he was angry and humiliated (Amalia, too, of course)  at being forced to submit to what Monsieur de Chauvelin (per instructions of Louis XV) wanted him and Amalia to do... Parma's library also says that in addition to flattery, Chauvelin also employed blackmail and threats (like the suspension of funds from France).  Since Chauvelin was only the 'messenger', Ferdinand would've known where such orders and threats came from. He must've been angry at his relations too. No wonder the 'truce' with Du Tillot didn't last long.  It all fits. Amalia certainly contributed to the situation but he was also wanted out, so to speak.  I'd place more faith in what Parma says, rather than the French and Spanish sources.   Also, when the reconciliation happened in 1773 among Parma, France, Spain and Austria, Spain's condition was that de Llano was to be reinstated in his position as minister. He was, but only for a short time.  It's clear that Ferdinand wanted to appoint his own ministers and be free from any (unwanted) meddling.

It is likely that Amalia still interfered politically post-du Tillot but only when she wanted to. And anyway, as she said, if the Infante was  in need of advice, he goes to her rather than to anyone else so she didn't really need to occupy herself with politics/state matters all the time for Ferdinand clearly had his own initiative and views, unlike the case of Maria Carolina and Ferdinand in Naples. I also read that she could be occupied in hunting/riding for days so politics wasn't her only life. I think it was rather naive and unrealistic of Amalia to expect or want her husband to be faithful. It was, after all, a political marriage. Even with her parents having a love match, such didn't prevent Franz Stephan from having numerous mistresses.   Also, even Marie Antoinette expected Louis XVI-who didn't seem to be so inclined to sex as the other Bourbons- to have a mistress when their marriage was finally consummated.  Just my two cents!  :)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 26, 2010, 12:08:08 PM
I agree. However the situation was a bit different in Antonia's case. She was the one who had lovers (if you included alleged female ones) and of course the chief was Swedish Count Axel von Fersen. It was Louis XVI who appeared to be the chaste one. It had been rumours that Amalia had lovers too, but I don't recall anyone as high profile as the Swedish Count from her sister's court.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 27, 2010, 04:12:24 AM
At a French forum, it was mentioned that Count de Flavigny, France's ambassador to Parma, was rumored to be Amalia's lover.  That's the only name I could think of as rather high profile of her (alledged) lovers.  But note that it was also mentioned as a being a rumor.  There seems to be no definitive proof ever of Amalia actually taking lovers.....and Ferdinand actually wrote to his cousin Louis XVI not to recall said ambassador.  Regardless if the rumors of affairs were true or not, it couldn't be Ferdinand would not have known about them. We can only deduce that he was actually 'tolerant' of any affairs of his wife if she indeed had them. He was, after all, not faithful anyway.    ;)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 27, 2010, 11:05:22 AM
Yes. I tend to believe Amalia as chaste. She would like to keep it that way to remind Ferdinand that she was the injuried party. Indeed, Louis XVI seemed to tolerate Count Axel Von Fersen, whose letters proved that he was the queen's lover.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 28, 2010, 03:02:44 AM
Well, Amalia had a wild and rebellious side but I'm not sure if that actually translated to taking lovers as well.  And if she did, one could hardly blame her. Well, it has been written a few times that she openly took lovers (the guards?) .... however I don't think there was any proof presented by such authors (many of whom just copy others' work without serious verification or ferreting out of truths). CountessKate earlier said there seems to be no proof at all of Amalia's lovers by Du Tillot nor by Maria Theresa's spies.  Also Ferdinand's biography on Parma's library said MT was more bothered by Amalia's behavior in public than her 'private' life.  One of MT's biographers, J Alexander Mahan, was one of the few who wrote about Ferdinand's womanizing and he didn't mention any about Amalia's affairs but said she made the very best of her fate (which proved to be a very difficult one).  Paul Tabori in his book on MT mentioned Ferdinand's mistress but only mentioned Amalia as 'fooling around' with the yokels.  Now, fooling around has a quite a broad meaning......  ;)    
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 28, 2010, 04:42:55 PM
I seriously doubted that Amalia would have sat back and allow a mistress to be the first lady of the land. She most likely would have personally kicked her out of the palace first.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 28, 2010, 11:56:11 PM
I agree. One great 'compensation' of Ferdinand's penchant for peasant women was that I don't think any peasant girl would have the audacity to challenge Amalia and she, after all, quickly earned the nickname 'La Signora' among her subjects (a reference to being bossy, no doubt). And it also appears that Ferdinad did his womanizing elsewhere or at least did not make any of his mistresses very conspicuous, as far as power/infleunce was concerned (I doubt if his womanizing was kept secret from his subjects though).  MT's advice to Amalia to give her husband 'freedom' point to that. I seem to have read at an Italian site that Ferdinand's carriage could be seen at the house of his mistress but it was also clear that he continued to have sexual relations with his wife (mentioned as no longer pretty yet.....).  And as mentioned,  no doubt Amalia would've gotten rid of any interloper who dared to take her place (she was very haughty!). That said, Ferdinand didn't seem to produce any bastards from his numerous affairs. At least, I have not come across any reference to illegitimate children yet.

I also think that despite Ferdinand's complaints to his grandfather in particular about Amalia (and she was indeed a handful, being extremely capricious and dominating) and his letters, he (more or less) had the same view as her with regards to being free from any unwanted interference.   The blackmail and the threats, not to mention the curbing of his religious fervour, apparently did not sit well with Ferdinand.  Amalia also mentioned that A LOT of people try to influence Ferdinand but as she was the most visible, I guess all the blame went to her.  No doubt she had great influence on him throughout their marriage, despite their problems. I just went back to read Amalia's biography in Parma's library and it says that Duke Ferdinand named (grandson) Charles Louis as his heir and appointed Amalia head of the regency for their grandson. Ferdinand never met his grandfather Louis XV nor his uncle Charles III of Spain. There were plans to make him travel to France and Spain (mainly to separate him or rather break-up his marriage to Amalia) in 1771-72 but nothing came out of it.... so yes, Ferdinand appeared to prefer his wife over his relations abroad.  ;) If Amalia was so nasty, unfaithful and troublesome for him, surely he would've taken that chance and filed for divorce as Spain and France wanted. No doubt he would have custody of his daughter Caroline.    

Anyway, I just read that Ferdinand was a great fan of the Italian dish anolini, which originated in Parma.  He was not only fond eating it  but also made it himself (the pasta and filling, too), with the help of his daughters.  :)  I guess Amalia wasn't the only one who dared do things considered not proper for their station. ;)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on April 07, 2010, 04:04:13 AM
It seems to me that Amalia was a bit naive/idealistic/unrealistic when it comes to love or marriage.....she actually expected/hoped that her political marriage with Ferdinand would be faithful, something that wasn't the norm anyway in those times. She could've easily missed the 'darker' side of Karl even if she knew him long enough. I doubt if she would've liked to be put on a 'parade' or 'spectacle' in a miniature Versailles had she married Karl.

Storia di Parma by Tullo Bazzi and Umberto Benassi (1908) listed all the 'bizarre' things that Amalia did in her early months in Parma (the one I like best is that she made her servants and guards wear Austrian uniforms, LOL) but actually said that it does not mean that all those accusations (no mention of any adultery, just going riding followed by her guards) against her were substantially true or well-founded. It even mentioned that the admiration for Du Tillot's work may have been influenced by her dismissal of him, to her disadvantage.   It also said that Ferdinand's habits were also unconventional, even before he married Amalia. For instance, when going out, he'd evade the guards and wanted to go out unaccompanied by them. His childhood/youth, because of the rigorous education forced on him, had very little time for hobbies and private time/inclinations and no wonder that at 18, he was still childish.  
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on April 08, 2010, 04:15:49 AM
Hmmm, Storia di Parma states that the court of Parma was expensive to maintain.  I compared it to Vienna's and it cost about 1/4 of Vienna's annual budget. Du Tillot, before he was dismissed, tried to curb the annual expenses. The palace in Colorno alone costs 237,000 liras to maintain. IMHO, the most interesting item was 262,000 liras for Ferdinand's secret expenses. ;)  It must be mostly for his mistresses. I remember Madame du Barry stating in her memoirs  that Louis XV paid indemnities/dowries to fathers of the young girls he kept in his private harem, among other things.  Perhaps this was done with Ferdinand's peasant girls as well? That said, it wasn't as if he was a cheapskate to Amalia either. Amalia and Ferdinand went on a trip to Mantua, which cost a pretty sum of 212,000 liras. General wardrobe was budgeted at 230,000 liras. So indeed, what CountessKate said earlier in this thread is true - there was certainly enough money for a suitable royal wardrobe....Amalia just didn't care much about her clothes and preferred to dress oddly!    
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on April 12, 2010, 02:42:04 AM
According to Storia di Parma, the Court of Parma had 100 people in 1749, excluding the guards, servants and other lackeys. Du Tillot wanted to trim down the costs of the court before he was dismissed.  But by 1776, it seems that there were more people than ever: the grand chamberlain had 70 gentlemen in his department, 15 doctors/surgeons,  21 various musicians and head of music,  27 ladies-in-waiting,  a great almoner, first chaplain, 3 other chaplains,  a chief steward and his 19 butlers, 3 architects, 2 heads of the kitchens, etc. Then a special mention for more maids in the apartments of the duchess.  I guess Amalia kept on hiring more servants.  ;)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on April 12, 2010, 06:16:29 AM
Quote
According to Storia di Parma, the Court of Parma had 100 people in 1749, excluding the guards, servants and other lackeys. Du Tillot wanted to trim down the costs of the court before he was dismissed.  But by 1776, it seems that there were more people than ever: the grand chamberlain had 70 gentlemen in his department, 15 doctors/surgeons,  21 various musicians and head of music,  27 ladies-in-waiting,  a great almoner, first chaplain, 3 other chaplains,  a chief steward and his 19 butlers, 3 architects, 2 heads of the kitchens, etc. Then a special mention for more maids in the apartments of the duchess.  I guess Amalia kept on hiring more servants.

A charmingly modest establishment.  There were about 900 royal staff in the King's household under Louis XIV, and 500 in Marie Antoinette's - and that excluded the much more modest households of Mesdames the King's aunts, his unmarried sister and his brothers.  His brothers however would have had households not far off the size of Parma's.  Louis XVI reduced his household twice, in 1776 and 1780, but he made a very little dent in the expenses through this method as the cost of maintaining the royal establishments continued very high.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on April 14, 2010, 08:58:54 AM
Some information on Amalia and Ferdinand's relationship and travels in 1771:

In the spring of 1771, the sovereigns went on a trip to Castelnuova de'Terzi, hosted by Duke Frederick Sforza Fogliana. After a few days, the duke and duchess proceeded to Salso, next to Scipione, then back to Sforza-Fogliano's estate, where they had the excitement of hunting with hounds, with the Duchess killing a hare. Afterwhich, they went to Firenzuola, where the bishop welcomed them and said mass. Another stay at Castelnuova afterwhich the sovereigns went back to Parma, very contented with their trip.

In July 1771, the Marquis Durfort (France's representative) and Don Pedro Zevallos (spelling?  representative of Spain) had a secret meeting with Duke Ferdinand regarding Du Tillot, in which Amalia also joined.  The two envoys were there to make a thorough review of Du Tillot's service as believed by the Infante but as later events would unfold, not so -- but to defend and protect the minister. The Infante highly protested the continued service of Du Tillot, saying he would no longer suffer such a minister whose ambition was to dominate, who was greedy, and who had the audacious temerity to degrade his character and that of his wife's, among other things. Amalia also presented her list of grievances against Du Tillot and made several suggestions to remedy their situation. But the two envoys opposed the suggestions, saying that such cannot be made without the 'clearance' of the courts of France and Spain. The excuses made by the two envoys were only pretexts to gain time and save Du Tillot.

(My own loose translation from the book Ristretto di Storia Patria ad Uso de'Piacentini, Volume 5 by Antonio Domenico Rossi)

BTW, on Amalia and Ferdinand's eldest child Caroline, her godparents were Charles III of Spain and Empress Maria Theresa. The travel to Mantua in October 1771 by the duke and the duchess mentioned in reply # 510  was to meet and offer their congratulations to Princess Maria Beatrice d'Este, who was to marry Archduke Ferdinand that month in Milan (both information from same source as above).
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on April 15, 2010, 01:24:15 AM
Some more information on Amalia and Ferdinand, 1768-1777. From the same source as reply #534:

In 1768, Ferdinand went to Mantua to greet and present gifts to his future sister-in-law, Queen Maria Carolina of Naples & Sicily, who was on her way to Naples.

It was said that Du Tillot even had a portrait of Ferdinand - to be sent to Vienna - altered in the hopes of 'stalling' marriage negotiations (as if Maria Theresa cared how the Infante looked like, LOL).   When the papal dispensation for Ferdinand to marry seemed forthcoming with the new pope, he looked for another excuse, saying that there were no suitable living arrangements for the duke and would-be duchess and that he planned to have a new palace built (plans were abandoned later - too expensive).  Maria Theresa was not inclined to further delay the wedding, saying that for her daughter to be married, Maria Amalia would only need a couple of rooms and a bed.

When de Llano was appointed minister of state by Spain, a Council of State was formed, composed of  de Llano and 4 other ministers.  Amalia wished to join the council but was not 'permitted' to do so and deliberately kept away friom it. It was noted, however, that the majority voice of the council was often overruled by the minister del Llano.

More travels around the duchy for the Infante and Infanta in the years 1772-1777, solo or jointly. Once, Ferdinand went on a prolonged trip to various towns in Piacenza and Amalia surprised her husband by joining him there.

When Heinrette d'Este, widow of Antonio Farnese, died in 1777, Ferdinand and Amalia inherited 1,000,000 liras worth of silver, jewelry, furniture and cash from her.

There were some details on the visits of Archdukes Ferdinand and Maximilian (like the places they visited and some of the fetes and where they stayed) but no details (except the date of arrival) of Archduchess Marie Christine..... (I wonder if that indicates Mimi's visit wasn't as warm or nice as the others? Mimi's bad report to Maria Theresa seems to indicate that it wasn't very nice visit....)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on April 15, 2010, 10:38:02 AM
When did Amalia met up with Caroline ?
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on April 15, 2010, 07:08:29 PM
From what I remember, Amalia left Parma in September or early October 1783, with stops in Florence and Rome, for Naples where she presumably spent Christmas and (perhaps) New Year's Day with Maria Carolina.  By January 5th, she was back in Rome (she had supper and played billiards with Gustavus III of Sweden) and obviously at home by Ferdinand's 33rd birthday on Jan. 20th (1784) because exactly 9 months and 1 day later, she gave birth to their 6th child, Antonia Luisa.  ;)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 09, 2010, 03:39:42 AM
Details of an engraving of the Habsburg-Lorraine family in 1773/75. Maria Amalia should be part of the it.....

Triumphal wagon of Maria Theresa and Joseph II 1773/75
A giant triumphal wagon in the Baroque style. Beneath the great imperial crown Maria Theresa and Joseph II are seated. In the lower areas are nine of the children accompanied by antique gods. Probably produced on the occasion of the millennium celebrations for St. Romuald in 1775.
Engraving by Johann Baptiste Klauber, c. 1773/75.
KHM-WGB (Kunsthistorisches Museum Wagenburg, Wien), Inv. Nr. Z 120
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 13, 2010, 12:33:39 AM
A description of Maria Amalia's hunting lodge and estate, with the surrounding forest and lakes as well as another property  owned by the Farnese/Bourbon-Parma family nearby, all of which served as one of her residences....now part of a regional park:

http://www.parks.it/parco.boschi.carrega/Epun.php
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on July 13, 2010, 03:20:59 AM
There's a zoomable picture of the villa here: http://www.parchi.parma.it/page.asp?IDCategoria=272&IDSezione=1729

It doesn't look in terribly good repair, and I gather from prinzheinelgirl's linked page that the architecture was messed around with by Maria Luisa of Austria when she became Duchess of Parma, but it is interesting to see.  It looks a genuine country villa, not a palacial establishment.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 13, 2010, 09:20:17 PM
Thanks!  :)

Indeed, it looks quite a modest villa although I've read that the royal stables were kept at said estate. I wonder what Maria Amalia's  numerous maids (she kept on hiring and hiring them) ever did --- and there doesn't seem to be a lot of room for them at Sala Baganza (where she stayed most often) either...... just one of her caprices, I guess. 
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 22, 2010, 06:09:52 AM
Yes, one must be a bit wary even of personal accounts.....

A portrait Maria Amalia, Ferdinand and their children (Carolina & Louis) in late 1773 or early 1774. Sorry it is very small (couldn't find a larger/better version but perhaps someone can); the portrait is said to be at the palace in Innsbruck..... I think it looks very nice (Ferdinand seems to have been slimmed down for said portrait, especially in the face).

(http://img243.imageshack.us/img243/6302/ferdinandofparmaandfami.jpg)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on September 22, 2010, 11:40:20 AM
I love the odd mixture of formality and relaxation.   Everyone is in full court outfit, the females in hoops, Ferdinand in his orders, everyone pointing to symbolic objects, yet somehow they're looking rather laid back at the same time, Ferdinand (yes, definitely a slimmer version!) leaning on an adjacent plinth or table, Caroline waving flowers, Maria Amalia glancing a little back to see what her husband is up to in quite a natural way, the baby Louis looking cheery and slightly sleepy.  It's got slightly the look of the Baldrighi portrait of the previous generation of Ferdinand's parents and their children - the formal and informal mixed together, with a sort of busy charm: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Louise_Elisabeth_of_France_Family.jpg
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: ivanushka on September 22, 2010, 11:44:18 AM
It's a lovely portrait though you do feel sorry for their little daughter having to wear such a formal dress.  The fashions of the age I guess!  They do look like quite a hapy unit and Amalia also looks to be quite a bit taller than her husband!
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: trentk80 on September 22, 2010, 12:47:19 PM
A portrait Maria Amalia, Ferdinand and their children (Carolina & Louis) in late 1773 or early 1774. Sorry it is very small (couldn't find a larger/better version but perhaps someone can); the portrait is said to be at the palace in Innsbruck..... I think it looks very nice (Ferdinand seems to have been slimmed down for said portrait, especially in the face).

There are several portraits of Empress Maria Theresa's children on view in the palace in Innsbruck, including some portraits of Maria Amalia and her family. Do you know who painted this portrait, prinzheinelgirl?
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 22, 2010, 11:27:44 PM
I love the odd mixture of formality and relaxation.   Everyone is in full court outfit, the females in hoops, Ferdinand in his orders, everyone pointing to symbolic objects, yet somehow they're looking rather laid back at the same time, Ferdinand (yes, definitely a slimmer version!) leaning on an adjacent plinth or table, Caroline waving flowers, Maria Amalia glancing a little back to see what her husband is up to in quite a natural way, the baby Louis looking cheery and slightly sleepy.  It's got slightly the look of the Baldrighi portrait of the previous generation of Ferdinand's parents and their children - the formal and informal mixed together, with a sort of busy charm

It's a lovely portrait though you do feel sorry for their little daughter having to wear such a formal dress.  The fashions of the age I guess! They do look like quite a hapy unit and Amalia also looks to be quite a bit taller than her husband!

That's exactly how I felt upon first seeing this portrait...that it was a very nice mix of both formality and relaxation. I also love how Maria Amalia glanced back at her husband, her (facial) features had such a soft look on!

I suppose Maria Amalia was at least 2-3 inches taller than her husband.  She was, from many accounts, a tall woman for that century while Ferdinand was described as "fat and squat"... I think her slim build also emphasized her height.  Little Caroline had very white skin in said portrait, and she seemingly took after her father, not her mother.

There are several portraits of Empress Maria Theresa's children on view in the palace in Innsbruck, including some portraits of Maria Amalia and her family. Do you know who painted this portrait, prinzheinelgirl?
 

I'm sorry, I don't know. The painter wasn't identified. If I get said detail, I'll let you know. However, as CountessKate mentioned, it quite resembles the style of Baldrighi, who was, of course, the court painter of Parma. I think another painter that the duke and duchess used around that time (early and mid 1770s) was Angelo Guiducci. The pose of Ferdinand also resembles his portrait at Innsbruck (but that one is identified as by Martin Van Mytens)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on September 23, 2010, 07:19:14 AM
Quote
Do you know who painted this portrait, prinzheinelgirl?

In Ilsebill Barta's 'Familienportrats der Habsburger' it is shown in black and white and identified as by our old friend 'Anonym'.  Interestingly, the two busts on either side of the painting (you can just see the plinth on which the one by Maria Amalia's side is positioned) are of Franz Stephan and Maria Theresa, so the painter was presumably making it specifically for the Austrian court, rather than something more general that was subsequently sent to Maria Amalia's mother.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on September 23, 2010, 08:57:26 AM
Oh, thanks so much CountessKate!  Maria Theresa seemed to be fond of commissioning portraits of her (extended) family in Parma!  I seem to remember Archduke Ferdinand and Marie Antoinette sending over portraits of their children to their mother, not the other way around (that is, MT commissioning such portraits).

A rather 'gossipy' piece on Maria Amalia's country estate at Sala Baganza; it mentioned that she met her lovers at the forest, ha!  But it does provide some information on the estate.... every year, a tour/walk in honor of the duchess is held, complete with an actress impersonating her....


http://www.newparma.com/gennaio%202010/sala%20baganza_eng.pdf
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 18, 2010, 01:02:18 AM
Further to Archduchess Maria Christina's trip to Italy in 1776 posted in the previous thread, it appears that Maria Amalia, Ferdinand, and their children made a short trip to Mantua to say goodbye and spend some more time with Mimi and Duke Albert before the latter left for Austria. Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Beatrix were also there. So it seems that any reported bad feelings - at least by this point - by Maria Amalia may have had for her sister seems largely exaggerated and unfounded.   
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on October 18, 2010, 07:59:33 AM
Further to Archduchess Maria Christina's trip to Italy in 1776 posted in the previous thread, it appears that Maria Amalia, Ferdinand, and their children made a short trip to Mantua to say goodbye and spend some more time with Mimi and Duke Albert before the latter left for Austria. Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Beatrix were also there. So it seems that any reported bad feelings - at least by this point - by Maria Amalia may have had for her sister seems largely exaggerated and unfounded.   

That's very interesting - and of course, Maria Amalia would not have been privy to what Maria Christina wrote to their mother.  So her criticisms may have been purely between Maria Christina and Maria Theresa. 
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 18, 2010, 09:21:46 PM
I agree. At any rate, it's clear that any bad feelings about Mimi getting a love match while she wasn't allowed to do so was gone by this time.  If Maria Amalia was only warm and cordial to Mimi due to family ties/obligations and nothing else, she didn't have to go to Mantua to bid her sister goodbye and spend more time with her. After all, they got to see each other in Parma already.  So assertations of certain authors that she was (ever) resentful of Mimi, etc. were not entirely correct.    

What strikes me is that despite some of her siblings writing badly of her at times (Mimi to Maria Theresa, Marie Antoinette to Maria Theresa, Joseph to Leopold, and Maria Carolina to Mimi), she never seemed to have done the same. Clearly, whatever her faults, backbiting/criticising her siblings behind their backs wasn't one of them. Given her "freshness" (impudence) and being unperturbed, most likely she told them upfront what she thought of them, ha.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 21, 2010, 03:04:41 AM
Further two topics in the previous thread, I'd like to add the following:

On Karl of Zweibrucken's ambition to marry an archduchess (Maria Amalia and Maria Elisabeth later on) -- It seems that Karl's ambition was not wholly unfounded. Maria Theresa and Franz Stephan were greatly interested in Karl, enquiring about him and even asked to immediately meet him.  That most likely started Karl's frequent visits to Vienna.

On Maria Amalia's relationship with her sister Maria Elisabeth and her visit to Innsbruck --  iIt appears that they were very close. Maria Amalia's visit to Innsbruck in 1783 was very closely preceded by that of Karl Theodore of Bavaria's, whom ME had to entertain while in town. MA's visit was deemed much more enjoyable for her sister, for she was "beloved by ME". ME even traveled to Steinach am Brenner to meet her.  ME organised a lot of activities (balls, visits to the theatre, walks, hunting, an "open house" celebration for 5 days, etc.) for sister.  Also, ME did not wish for MA to leave only after 10 days (MA also made a visit to their sister Maria Anna in Klagenfurt) so MA promised to stop by Innsbruck to spend more time with ME from Klagenfurt. ME also escorted her sister all the way to Bolzano in Italy on her departure from Austria then.   MA also spent some time with ME after she left Parma during her exile in 1802.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: ivanushka on October 22, 2010, 01:04:39 PM
What strikes me is that despite some of her siblings writing badly of her at times ( Marie Antoinette to Maria Theresa

My apologies if this has already been covered in the previous thread but what did Marie Antoinette say about Amalia to her mother?
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 23, 2010, 11:17:34 PM
My apologies if this has already been covered in the previous thread but what did Marie Antoinette say about Amalia to her mother?

From what I remember, a number of letters in 1772-73 from Marie Antoinette said "how sorry I am about the Infanta" and that Maria Amalia's non-disclosure to Maria Theresa about the mended relations between France and Parma must be due to the "shame" that she feels; that the Infanta "would learn her duty and try to please her relatives", etc. I very much agree with the opinion posted in Part I of this thread that such remarks mainly tells of a bit of hypocrisy on  Marie Antoinette's part because she was also NOT following her mother's wishes.    

Oh, and here is another interesting one:  in 1776, when Maria Amalia was supposed to meet her mother and brothers Joseph and Leopold in Gorizia for a family holiday/reunion, apparently Marie Antoinette wrote her mother that she'd rather have Maria Carolina come rather than the Infanta. As if her opinion or wishes  counted (not like Mimi's, whose wishes and opinions MT readily accepted)!  Try as I might, I can't see that remark in any good light.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 24, 2010, 04:34:43 AM
Sorry, the exact term used in the first thread re: Marie Antoinette's references on Maria Amalia to their mother in the early 1770s was not "hypocrisy' but rather "sanctimonious displeasure".......
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on October 25, 2010, 05:02:45 AM
Sorry, the exact term used in the first thread re: Marie Antoinette's references on Maria Amalia to their mother in the early 1770s was not "hypocrisy' but rather "sanctimonious displeasure".......

I think it was my expression but I don't mind 'hypocrisy' - Maria Amalia was just rebelling flagrantly while Marie Antoinette was trying to do the same covertly!  Of course, Marie Antoinette had nothing like the same access to power, so her rebellions were more in the nature of just lying and excuses - very much teenage stuff - and pretty useless since Maria Theresa had a very good spy network surrounding her (as she did for many of her children). 

Quote
[Oh, and here is another interesting one:  in 1776, when Maria Amalia was supposed to meet her mother and brothers Joseph and Leopold in Gorizia for a family holiday/reunion, apparently Marie Antoinette wrote her mother that she'd rather have Maria Carolina come rather than the Infanta. As if her opinion or wishes  counted (not like Mimi's, whose wishes and opinions MT readily accepted)!  Try as I might, I can't see that remark in any good light. /quote]

While obviously not an especially loving remark, it's hard to judge out of context.  Maria Amalia and Marie Antoinette were never very close, while Marie Antoinette and Maria Carolina were - so she might just have been saying "If it was me, I'd much prefer to see my favorite sister" - or she could have been doing a Marie Christine, sucking up to Mother by a little dig - "the former rebel doesn't deserve a visit - what about the Good Girl" - not necessarily particularly hostile to Maria Amalia but just winning a few brownie points with Maria Theresa and supporting Maria Carolina's claim to their mother's attention. 
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 25, 2010, 05:14:10 AM
I think Marie Antoinette had the tendency to make herself appear better at someone else's expense; we see it in her letters to Maria Theresa expressing displeasure on her sister in Parma. I've also read that she encouraged the rumours of phimosis on her husband to make herself appear better. While it might be part due to immaturity, it also tells of not taking responsibility for her actions and wanting "applause" for herself.

It's quite true that it's hard to judge her remark out of context but I very much agree that it wasn't an especially loving remark.   Like I said, I doubt if her opinion or wishes counted at all - and she was probably resentful that Maria Amalia was back to her mother's good graces by then (1776), enough for Maria Theresa to make a compromise at a holiday near Italy even though MT was mostly in ill health, while she was still receiving letters of criticisms!  MT indeed made remarks about going to France if she happened to go the Austrian Netherlands but it was more of a "threat" - to make her toe the line - rather than a fun holiday/reunion!
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on November 02, 2010, 12:57:49 AM
Well, from what I have read Maria Elisabeth was like the "first lady" in Innsbruck so she couldn't have been very bored there.  She entertained royals and nobles alike. I guess that was a lot better than being stuck in Vienna with Joseph II and presumably she had more freedom in Innsbruck.  Maria Amalia's visit in 1783 was obviously one of the best visits for her and they appeared very close so she must've enjoyed it more than usual. :)  
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on November 02, 2010, 08:53:26 PM
Yes: Liesl (Elisabeth) and Mali (Amalia) seem to have been quite close.

According to what I have read, Maria Amalia and Maria Elisabeth embraced "most tenderly" at Steinach am Brenner (after a separation of 14 years), where Maria Elisabeth hastened to meet her sister in 1783. Obviously, ME can't wait for her sister to arrive in Innsbruck. I think that, among other things,  shows that they were indeed very close.

Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Prince Paul on November 03, 2010, 01:37:49 PM
I am inclined to think that Maria Elisabeth never favored her mother´s (and Joseph´s) attitude towards Maria Amalia. It´s only a presumption, but ME seems to have had a "mind of her own" (her sharp tongue, her tantrums, her prolongued silences), even if she wasn´t given much importance within her family or at the Viennese court (Leopold seems to have been more benevolent towards her, increasing her allowance when he became Emperor). Liesl and Mali were only 2 and a half years apart, and the closest sister the latter had in age (aside from the baby Maria Carolina -the second of the three with that name- who died at birth; Joanna Gabriela was four years younger than Maria Amalia). Maria Christina was only a year older than Maria Elisabeth, but seems to have been more independent, more "mature" (with her many talents). She seems to have been placed more in the lot of the elder children (Marianne and Joseph), while the more frivolous Elisabeth seems to have been often paired with Amalia (possibly close to Charles and Leopold, although the boys must have had a different education and a more masculine environment). Sad that no letter from Maria Elisabeth seems to have survived (that I know of) to see what she really thought of Maria Amalia´s ostracism. The very warm reception she gave her younger sister in 1783 clearly indicates she was not in favor of it. I wonder what did she think of Marie-Antoinette, of Maria Christina (according to Kutschera, citing a letter of Leopold, it seems they abhorred each other...), etc.  By the way, I just saw a fantastic exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, called "Vienna, 1780", showing the fabulous "second silver table service" of Maria Christina and her husband, Duke Albert of Saxe-Teschen, that they used while being Governors of the Low Countries. The exhibition is only open until this November 7 (reason why I dashed to see it), but there is a very informative (and beautifully illustrated) hard-cover catalogue, that anyone can acquire online.
Prinzheinelgirl: how do I access to the personal message system you mentioned?
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: ivanushka on November 03, 2010, 04:41:22 PM
I remember that in one biography I read of Marie Antoinette - it was either by Antonia Fraser or Carolly Erikssen - the author said that for the purposes of their upbringing the children of Maria Theresa were basically divided into the older group and the younger group.  The latter consisted of Caroline, Antoinette, Ferdinand, Maximilliam and presumably Johanna and Josepha until their untimely deaths.  As Amalia and Elizabeth were both in the older group with Christine they would probably have suffered far more reminders of their mother's favouratism towards their sister than the younger children did.  The inevitable jealousy and resentment this would have caused must have helped form a strong bond between them.  Antonia Fraser said that Maria Anna (another member of the older group) was once made quite ill with jealousy over their mother's favouratism towards Christine.  As someone who was forced to stay at home and under her mother's control, Elizabeth was probably impressed with Amalia's independence and refusal to tow the official line from Vienna and silently cheering her on. 
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on November 03, 2010, 09:43:06 PM
I am inclined to think that Maria Elisabeth never favored her mother´s (and Joseph´s) attitude towards Maria Amalia.

There is evidence that communication to and from Parma was NOT banned at ALL levels in 1772-73;  Maria Amalia and her doctors wrote the court doctors in Vienna regarding her daughter Carolina in 1773 and got replies.  Maria Theresa knew about it. So I suspect communication among Maria Amalia, Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth could've been done at the "lower levels" (i.e. through common friends/courtiers) when direct communication was banned. All 3 archduchesses were also clever enough and independent to contrive ways to circumvent this ban.

Maria Christina was only a year older than Maria Elisabeth, but seems to have been more independent, more "mature" (with her many talents). She seems to have been placed more in the lot of the elder children (Marianne and Joseph), while the more frivolous Elisabeth seems to have been often paired with Amalia (possibly close to Charles and Leopold, although the boys must have had a different education and a more masculine environment).  

I remember that in one biography I read of Marie Antoinette - it was either by Antonia Fraser or Carolly Erikssen - the author said that for the purposes of their upbringing the children of Maria Theresa were basically divided into the older group and the younger group.  The latter consisted of Caroline, Antoinette, Ferdinand, Maximilliam and presumably Johanna and Josepha until their untimely deaths.  As Amalia and Elizabeth were both in the older group with Christine they would probably have suffered far more reminders of their mother's favouratism towards their sister than the younger children did.  The inevitable jealousy and resentment this would have caused must have helped form a strong bond between them.  Antonia Fraser said that Maria Anna (another member of the older group) was once made quite ill with jealousy over their mother's favouratism towards Christine.  As someone who was forced to stay at home and under her mother's control, Elizabeth was probably impressed with Amalia's independence and refusal to tow the official line from Vienna and silently cheering her on.  

The pairings were:  Marie Christine and Maria Elisabeth, Charles and Leopold, Johanna and Josepha, Maria Carolina and Marie Antoinette, and Ferdinand and Maximilian. Joseph as the heir was raised alone and so were Maria Anna and Maria Amalia, who didn't have sisters deemed close enough in age.  Maria Amalia wrote a friend about how she was "always raised alone".

If you see Maria Elisabeth's paintings, she was good at it. She also had a very good singing voice who could tackle technically demanding operas so I don't know why she was deemed inferior to Mimi.  Most likely, Mimi's talents were only focused on because she was Maria Theresa's favourite.  

Despite the 8-year gap in age between Maria Anna and Maria Amalia, they were very close. Maria Amalia also appears to be close to their father Franz Stephan like Maria Anna and she, from a very tender age, accompanied him and Maria Anna in outdoor pursuits. I know much was made about Marie Antoinette being Franz Stephan's favorite - but the only 'evidence' authors seem to have of that was when FS sent for his youngest daughter before leaving for Innsbruck. The claim seems largely exaggerated and quite unfounded. Although FS did not seem inclined to show overt favouritism, Maria Anna was the child who was closest to their father.    

Prince Paul: just use the personal message index or to go to a person's profile to send a message.

Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Prince Paul on November 04, 2010, 11:50:19 AM
You´re surely right, Prinzheinelgirl, in the question of the pairings decided by Maria Theresa. But it would seem that due to the much mentioned favoritism received by Maria Christina from her mother, or just because of lack of empathy between Mimi and Liesl, Maria Elisabeth -on her own accord- preferred to be with Amalia whenever she could (especially from their teenage years and beyond). I imagine both confiding their early crushes -if to anyone- to each other (Maria Elisabeth in relation to the Prince de Ligne and Maria Amalia, later on, in regards to Prince Zweibrücken), and certainly not to tattle-tale Maria Christina.
I wonder how did Maria Elisabeth (with an "s", being a German name, and not with a "z", as in the English version) react to the knowledge that Prince Zweibrücken was considering her as a bride, in the 1770's, having the Prince been the impossible love (as it turned out) of her seemingly favored sister. Maybe she, aside from the negative political considerations had by her mother, her brother and Kaunitz, was herself not keen to such an offer (on account of her sister´s possible reaction). But then again, we need to have more sources at hand on the subject, to be anything more than speculative.
What did you mean (Prinzheinelgirl) when you said "If you see Maria Elisabeth´s paintings, she was good at it" ?? I imagine you refer to the art produced by her, and not to Elisabeth´s portraits done by others (which was the first thing that came to my mind on reading your phrase). I understand Amalia was also very gifted in this, and that there is a very good painting of a Saint (is it Saint Anthony?) attributed to her and kept in a private collection. However, I am inclined to think that many of these paintings were very much "retouched" by the court artists and professors, who wanted to enhance and flatter their pupils´skills (and therefore their own educational abilities !!). Once more, we need more studies on the subject.
I coincide completely with you, in relation to the unfounded belief that Marie-Antoinette was Franz Stephen´s favorite. His much publicized decision to stop the carriage (was it so?) to embrace his youngest daughter one last time, seems to have been a much romanticized exaggeration, the authors (and chroniclers) wanting to match his soon sudden death with this daughter´s tragical end. There doesn´t seem to exist any more evidence as to this pretended favoritism, beyond the natural weakness a parent may feel for cute younger children...
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on November 05, 2010, 12:14:13 AM
I wonder how did Maria Elisabeth (with an "s", being a German name, and not with a "z", as in the English version) react to the knowledge that Prince Zweibrücken was considering her as a bride, in the 1770's, having the Prince been the impossible love (as it turned out) of her seemingly favored sister. Maybe she, aside from the negative political considerations had by her mother, her brother and Kaunitz, was herself not keen to such an offer (on account of her sister´s possible reaction). But then again, we need to have more sources at hand on the subject, to be anything more than speculative.

I don't think it (Karl of Zweibrucken's offer for her hand) was kept secret in the family. However Maria Amalia felt about it (and she certainly got over Karl quite quickly at any rate, contrary to what most authors say; obviously they didn't do their "homework" but pretended that what they wrote was based on "facts"), it  didn't affect the strong bond that the two sisters had.

What did you mean (Prinzheinelgirl) when you said "If you see Maria Elisabeth´s paintings, she was good at it" ?? I imagine you refer to the art produced by her, and not to Elisabeth´s portraits done by others (which was the first thing that came to my mind on reading your phrase). I understand Amalia was also very gifted in this, and that there is a very good painting of a Saint (is it Saint Anthony?) attributed to her and kept in a private collection. However, I am inclined to think that many of these paintings were very much "retouched" by the court artists and professors, who wanted to enhance and flatter their pupils´skills (and therefore their own educational abilities !!). Once more, we need more studies on the subject.

Yes, I meant Maria Elisabeth's own artworks. I saw a portrait done by her - entitled "A Lady with a Hat" or similar - which was very good; in fact, in my view, better than Mimi's self portrait or that group/family portrait on Saint Nicholas Day by the same. It had more "character", more striking. If their instructors touched up their artworks, at the very least it's still safe to say that she had some degree of skill at it. After all, if there was nothing to "touch up" (if the artworks  produced were extremely bad), it couldn't have come out very well. Also, such "cover-ups" for the imperial pupils couldn't be kept a secret forever. Their tutors were replaced if deemed too strict or lax or "dishonest" in their reports.

The portrait made by Maria Amalia circa 1762-64 was "St. Therese of the Child Jesus". Yes, it is privately owned.  However, I am not sure if she kept up with painting once in Parma. I know that she continued with embroidery there, because she made a mantle or similar for a relic which she sent to a pilgrimage site in Parma, if I remember it right. That was in the 1780s.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on November 05, 2010, 12:49:54 AM
Sorry, the post above on the painting attributed to Maria Amalia should be "St. Therese", not St Therese of the Child Jesus (born in the 19th century)......
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on November 23, 2010, 10:59:26 PM
Translation to German of the book on Ferdinand (L'Infant de Parme) by Elisabeth Badinter:

Der Infant von Parma: oder Die Ohnmacht der Erziehung

The link to Google Books
 http://books.google.com/books?id=yxLisJzFVjgC&pg=PA70&dq=maria+amalia+ferdinand+parma&hl=en&ei=L5rsTKPnOIq8cL7UtMUP&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDYQ6AEwBDgU#v=onepage&q=maria%20amalia%20ferdinand%20parma&f=false
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on November 24, 2010, 03:02:13 AM
The (Association) of Castles of the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza recently hosted an event (The Sweet Frivolity of Maria Amalia) at Maria Amalia's residence (Rocca Sanvitale) in Sala Baganza. In picture #7, one can see that there was an exhibition (mounted on a wall), with a copy of Zoffany's portrait of Maria Amalia and Ferdinand's 4 eldest children...

http://ilnorbi.blogspot.com/2010/10/le-dolci-frivolezze-di-maria-amalia.html
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on December 25, 2010, 11:18:15 PM
In part 2 of this thread, I posted a bit on Karl of Zweibrucken's extravagance and excesses; here is a bit more information on him by the same source on the War of Bavarian Succession:

"But, though idle and extravagant, he was not entirely contemptible. His portraits show a stout, dark-eyed man, with a sensitive mouth and chivalrous bearing. He was admitted to have a sense of honour that was high in that age, and he was to show considerable firmness in the crisis."

I guess Karl's high sense of honour was one trait that drew Maria Amalia to him; she (more than once) wrote about how she disliked dishonest persons/those without sense of honor.

Incidentally, the same source mentions that Zweibrucken got an annual pension of 300,000 livres from France (Louis XVI), considerably more than what Parma got (pegged at 200,000 livres during the time of Louise Elisabeth of France and there seems to be no record that it was increased at any point).  Also, it said that France (Louis XVI and his minister Vergennes) had its own intrigues with Zweibrucken and that nothing France heard from Zweibrucken was favourable to Austria (we can safely assume that Louis XVI found Zweibucken more trustworthy - and that he showed more favor to his ally/client state - than his wife Marie Antoinette, who was lobbying - intensely and in vain - for her native country).
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Svetabel on January 09, 2011, 02:48:05 AM
The thread has been re-arranged and now it's only one Part on Maria Amalia. Discussions on her relatives were merged with the proper threads in the Iberian and Habsburg section. Please, stick to topic.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on January 25, 2011, 03:19:57 AM
I see another "purge" has been done on this thread and many posts were either deleted or moved to other threads. I'd appreciate it very much if a sort of guideline - forgive my ignorance - could be made, so as to avoid the deletion or moving of future posts.  I may be wrong - because it's been more than 2 years since I started following and posting here at the APTM forums- but as one member pointed out earlier, majority of the posts are not repetitive and do add new information/facts/insights or things to think about/new leads. It is a bit disconcerting.... :(

So, if I find some new information/fact on a particular subject discussed earlier re: Maria Amalia , does that mean the post may be edited/deleted later on since the topic has long been discussed? And does the  post above mean that we can only discuss Maria Amalia - and her alone - here and not in conjunction with her relations/family members? Just asking!  :)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Svetabel on January 25, 2011, 06:13:44 AM
I see another "purge" has been done on this thread and many posts were either deleted or moved to other threads. I'd appreciate it very much if a sort of guideline - forgive my ignorance - could be made, so as to avoid the deletion or moving of future posts.  I may be wrong - because it's been more than 2 years since I started following and posting here at the APTM forums- but as one member pointed out earlier, majority of the posts are not repetitive and do add new information/facts/insights or things to think about/new leads. It is a bit disconcerting.... :(

So, if I find some new information/fact on a particular subject discussed earlier re: Maria Amalia , does that mean the post may be edited/deleted later on since the topic has long been discussed? And does the  post above mean that we can only discuss Maria Amalia - and her alone - here and not in conjunction with her relations/family members? Just asking!  :)

Of course we can discuss here not only Maria Amalia, but in connection with some her friends/relatives/so on...

The problem with the old threads was that posters began to discuss not MA but only her sisters/mother/other Habsburgs and forgot about MA itself. Such discussions were moved to the Habsburg subForum. Also there were repetitive discussions,it's naturally as the Part I was 45 pages originally and many posters just didn't want to read all those pages.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on January 26, 2011, 02:24:07 AM
Of course we can discuss here not only Maria Amalia, but in connection with some her friends/relatives/so on...

The problem with the old threads was that posters began to discuss not MA but only her sisters/mother/other Habsburgs and forgot about MA itself. Such discussions were moved to the Habsburg subForum. Also there were repetitive discussions,it's naturally as the Part I was 45 pages originally and many posters just didn't want to read all those pages.

Thank you very much for the clarification.  :)  I hope to be able to post some new information on Maria Amalia soon!
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 01, 2011, 01:28:03 AM
I was able to read a reliable source on Parma's finances during Ferdinand and Maria Amalia's time. It seems that Maria Amalia got an annual allowance of 537,000 liras, Ferdinand's annual income was over 2,000,000 liras, and the annual subsidies from Spain and France were 1,619,000 and 1,500,000 liras respectively. I think Maria Amalia's annual allowance was quite generous, considering that it appears more (converting to other currencies at that time is quite a challenge so my calculations aren't exact, only approximations) than what the Crown Princess of the UK (Caroline of Brunwick) received or Grand Duchess Natalia of Russia or her own sister Archduchess Maria Anna's allowance (very generously provided and fixed by Maria Theresa as Princess-Abbess of the Holy Roman Empire). Any thoughts?

It was also mentioned that the court spent disproportionately to its income. Given how small the court was (already discussed earlier in this thread but it may have been deleted), would its "disproportionate" spending mean that even though the court was very small, its expenses were still very extravagant?    
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Marc on February 01, 2011, 07:22:29 AM
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the court was small and by spending much more money Maria Amalia wanted to gain the impression of some self-importance and grandeur that was lacking in Parma...and make-up for everything by just spending and impressing firstly herself and by that automatically her guests...

This is just a thought...
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: ivanushka on February 01, 2011, 12:44:43 PM
It was also mentioned that the court spent disproportionately to its income. Given how small the court was (already discussed earlier in this thread but it may have been deleted), would its "disproportionate" spending mean that even though the court was very small, its expenses were still very extravagant?    

I would imagine so.  For one thing I believe the Colorno palace had 400 rooms (probably bigger than many royal palaces for larger states) and so would have cost a lot to staff and maintain.  There were other palaces too which would again have added to the expense.  I would imagine a contributing factor in the Court's high spending was that Ferdinand's parents both came from far wealthier Courts (France and Spain) and would have expected to live in a grander state than Parma itself could easily finance; a habit that Ferdinand himself may have acquired.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 02, 2011, 09:08:00 PM
Thanks for the replies!

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the court was small and by spending much more money Maria Amalia wanted to gain the impression of some self-importance and grandeur that was lacking in Parma...and make-up for everything by just spending and impressing firstly herself and by that automatically her guests...

This is just a thought...

I'm inclined to agree with this. Maria Amalia didn't seem to have a lot of "money sense", although she didn't seem to have spent much money on clothes, jewels, and accessories (like her sister Marie Antoinette for instance). From what I can glean from the source, the main issues against her were the expenses related to the kitchen, stables/horses, and guards.  Part of it was also because of her generosity. A good trait in a royal, but Parma the duchy didn't have excessive income either (income of 11,869,000 liras in 1770 or 1771, excluding the subsidies from France and Spain - these were almost always delayed at any rate - and freehold rents).  It was said that more than half of the duchy's income was spent by the court/royal family.


I would imagine so.  For one thing I believe the Colorno palace had 400 rooms (probably bigger than many royal palaces for larger states) and so would have cost a lot to staff and maintain.  There were other palaces too which would again have added to the expense.  I would imagine a contributing factor in the Court's high spending was that Ferdinand's parents both came from far wealthier Courts (France and Spain) and would have expected to live in a grander state than Parma itself could easily finance; a habit that Ferdinand himself may have acquired.

The family used two main palaces: the one in the capital and the one in Colorno. There was also a palace in Piacenza (city) that need maintenance/repairs from time to time plus other country estates owned by the family. Maria Amalia's country estate in Sala Baganza was also a separate establishment since 1775.

Yes, it seems that the imbalance between income and expenditures was well established before 1769, when Ferdinand and Maria Amalia married. It was mentioned that the wedding expenses added to the imbalance, then Maria Amalia's unrestrained spending made the situation worse.  I've also read that pensions, etc. were deemed excessive vs actual income of the duchy.

I have no doubt that Maria Amalia was a spendthrift, but she e paid the debts  she had accummulated by selling her jewelry, etc., not paid for by the state.  There seems no evidence of a claim by an author that the subisidies from  France and Spain (and Austria?) were partly used to pay for her debts.    
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on February 03, 2011, 11:18:31 PM
Quote
I have no doubt that Maria Amalia was a spendthrift, but she e paid the debts  she had accummulated by selling her jewelry, etc., not paid for by the state.  There seems no evidence of a claim by an author that the subisidies from  France and Spain (and Austria?) were partly used to pay for her debts.
 

I'm not an authority on eighteenth century royal finances, but weren't most of the european state systems, prior to the French revolution (generally speaking) far from equitable or straightforward?  As I understand it, the tax systems usually benefitted the nobility and the clergy and the systems themselves were very prone to corruption and were an undue burden on the middle and lower classes (and the American and French revolutions, were among other things, very much products of deeply unpopular tax burdens).  Within such a system, it would not be unusual for a royal household (i.e. the palaces, the royal servants) to be maintained by subsidies made to the crown - there was not the clear differentiation between the sovereign and the state which was created largely as a result of the French revolution in particular but also much refined and developed in the nineteenth century.  I can't see why Maria Amalia should be blamed if such a situation was in place in Parma - after all (and at the risk of having this post removed to another board - but it IS about Maria Amalia), this was very much the case in France, far richer and more influential than Parma, and presumably at least one model.  Why would Ferdinand or Maria Amalia have problems maintaining their palaces or paying their servants (servants of the crown - civil servants today!) out of the subsidies made by their relations to them personally?  Ferdinand's grandfather Louis XV had no problems paying for Madame du Barry's gaming debts (or anything else) out of crown tax monies.  I also think it very much to Maria Amalia's credit that she paid any of her personal debts (as distinct from the ducal expenses of the Parma court) from her personal property, i.e. her jewels.  I think if she did pay any of her personal debts from subsidies, to condemn this as a fault demonstrates a lack of understanding of the way in which the finances of eighteenth century royal houses operated and the confusion between them and the eighteenth century 'state'.  Louis XIV said 'L'etat c'est moi' and although by his - great-great-great (I think) - grandson's time (i.e. Ferdinand) this was an uneasy situation, it was still very real.  I really don't think we should judge the eighteenth century by the standpoint of the nineteenth or twentieth, where Maria Amalia is simply an Austrian royal harridan , preying on patriotic Italians - who at that stage didn't exist.  Or at least that's how it looks to me.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 04, 2011, 03:28:24 AM
Within such a system, it would not be unusual for a royal household (i.e. the palaces, the royal servants) to be maintained by subsidies made to the crown - there was not the clear differentiation between the sovereign and the state which was created largely as a result of the French revolution in particular but also much refined and developed in the nineteenth century.  I can't see why Maria Amalia should be blamed if such a situation was in place in Parma - after all (and at the risk of having this post removed to another board - but it IS about Maria Amalia), this was very much the case in France, far richer and more influential than Parma, and presumably at least one model.  Why would Ferdinand or Maria Amalia have problems maintaining their palaces or paying their servants (servants of the crown - civil servants today!) out of the subsidies made by their relations to them personally?  

Your explanation/logic makes perfect sense to me.  I guess it was easier to blame a demanding and bossy newcomer for the added financial problems of the duchy....that's what I read, France, Spain, and Austria poured in money to Parma as a result of Ferdinand and Maria Amalia's marriage but the subsidies were partly used to pay for the duchess' debts (which seems untrue).  I remember reading that Maria Theresa wished to give an annual subsidy to Parma, specifically to support her daughter and son-in-law.  Joseph II loathed the idea and didn't agree. So MT "lobbied" for France and Spain to increase their subsidies to Parma, which was granted by both courts. Clearly, the increased subsidies were meant for the ducal couple's comfort and wishes, but it seems that the (increased) subsidies, as determined by Du Tillot, were counted on to reduce the fiscal imbalance.

I also think it very much to Maria Amalia's credit that she paid any of her personal debts (as distinct from the ducal expenses of the Parma court) from her personal property, i.e. her jewels.  I think if she did pay any of her personal debts from subsidies, to condemn this as a fault demonstrates a lack of understanding of the way in which the finances of eighteenth century royal houses operated and the confusion between them and the eighteenth century 'state'.  Louis XIV said 'L'etat c'est moi' and although by his - great-great-great (I think) - grandson's time (i.e. Ferdinand) this was an uneasy situation, it was still very real.  I really don't think we should judge the eighteenth century by the standpoint of the nineteenth or twentieth, where Maria Amalia is simply an Austrian royal harridan , preying on patriotic Italians - who at that stage didn't exist.  Or at least that's how it looks to me.

I agree. She did have a sense of separation between personal and state matters, very uncommon for that time. She said she didn't want the state to pay her debts so she sold her jewels and accessories. The bottomline is, she was thoughtful about the state, i.e. the taxpayers, not having additional burdens by her debts.  

Maria Amalia's love for parties and other entertainments (i.e. horses and guards) are clearly court expenses. In this regard, she admitted she was wrong in making the expenses increase.  But I couldn't find much information/details on her personal debts and which specific expenses/items comprised such, only her "legendary" debts. Yet, clearly, it wasn't all about clothes, jewels, and accessories. We know she dressed weirdly and "unroyally".  What was recorded was Maria Amalia giving her own money to improve Parma's infrastructure and industry, money distribution to the poor, and gifts to soldiers (the guards and the soldiers were no more than 1000 total).  If she accumulated debts, we can attribute it partly to good deeds such as the above.

As far as I can tell (based on my readings specific to the duchy, and not by biased authors), Maria Amalia wasn't seen as a harridan by her subjects. It was only the French, Spanish, and a small portion of Parma's population loyal to Du Tiilot or the French influence who viewed her as such, and who did nothing good in Parma. If you compare Maria Amalia with her sisters Maria Carolina and Marie Antoinette, she was far popular than both until the very end.   Besides, she was very well aware of the importance of public perception/popular opinion and did not hesitate to go on "goodwill missions" across the duchy to redress any issues against her.    
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 08, 2011, 06:43:21 AM
Console table, made just in time for Maria Amalia's arrival in Parma.... it was at her apartments in Palazzo di Riserva; I'm not sure but I think said palace is now Museo Lombardi.

http://mini-site.louvre.fr/saison18e/en/antiquite_revee/ar17.html
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 10, 2011, 12:35:24 AM
Rocca Sanvitale, which also served as Maria Amalia's residence in Sala Baganza, celebrates Valentine's Day on 13 February this year with an event called "La Rocca In Love".  It'll feature the women who lived at said place: Countess Barbara Sanseverino, Maria Amalia, and Maria Luisa of Austria, whose lives and loves will be told at the tour of said place (complete with actresses, a journey into the past). Period costumes and background music of their eras will also be played.

The link in Italian:

http://www.parmatoday.it/eventi/rocca-innamorata-sanvitale-sala-baganza.html
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on February 13, 2011, 10:49:54 PM
Rocca Sanvitale, which also served as Maria Amalia's residence in Sala Baganza, celebrates Valentine's Day on 13 February this year with an event called "La Rocca In Love".  It'll feature the women who lived at said place: Countess Barbara Sanseverino, Maria Amalia, and Maria Luisa of Austria, whose lives and loves will be told at the tour of said place (complete with actresses, a journey into the past). Period costumes and background music of their eras will also be played.

The link in Italian:

http://www.parmatoday.it/eventi/rocca-innamorata-sanvitale-sala-baganza.html

Without knowing a word of Italian, I see Maria Amalia is described here as 'frivola' - I hope the experience in Parma will try to provide a less superficial judgement!  Though who she was supposed to be in love with eludes me - perhaps the allegation of the undue familiarity with the guards will be dragged in again.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 14, 2011, 03:25:13 AM
Without knowing a word of Italian, I see Maria Amalia is described here as 'frivola' - I hope the experience in Parma will try to provide a less superficial judgement!  Though who she was supposed to be in love with eludes me - perhaps the allegation of the undue familiarity with the guards will be dragged in again.

You're right, CountessKate! As far as I know, the only names I could come up with when it comes to Maria Amalia and love are: Karl of Zweibrucken and Ferdinand of Parma.... Even her enemies and her mother - so suspicious of her, Maria Theresa seemed to believe the stories about the guards  - could not come up with actual names.  

Oh, I guess it's always much more interesting for "marketing purposes"  to "embellish" historical characters such as Maria Amalia although not factually/historically correct and quite unfair at that.  Though, IMHO, Maria Amalia was more than eccentric - even without her supposed affairs - and needed no "embellishments"!  Apparently, this "love event" at her residence has been going on for at least a couple of years; perhaps they (organizers) must be priming it to be one of the regular events at the castle. The annual (autumn) walk in her honor in Sala Baganza has quite a following already.

Speaking of superficial judgement, I remember reading on an Italian blog about a local tourist who went to the palace in Colorno on tour; apparently, he (tourist) was told that Maria Amalia and Ferdinand had 6 children (not even factually correct) and only 1 -  the eldest Carolina, that is  - was actually fathered by Ferdinand!  That was from a guide, ha.  
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 27, 2011, 08:38:59 PM
Commemorative coin for the wedding of Ferdinand & Maria Amalia in 1769.   Look for Ferdinando I di Borbone- medaglie- gettone per il matrimonio; click on image to enlarge.....

http://numismatica-italiana.lamoneta.it/riepilogo/SW-38

Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Marc on March 09, 2011, 07:20:54 AM
Posted an identifying question regarding Maria Amalia on another thread...

http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=15805.0 

If anyone can help,it would be much appreciated!
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 10, 2011, 09:38:26 PM
It seems to me that if that portrait was indeed of Maria Amalia, her features have turned angular and hard as she aged.... I have some portraits of her so if anyone would like to compare them with this, kindly just send me a PM....
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 15, 2011, 12:44:52 AM
Re: Maria Amalia and her love for the common people:

I think there was more to it than her fondness for the guards regarding her popularity. And there were some guards who were of noble lineage as well. Sorry I cannot put in a lot of details right now but it seemed that she trusted/liked the common people more.  When she replied to her mother's 23 rules of behavior, she said she didn't distinguish between ministers or farmers, as long as they were honest. Also, she seemed aware/grateful to the commoners/people. In her own words (in the same letter to her mother): "I try to gain the love of the people as much as possible. They are always praying for us and giving us blessings from heaven."
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 25, 2011, 03:25:42 AM
Part 1 of the condensed biography of Ferdinand & Maria Amalia's son Louis (from birth until the Treaty of Aranjuez):

The birth of Louis in 1773 was greeted with huge celebrations, celebrated according to the elaborate Spanish etiquette of the court. Charles III of Spain sent a special courier to his great nephew to give the Golden Fleece, the king of France most precious gifts, the grandmother, Empress Maria Theresa, resumed contact with the mother, interrupted for two years. From the castle of Parma, there were firing of three salvos of twenty rounds each, Te Deums of thanksgiving in the cathedral, plus three days of gala and an amnesty was passed.

His education was very organized. His father, eager to make him "a prince and a Christian scholar" in April 1776 chose as his preceptor Adeodato Turchi, court preacher and bishop of Parma from 1788. The pedagogy of the Turchi, which aims to form a human society and the Gospel, while seemingly simple, built on a solid knowledge of authors such as F. Fenelon, Bossuet JB, JJ Duguet, The choice of the father and the preceptor method were unsuccessful. In adulthood, in fact, Louis absorbed the religious attitudes and political orientations of his first spiritual leaders.  

The time and manner of the Spanish mark ceremonial drive the growth of the prince. The November 29 1779 passed from the care of women, which was responsible for the Countess Aurelia Aryans Canossa, than men. The tutor selected was the Marquis Prospero Manara, fine scholar and lover of art, accompanied by the Chevalier de Pujol, who came specially from France. When he became Minister of State, Manara was replaced in 1781 by another member of the court, the Knight of Somaglia GA Capece. With the "passage to majority" Louis  was entitled to a separate apartment, built for the occasion behind the ducal palace, had to eat in public on certain days of the week and he was forbidden to go out without bodyguards.

Meanwhile, his education proceeded with full satisfaction. Even before the four years, he already knew how to read well and showed aptitude for the study of geography and geometry. Afterwards he learned foreign languages ​​with ease and had an overt interest in the fine arts, and revealed a passion for the natural sciences and studies which accompanied him throughout his life, as evidenced by his correspondence with learned aristocrats Parma.

==============
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 25, 2011, 03:27:11 AM
Part 2 of the condensed biography of Ferdinand & Maria Amalia's son Louis (from birth until the Treaty of Aranjuez):

However, the education received, set up with a strictly hierarchical system of control (at the top was his father Duke Ferdinand) ended by oppressing Louis. In 1793 he complained about "my usual stuff,  the way I live and I hope  it will end soon, but meanwhile I would like to at least write freely to those whom I wanted to, as he is a big hassle when I want anything from a few people to write to. And I'm finally in the 21 years of age and no longer being in college, and I do not believe that my conduct may give rise to my father not to trust me. I belive I will get my freedom or as you believe, it will be changed when I am married."  

The idea of marriage as an opportunity for greater freedom was not justified: it was fervent in those months, negotiations with the European courts to find a bride that would guarantee the small state, in addition to  dynastic continuity, the necessary political benefits. The process of rapprochement with Austria, which saw two significant events in 1760 and 1769 respectively with the marriage of Isabella with the Archduke Joseph (later Emperor) Ferdinand and Archduchess Maria Amalia, was in a phase of stagnation . It was decided to follow   strengthening the already close ties with the Bourbons of Spain. On  April 24 1794, Louis left for Madrid to choose a bride, accompanied by some ministers and courtiers and, not surprisingly (given his poor health), also doctors and and pharmacists.  He chose his cousin Maria Luisa over her older sister and they lived in Spain for some years.  

During this period, which largely coincided with the difficulties encountered in Parma by Ferdinand in the face the French invasion, Louis  tried to adapt to the new situation, in many ways lifeless as the last and at least as complicated. The custom of not committed to writing thoughts and feelings makes her correspondence - obviously subject to controls - a list of praise and expressions of their affection for the Spanish monarchs, the fatuous Charles IV and Maria Luisa, his resourceful paternal aunt, and the favorite of the latter, the powerful Minister Manuel Godoy. Only when, sometimes, Louis makes use of coded language, expressed critical opinions, as in a letter to the minister Ventura on June 15, 1798, which mentions that  Godoy was (rumoured) to retire in Andalusia, "but I do not think so, maybe because I want it very much, as well as across the nation who hates him to death."

Court life, receptions, dances, hunts, games, some travel occupied much of the time of ouis, but not enough to make him neglect his studies and research of natural history. In Madrid, he attended the well-known botanistl C. Gómez Ortega, A. José Cavanilles, who furnished him with materials for the botanical garden of Parma, he procured several crates of minerals, stuffed birds and fishes for the Museum of Natural History and was interested in producing a kind of iconographic inventory of the animals, vegetables and minerals the Duchy, given before his departure to his friend Sanvitale. He also translated from Spanish a lecture on elastic resin by V. Cervantes de Mexico 2 July 1794, which was sent to Linati if he deemed it interesting, but did not wish for his name to be disclosed.

His extensive network of relationships and scientific initiatives continued to have a reference point in Parma, where he had formed his cultural interests, but also his tastes, material and social customs. Incessant requests sent to the minister Ventura (who had been recalled to Parma after a few months) to send him cheese, stewed fruit, clothes, cards, books and lots of music, including works by the young F. Paer and A. Rolla.

Meanwhile, Spanish monarchs agreed with France to guarantee them an "accommodation" prestigious. To this end, they did not hesitate to trade a vast territory in America with a region in Italy and Tuscany. The Treaty of Saint Ildefonso (1 (Oct. 1800), in fact, Spain promised to cede to France the Duchy of Parma, Louisiana and six warships in exchange for the Legations or Tuscany, raised in the Kingdom. The Treaty of Luneville (9 feb. 1801) formalized the expulsion of Ferdinand III of Habsburg-Lorraine by the Grand Duchy, in favor of Ferdinand of Bourbon-Parma. In view of the latter's refusal to leave his "little nest", the Treaty of Aranjuez (March 21, 1801), signed by Godoy and Luciano Bonaparte, the French plenipotentiary in Madrid, declared the perpetual renunciation of Ferdinand of Parma in favor of the French Republic, giving compensation in Tuscany, now the Kingdom of Etruria, and the title the royal crown prince.

Louis was systematically kept ignorant of political issues; he learned with  great surprise that he was appointed king of Etruria. He was not aware of the determination with which his father had refused to leave his legitimate states, the "only certain assets" of the family.

Source: http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/ludovico-i-di-borbone-re-d-etruria_(Dizionario-Biografico)/

==============

I wonder why Ferdinand was so strict with his son? I read earlier that he wanted very much to go riding but his doctors absolutely forbidden him, so his parents disallowed him that pasttime. 
Also, it's very interesting how his father's resistance to exchange his duchy for Tuscany was kept away from him....
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on April 01, 2011, 09:14:30 AM
A new bed and breakfast at what used to be Maria Amalia's estate in Sala Baganza....

http://www.ilrichiamodelbosco.it/

A video on Sala Baganza - you can see the bits of the forest and 2 of her residences (the castle at her estate - much smaller than what it used to be - at the start and her country villa at the end).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzVfkYkK0ck
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Marc on June 08, 2011, 08:31:35 PM
One more portrait of the Duchess:

(http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k126/auersperg21/amaliaParma.jpg)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 08, 2011, 09:53:18 PM
Marc, I love the portrait!  Many thanks:)

Do you have any idea what year it was painted?

I have one (younger portrait) of Maria Amalia, which seemed to have been done in her teens. It's in b & w and only from a book on Ferdinand so the scanned copy (when I get to that) might not be very good.  But I'll try to post it here... I'm thinking you might like it! 
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 09, 2011, 07:46:47 AM
I have scanned the portrait from the book but it does not show when I log-out of Image Shack!  Marc or someone else, can I please send it to you for posting? I'm so dumb at this thing!
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Marc on June 09, 2011, 09:23:55 AM
There are no facts about the year or a painter except that it was Austrian school which may suggest that she was painted before her marriage or maybe painted in her early years of marriage by someone from Austria maybe sent to paint her...
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 09, 2011, 10:12:06 AM
There are no facts about the year or a painter except that it was Austrian school which may suggest that she was painted before her marriage or maybe painted in her early years of marriage by someone from Austria maybe sent to paint her...

Thanks again, Marc. The style of the dress is from the Austrian court, I believe.....
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Marc on June 09, 2011, 09:50:58 PM
This one I post in your name ;-) and this is I assume from Austrian Court too...?

(http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k126/auersperg21/Mamal.jpg)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 09, 2011, 10:03:34 PM
This one I post in your name ;-) and this is I assume from Austrian Court too...?

Many thanks, Marc!  ;D

And many thanks as well to trentk80 for providing it!  ;D

Yes, it  seems to have been done in Vienna, in the year Maria Amalia was married. I initially thought it was done in her teens (because she looked more mature in her portrait by Meytens in 1765) but the caption states 1769. The earrings shown there seems to be a favourite pair, because I have seen it in several portraits, both as a young girl and adult.  

Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 01, 2011, 09:06:43 AM
A French source states that:

1.  Maria Amalia wrote lovely poems in Vienna ---- I've read excerpts of her letters written in Parma (both in French and Italian). They were messy, "went around the bush", and had many faulty spellings. So I don't know what to make of this claim, except that forum member Umigon (a reliable source on Ferdinand of Parma and Maria Amalia) wrote earlier in this thread (probably deleted by now) that she wrote her husband beautiful letters...So, in addition to being quite talented in painting and having a lovely light singing voice, she seems to have a talent in writing love letters and poems? Perhaps she wrote poems in German? ....not too bad for someone who was always criticised by her mother and who absolutely refused to pay attention to her studies!  

2.  Marie Christine's report to their mother in 1775 or 1776 regarding Maria Amalia losing her looks and vivacity also contains the claim that she was unpopular in Parma. Now, Maria Amalia looking more like a country lady than a royal duchess is not far-fetched (Duke Albert wrote that she led a retired life in the countryside although I believe Mimi and/or Albert exaggerated the remark that she lost all her good looks) but Maria Amalia unpopular?!? Perhaps with some nobles (identified with Du Tillot)....but not with all people or majority of them. The French source stated that she was appreciated by her people... and there are sources in Parma who say the same (outright statements or by inference) so no doubt, Mimi seemingly wrote a report to make her sister look like she getting what she "deserved" for defying their mother!

3. Maria Amalia sought emotional consolation from her younger sisters because she was always considered by Maria Theresa as "lesser" compared to her older sisters, so she never grew up emotionally.   I''m not sure about Maria Amalia being close to the younger archduchesses but she was, no doubt, close to both Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth. But I agree that Maria Amalia never seemed to fully grow up emotionally/reached full maturity in this respect, with her caprices and frivolities --- and it seems to me that she acted even more spoiled than Marie Antoinette or Maria Carolina.  Ferdinand's attitude of giving her whatever she wanted also did not help!

===========  

Thoughts, anyone?
 
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Marc on July 01, 2011, 09:29:49 AM
I just love her the most of all MT children because she was always spoiled,no matter how much her mother did not spoil her in particular,but she had her own ideas and just followed them,no matter what or who stand in her way!She also didn't  acknowledge any kind of autority if she herself did not alow it...

For me,she is also interesting because her life was always "in the shadow" of other MT children and Amalia was in fact(my opinion) the most eccentric one and had the most interesting personality...
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 01, 2011, 09:42:00 AM
A very interesting personality/character and spoiled rotten, no doubt...but with a good heart! It seems to me that after her anger/rage was gone, she didn't hold any grudges, too. Whatever her differences with her mother, she didn't seem to act contrary just to spite her. She just didn't want to do something she thought was not right!

Her eccentricities were so controversial but she was certainly ahead of her time, in that she knew the "pulse of the people" and understood the power of popular opinion! No doubt such qualities helped her do better than most of her siblings.  By the way, did I mention that she was also described as "spontaneous" and "lovable"....? I can see why Ferdinand, despite having many other women -- and perhaps guilty about such -- and their marital problems, indulged her.....

I'm not sure about Maria Amalia not being fully mature emotionally was due to the "fact"(? I think this is disputable) that she hung around her younger sisters more or sought consolation from them; I think the fact that she was raised as an only child had more to do with it. She grew up the center of her little world... so was she was very spoiled and stubborn and was used getting her way. I think her father Franz Stephan also quite spoiled her, her and Maria Anna..... Maria Theresa's "rejects".
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 01, 2011, 10:38:23 AM
I am sure that her father must have spoiled her as MT did not have too much time for her and her younger siblings. That was quite a blow when Franz Stephen died and took the gaiety of the family with him. Before that it seems the Hapsburg-Lorraine family had a great family life.

I don't think Mimi exaggerated too much in terms of Amalia's loss of "glamor" and "looks". Judging from her later portraits and her lack of attention to her toilette compared with the court of Vienna or France, I think that must be the impression Mimi got from visiting her sister. You have to remember Mimi judged Amalia by the high court standards of Vienna, and Amalia focused more of her energies on her country pursuits like riding (maybe even got sunburn !) than dresses, wigs & jewelry. Yes her "glamor" may have gone.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 02, 2011, 06:44:14 AM
I am sure that her father must have spoiled her as MT did not have too much time for her and her younger siblings. That was quite a blow when Franz Stephen died and took the gaiety of the family with him. Before that it seems the Hapsburg-Lorraine family had a great family life.

Franz Stephan seemed indulgent to Maria Amalia, dismissing her harsh tutor (I doubt Maria Theresa was the one who dismissed said person) and did not mind that she refused to study, as well as spending much time with her (and Maria Anna). I have not read that Franz Stephan did the same with her younger siblings as FS was occupied with his mistresses, business dealings, and scientific interests. I think he tried to make up for his wife's harshness to both Maria Anna and Maria Amalia.  Also, Maria Amalia belonged to the older set of siblings (born between 1737-1948), not with the younger set.

I don't think Mimi exaggerated too much in terms of Amalia's loss of "glamor" and "looks". Judging from her later portraits and her lack of attention to her toilette compared with the court of Vienna or France, I think that must be the impression Mimi got from visiting her sister. You have to remember Mimi judged Amalia by the high court standards of Vienna, and Amalia focused more of her energies on her country pursuits like riding (maybe even got sunburn !) than dresses, wigs & jewelry. Yes her "glamor" may have gone.
 
Mimi wrote about her losing her beauty and glamour, which to me seemed to be distinct and separate from one another. I concur that she lost her glamour but she still  looked good in the 1778 portrait by Alexander Roslin; even with flattery, it overall shows a still attractive person and it showed that if she wanted to, she can still dress up well. If you compare that portrait with that of Maria Carolina's or Marie Antoinette's at roughly the same age (32 years old), IMHO Maria Amalia was by far more attractive. We must also remember that by the time Mimi visited, Maria Amalia had at least 4 pregnancies (3 live births with 1 miscarriage) and was also quite sickly. She wasn't in good health overall. Also, a woman in her 30s at that time was no longer regarded as "fresh"....  And to me, if you compare Roslin's 2 portraits of the sisters, Maria Amalia's was far better than Mimi's. Later on, Maria Amalia's facial features became hard/sharp, just like Maria Anna's, and her thinness didn't help, but I believe that came later on, not during Mimi's visit in 1776. I'm not sure too about Mimi's statement that Maria Amalia's "beautiful figure changed"; of course, there must be changes due to her pregnancies/miscarriage(s) but later accounts still note her "well-formed" figure.  

It seems to me that when Mimi (and Albert) arrived in Parma, Ferdinand and Maria Amalia weren't expecting them so early so they had to rush from Colorno to the inn where Mimi and Albert stayed; there was no time to get fussy over clothes, make-up, and jewels. Also, it's quite funny that her brothers Ferdinand, Maximilian, and Leopold all spent time with her (1775-1776) but didn't seemingly report anything of that sort to Maria Theresa. Which makes me think that while Mimi's report, although not entirely false, was designed to "placate" Maria Theresa (Maria Amalia getting what she "deserved"), who kept a long-standing grudge....  
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 02, 2011, 09:23:36 AM
Just read an excerpt of Maria Theresa's letter to her son Archduke Ferdinand, wherein she warned her son that Maria Amalia's company and stories "couldn't be relied upon."  What a mother! I understand her seeing that Maria Amalia was "bad company" (or influence) on her brother due to her eccentric/unroyal ways  but to make Maria Amalia sound untruthful is just too much. I've never encountered any of Maria Amalia's writings as a pack of lies..... it was the opposite, in fact: she was too frank and outspoken for her own good, both in person and in her letters. As Maria Carolina said, she was "fresh and unperturbed"....

What sort of mother would promote suspicion and distrust/dislike among her children, shouldn't she be fostering goodwill instead?!? At any rate, Archduke Ferdinand didn't seem to pay much attention to his mother regarding this (he distrusted MT anyway)....IMHO, MT knew Ferdinand distrusted her and tried to turn on the tables on her disliked daughter instead.... sad. At this point, with this information and others, I'm beginning to think it was MT, not her daughter, who lacked the motivation to truly reconcile. She was forever finding fault with her daughter and not above manufacturing claims to try to discredit her to others. In short, MT was the one full of grudges!

As for Maria Amalia's older sisters, Maria Anna (seemingly disliked by MT from the start) and Maria Elisabeth (already "useless" and therefore no longer in her mother's favour). Leopold wrote that MT did not treat them very well, scolded them and was often angry at them... MT took every opportunity to treat Maria Anna miserably, displaying bad temper to both archduchesses, not caring that the whole court knew!  I'm certainly glad Maria Amalia and the rest had an extremely lucky escape! MT was not a nice person and mother and -- if I may say so -- certainly unbalanced!
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 04, 2011, 03:12:34 AM
According to this Italian food company, horseradish sauce was introduced at the court of Parma (Fontevivo, one of Ferdinand's favourite places) during the time of Maria Amalia. Its roots were known to cure rheumatic pain and "mental confusion". I guess they used it (horseradish) partly as a remedy for the duchess' illnesses and to calm her when she was angry?......

http://www.confetturecoltiecotti.it/new-products.php
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 04, 2011, 10:05:43 AM
To Svetabel or any moderator,

Is it possible to rename this thread with Maria Amalia's husband Ferdinand and their children?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: ivanushka on July 04, 2011, 12:00:31 PM
I'm certainly glad Maria Amalia and the rest had an extremely lucky escape!

I agree!  Parma may not have been as grand as Vienna, Versailles or Naples, but ultimately it seems to have been the sort of place that suited Amalia well.  Had she been mistress of a grander Court I think she would have become very frustrated with protocol.  The comparative informality of Parma allowed her to live the sort of active, outdoor life that she seemed to enjoy.  Also, Ferdinand, though not initially the man of her dreams (!) was clearly a decent man and one that she came to care for.  Also she had children and appears to have been a devoted mother.  Most importantly she was essentially her own mistress with no one controlling her life the way her mother appeared to do with her two unmarried sisters. 

Mimi's comments about Amalia's altered appearance have always struck me as a little bitchy.  As Eric Lowe said, Amalia looked very attractive in the Roslin portrait which is dated after the visit.  I've often wondered if Mimi at some level envied Amalia her independent spirit and the fact that she was not willing to meekly accede to all their mother's wishes.  I wouldn't be surprised that when her brothers visited Amalia, they all had a good moan about Mimi.  Mimi was probably aware of this and trying to get her own back!
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 04, 2011, 05:42:27 PM
I agree. Compared to Maria Anna & Maria Elisabeth, Maria Amalia did have a great escape. Indeed, Maria Amalia was not very well educated and took not trouble to books or politics (like Maria Carolina did) or obsessed with fashion & looks (like Marie Antoinette did). Her outspoken ways WERE very unroyal as most courts play by charm, scheme and hypocrisy (Yes even MT did that in response to Poland), and her outburst were also more a result of willfulness than a strategic planner like Maria Carolina. That is the reason why MT was so pissed off by Maria Amalia as she was "a loose cannon" not under control. 

Mimi was proud since she got the man she wanted, got on the better side of their mother and did not need to travel abroad to make a political match. But her sharp tongue made her few friends (even among her family).
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 04, 2011, 11:32:51 PM
I agree!  Parma may not have been as grand as Vienna, Versailles or Naples, but ultimately it seems to have been the sort of place that suited Amalia well.  Had she been mistress of a grander Court I think she would have become very frustrated with protocol.  The comparative informality of Parma allowed her to live the sort of active, outdoor life that she seemed to enjoy.  Also, Ferdinand, though not initially the man of her dreams (!) was clearly a decent man and one that she came to care for.  Also she had children and appears to have been a devoted mother.  Most importantly she was essentially her own mistress with no one controlling her life the way her mother appeared to do with her two unmarried sisters.  

That's why I seriously doubt what some authors wrote, that Maria Amalia was unhappy in Parma because it was a middling state.  If she loathed it (like her mother-in- law Louise Elisabeth of France seemed to), she would not have bothered traveling all over the duchy over and over and made friends with the "locals", she could have confined her travels to other states in Italy and became aloof.  I'm certain she made many mistakes on being a mother (especially when she was in a bad mood) but one could say she that she showed more interest in her children and was anxious, not to criticise, but to correct their shortcomings, than her own mother.  It would be very interesting to read her letters to her children but I'm not sure if such are still extant.

There's evidence that Ferdinand, at certain times, put his foot down but I doubt if any discipline/control was anywhere as harsh as Maria Theresa's.  Overall, he let her be and tried to exercise patience and goodwill, which, considering Maria Amalia's caprices, one would need a lot of ....

Mimi's comments about Amalia's altered appearance have always struck me as a little bitchy.  As Eric Lowe said, Amalia looked very attractive in the Roslin portrait which is dated after the visit.  I've often wondered if Mimi at some level envied Amalia her independent spirit and the fact that she was not willing to meekly accede to all their mother's wishes.  I wouldn't be surprised that when her brothers visited Amalia, they all had a good moan about Mimi.  Mimi was probably aware of this and trying to get her own back!


Well, like I said earlier (not sure if it was deleted in one of the "purges" made on this thread), one would think someone with Mimi's **advantages** (real or imagined) would try to have goodwill towards her siblings but no, she still chose to be the troublemaker. Which says a lot about Mimi's real character and also that of her mother's (favouring a nasty child). I can't say for the rest, but I remember reading earlier that, according to Joseph II, Archduke Ferdinand on his first visit to Vienna (1775 or 1776, after he got married and moved to Milan) was unhappy to see Mimi.....

Indeed, Maria Amalia was not very well educated and took not trouble to books or politics (like Maria Carolina did) or obsessed with fashion & looks (like Marie Antoinette did). Her outspoken ways WERE very unroyal as most courts play by charm, scheme and hypocrisy (Yes even MT did that in response to Poland), and her outburst were also more a result of willfulness than a strategic planner like Maria Carolina. That is the reason why MT was so pissed off by Maria Amalia as she was "a loose cannon" not under control.  

Well, according to Maria Amalia's detractors, she was crafty and scheming. I have no doubt that she was very willful and had outbursts but she was also said to have a very keen perception, even if she wasn't the "bookish" type like Maria Carolina. Judging from what we can see later on, she produced more good results (both in her personal and public life) than the bookish and highly politicised Maria Carolina, and without the same level of efforts at that.  I'm not aware of any instance that Maria Carolina displayed her skills as a "strategic planner" and judging from what resulted from her rule in Naples, she wasn't as good as she thought and was just hyped that way ..... Can you please cite instance(s)?

There was not much difference between Maria Amalia's and Maria Carolina's (political and personal) behaviour once they were in their new homes, both brought "disgrace" as far the world was concerned.  I think Maria Theresa was more forgiving of Maria Carolina's behaviour because she was her 2nd favourite daughter in contrast to Maria Amalia, whom she never seemed to like.  

=====
Svetabel, thanks for making the name change in this thread!  :)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 05, 2011, 01:10:38 AM
I forgot to add above that I think authors who state that Maria Theresa was to blame for her daughters' miserable lives at foreign courts are not exactly being fair. One can blame  MT only up to a certain point -- for forcing such marriages. Now, what said archduchesses did with their respective marriages were entirely up to them.  And I think, given how Maria Anna and Maria Elisabeth were treated later on (it must've been a shock to Maria Elisabeth, who was used to her mother's favour due to her unusual beauty until she became "useless" to MT), whatever the shortcomings of Louis XVI, Ferdinand of Naples, and Ferdinand of Parma, all three princes were a picnic compared to dealing with their mother's extremely bad temper and likely harsh treatment as that of their older sisters!  For instance, Maria Amalia could've easily said (what Lady Pamela Mountbatten more or less said when she defended her gay husband, with his "boys") something along the lines of: "When you have a mother like mine, you can put up with anything.  Besides, Ferdinand is a very good father and he's very nice to me. He gives me everything I want, seldom scolds me, does everything for me, and lets me be..."
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 05, 2011, 02:28:19 AM
According to a German forum on Marie Antoinette, Maria Theresa wrote this line in her farewell letter to Maria Amalia, who was to depart for Parma:

"Sie solle in ihrer Heimat nicht allzu viel reden; das was sie sage, sei meist langweilig usw" which I think (generally) means: "You should not talk too much in your new home; what you say is mostly boring."? (Anyone who knows German well and could provide a better translation?)

Nice, hmmm?

So, Maria Amalia was to just keep her mouth shut and concentrate on having babies as soon as possible (also contained in the same letter) but what was she she to do while her husband couldn't perform his marital duty yet (happened after 3 months)? Author Paul Tabori wrote that Maria Theresa feared what the "young philosopher" (Ferdinand) would think of her "stupid but sweet girl" and cautioned her from shocking her husband with her "girlish nonsense".

While I think Maria Theresa was rightly apprehensive (in her mind)  that her "ill-educated" daughter would not interest her husband, who was indeed very well-educated and very knowledgeable... but surely the words could have been phrased better; and anyway, little did she know that for Ferdinand, being very pretty and voluptuous was enough..."Vacuous" conversation or not, Ferdinand (very early on) appeared to have been very taken with his wife!

Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: ivanushka on July 05, 2011, 08:35:57 AM
For instance, Maria Amalia could've easily said (what Lady Pamela Mountbatten more or less said when she defended her gay husband, with his "boys") something along the lines of: "When you have a mother like mine, you can put up with anything.  Besides, Ferdinand is a very good father and he's very nice to me. He gives me everything I want, seldom scolds me, does everything for me, and lets me be..."

This reminds me of that great line from the film "Dangerous Liaisons" which Madame de Merteuil says to the young and innocent Cecile de Volanges; "When it comes to marriage one man is as good as the next and even the least accomodating is a lot less bother than a mother!"

Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 05, 2011, 10:04:44 AM
This reminds me of that great line from the film "Dangerous Liaisons" which Madame de Merteuil says to the young and innocent Cecile de Volanges; "When it comes to marriage one man is as good as the next and even the least accomodating is a lot less bother than a mother!"

That's a great line, Ivanushka!  We can say then with certainty that Maria Amalia won the "jackpot" in this respect by ending up with the ever-accommodating Ferdinand of Parma!

Speaking of Ferdinand, Joseph II wrote to Maria Theresa from Verona in early June 1775 about how he was with his brothers (Leopold, Ferdinand, and Maximilian) and the Duke of Parma in Venice, where they watched a regatta. Maria Amalia was not mentioned at all, which I think lends support to the information that she had a miscarriage or stillbirth in mid-May 1775 (an old Dutch almanac listed a "Prince N of Parma" on said dateline, but since another live baby - Carlotta Maria - was not produced until Sept 1777, it certainly ended as a miscarriage or was stillborn) for I cannot imagine Maria Amalia - who seemed to suffer from the wanderlust and cannot stay put at one place  -  staying home in Parma while she had another opportunity to travel!      
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 06, 2011, 03:27:42 AM
Ferdinand and Maria Amalia's grandson Charles II of Parma seemed to have inherited his paternal grandmother's very capricious nature. His great-granddaughter Archduchess Louise of Austria (Tuscany line) related in her memoirs about how her great grandfather could not be depended upon. Once, he promised to have supper at a nobleman's house but a little less  than an hour of the appointed time, he suddenly had the urge to go to Parma so he left for it immediately, without any explanations or word to his host. Likewise, his homes were always kept ready for his stays, for the servants never knew when their master would turn up.  

Does anyone know about the nature of their other grandchild (sister of Charles II), Maria Luisa Carlota of Parma?  
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 06, 2011, 12:16:03 PM
Very interested where you pick up the Pamela Mountbatten line on her gay husband.  ;)

Maria Carolina was very strategic in a way that she knew in order to budge into politics, she need to provide an heir first, so she bid her time (her first few were daughters) and when her son was born, she got to move into the privy counsel and sit in political meetings. It was then she started her direct involvement with politics since (unlike Marie Antoinette or Maria Amalia) it was stated in her marriage contract.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 06, 2011, 11:03:36 PM
From author/writer Gwen Robyns, it supposedly came from a conversation between her and Lady Pamela.
Very interested where you pick up the Pamela Mountbatten line on her gay husband.  ;)

From the author/writer Gwen Robyns, supposedly from a conversation between her and Lady Pamela Mountbatten.  :)

Maria Carolina was very strategic in a way that she knew in order to budge into politics, she need to provide an heir first, so she bid her time (her first few were daughters) and when her son was born, she got to move into the privy counsel and sit in political meetings. It was then she started her direct involvement with politics since (unlike Marie Antoinette or Maria Amalia) it was stated in her marriage contract.

Oh. But Maria Carolina interfered in politics early on, by the time Marie Antoinette married both MC and Maria Amalia were being perceived in Europe as interfering consorts. It's clear that she did not bid her time to enter politics. Her main goal was to get rid of Tanucci (she wished to get rid of Tanucci early on because according to her for she will  "never be (truly) a Queen with Tanucci around" and listening to him (and Spain) was like "listening to the devil"), in which she was unsuccessful for 8 years (and with a seat at the State Council for a year)  until.... Mimi helped her plot his downfall. So I don't think she was such a strategic planner. To add to that, she didn't enjoy seem to enjoy much credit with her husband. Nor did Ferdinand seem to dislike Tanucci.  No wonder it took her so long to get rid of her nemesis but it wasn't as if she bided her time regarding him.

Maria Amalia got rid of Du Tillot (and his successor Del Llano) much quicker but what most authors overlook (or they were simply lazy to bother with the facts) is that Ferdinand deeply disliked Du Tillot and wished to be given a free hand on his duchy. Even the minister Pacaudi (spelling?) who was allied with Du Tillot recognised that "the Infante (Ferdinand) hates Felino (Du Tillot, who was Marquis de Felino) more than his wife...."  Maria Amalia indeed achieved her goal, but it was also because her husband wanted the same thing.  With Del Llano, it seemed to be Maria Amalia who was more antagonistic, not Ferdinand.  
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 06, 2011, 11:37:04 PM
Regarding the post above, I should have written that Maria Amalia was the only one who was antagonistic to the minister Del Llano, not her husband.  I have not read anything yet that suggests Ferdinand disliked said minister. So, on the firing of Del Llano (Charles III of Spain's nominee) and the political mess that it created, Maria Amalia seems solely responsible.  
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 07, 2011, 02:33:08 PM
That is very interesting. I only read that Maria Carolina was the only one given the chance to sit in the privy council after she gave birth to the heir. Marie Antoinette never really was that into politics than having a good time (balls, dresses, jewels & favorites/lovers). I think Maria Amalia was in the middle perhaps, since she was not given a clear political role in her marriage contract (unlike her sister). For a time both sisters (Maria Carolina & Maria Amalia) operated independently through their willful ways (the lack of strategic ways, but by outbursts and pestering their husbands). Maria Carolina worked closely with what Austrian interest (hence the approval of MT) while Maria Amalia (as most historians seem to indicate) according to her personal likes and dislikes of the person/ministers.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 07, 2011, 09:47:32 PM
That is very interesting. I only read that Maria Carolina was the only one given the chance to sit in the privy council after she gave birth to the heir. Marie Antoinette never really was that into politics than having a good time (balls, dresses, jewels & favorites/lovers). I think Maria Amalia was in the middle perhaps, since she was not given a clear political role in her marriage contract (unlike her sister).  

Yes, it was only Maria Carolina who had that clause in her marriage contract, neither Marie Antoinette or Maria Amalia had the same privilege.  But MC interfered early on and started clashing with Tanucci over various matters. There's not much difference between Maria Amalia, Maria Carolina, and Marie Antoinette in this respect, all 3 interfered whether they were given the explicit right or not.   Maria Amalia indeed wanted to rule in the early months but she didn't have any formal role. She gave up the idea (of ruling) quite fast, what she subsequently wanted was for husband to rule (not France or Spain through Du Tillot and Del Llano).  We see that she stuck to her resolve later on, she dropped out of politics mainly. So she was sincere in her wish to have Ferdinand a free hand in his duchy: "I want nothing more so that he can enjoy public esteem...". Of course, she didn't feel shy asking her husband for this and that later on, but mainly she dropped out of it.  

For a time both sisters (Maria Carolina & Maria Amalia) operated independently through their willful ways (the lack of strategic ways, but by outbursts and pestering their husbands). Maria Carolina worked closely with what Austrian interest (hence the approval of MT) while Maria Amalia (as most historians seem to indicate) according to her personal likes and dislikes of the person/ministers.

I don't think Maria Amalia needed to bully her husband (as much as Maria Carolina did to her Ferdinand) regarding Du Tillot. I can only think of one clear instance when she forced his hand on this. We have to remember that as much as Maria Amalia disliked Du Tillot (and she truly hated him), her animosity was lesser than her husband's. Perhaps Ferdinand couldn't bring himself to defy his grandfather Louis XV and his uncle Charles III so openly but Maria Amalia didn't share his hesitation. While Du Tillot was portrayed as an enlightened minister who made many reforms and made Parma  a great cultural center, we have to keep in mind that the locals (except for his favoured local nobles) were quite left out of it, and the good results of reforms passed only came in trickles... very slow in coming. In the meantime, Parma was saddled with a staggering state debt of 31,000,000 liras, a big chunk  which was due to his "reforms" and "ambitions". The people greatly resented that. It was a clearly a question of who actually benefited from his administration.

On top of it all, Du Tillot wasn't to be trusted as far as the duke and duchess were concerned: there were unsatisfactory answers to what he did with some of Ferdinand's personal money (the cash inheritance Ferdinand got from his grandmother Elisabeth Farnese); another issue was his instructions to the head of the archives in Piacenza to destroy certain documents so as to favour the family of his mistress Marchesa Malaspina over some inheritance issue. Maria Amalia and Ferdinand couldn't also be blind to the fact that Du Tillot slandered her at the foreign courts (no doubt including the stories about alleged affairs with bodyguards, of which there is no concrete proof) and made it appear that Ferdinand wa someone who "amounted to nothing."  We need to get hard facts like that (aside from Ferdinand being offended at Du Tilot's anti-clerical policies and Maria Amalia's willfulness) to understand why Maria Amalia and Ferdinand wanted to get rid of him.

On Del Llano,  so far I think it was only Maria Amalia who disliked him, not Ferdinand. So in this particular minister, she seems solely responsible for his dismissal and the political mess it created.  But to be fair, she was also motivated by her wish (and Ferdinand also wanted it himself) that Ferdinand would be the real ruler of Parma, not someone else controlled by France and Spain. We have to remember that Ferdinand never blamed Maria Amalia for any of their troubles - even when their families cut off correspondence and their appanages - and he seemed grateful to her for taking the flak from everyone else. 
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 08, 2011, 12:15:40 AM
Maria Carolina worked closely with what Austrian interest (hence the approval of MT) while Maria Amalia (as most historians seem to indicate) according to her personal likes and dislikes of the person/ministers.

Maria Amalia's arrival in Parma signalled the end of reforms and Parma being closer to Austrian interests. I haven't read much about it, except that Ferdinand had some common laws and agreements with both the Duchy of Milan and Grand Duchy of Tuscany. However, the fact that Louis XVI's minister Vergennes acknowledged Austria's primacy in the Italian peninsula, including the fact that Parma was no longer a satellite of France but that of Austria's, strongly suggests that Parma was, at some level, under Austrian influence. Vergennes knew it was useless to change this because the 2 Austrian archduchesses not only stayed at their posts (in contrast to the French princess Charlotte Aglae d'Orleans, Duchess of Modena, who ran off to France whenever she could) but also did their duties, including looking out for Austrian interests in their respective domains.  In this, one has to give credit to Maria Amalia for doing her "archduchess duties" while getting & maintaining her people's trust and affection... Maria Amalia walked a fine line regarding this matter (one just has to look at how Maria Carolina and Marie Antoinette were very badly regarded by Neapolitans/Sicilians and the French respectively but Maria Amalia escaped such odium from her people). And indeed it supports the statement that she had a very keen perception even if she wasn't "bookish". She had many faults and committed many mistakes as well...on the other hand, quite a lot of what has been written about her are also untrue.  

So I don't think most historians who write about this matter have possession of full or at least sufficient facts of the political situation, just as many are not in possession of the full/sufficient facts of Maria Amalia's "rebellion" in Parma. Or maybe they don't bother to look for facts? Or if they do, they are biased and insisted on a certain viewpoint/slant. For example, I fully agree - based on facts - with a forum member that the failed marriage plans with Karl of Zweibrucken was a mere footnote in Maria Amalia's life but many authors insist on highlighting it and citing it as the main reason for her "rebellion".      
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 08, 2011, 09:28:15 AM
I totally agree, so it would be great if you (processed of such knowledge) to write a paper or book on Maria Amalia, that would help her image in history. I would love to do it (as I wanted to know more about the ignored or misunderstood royals in history), but do not have your knowledge or access to materials.  :)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 08, 2011, 10:02:44 AM
Thank you for your kind words, Eric_Lowe. However, as much as I love Maria Amalia (and most of her sisters and brothers), I don't think I am sufficiently qualified to do such a huge undertaking --- it would mean balancing a number of viewpoints (Parma's, Austria's, Spain's and France's) as well as sifting through more than 2 centuries of sources in various languages on her and Ferdinand, among others.

Besides, someone much more qualified seems to be very interested in doing so. It'll be a great pleasure to -- finally --  have a balanced and well-researched biography on Maria Amalia (hopefully it'll be soon). My contribution on this will just be mainly at this forum. :)  

Tomorrow, I will try to add something on Maria Amalia's caprices... those that are not so well-known.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 08, 2011, 10:09:34 AM
Well...We may have to start somewhere. I would like to write a paper on her (starters) and if I can quote your sources to begin the undertaking that would be helpful. More interested in Maria Amalia herself and her private life than the whole political business, as you said she bowed out of it rather early compared to her sister Mimi & Maria Carolina (who was more of a political animal than Amalia). To be honest, I think Maria Carolina will fit in right at home with Hillary Clinton, Nancy Polosi or even Michelle Bachman...
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 09, 2011, 08:35:53 AM
Well, I'm glad that someone else finds Maria Carolina useful in politics... because I have not read anything that convinces me that she was so brilliant at it. I think she just fancied herself to be, because the results of her administration/rule at Naples and Sicily are not so encouraging. to say the least ....  :-\

If you would give me an outline via PM on what you wish to cover about Maria Amalia's life, I'd be glad to give you information. However, since most of my sources are in Italian & French (and some in German), you may wish to have a professional look over the translations as I'm not so proficient yet ( I can get by, so to speak, but far from perfect, and I sometimes leave out parts that I can't comprehend...). And I also rely on friends to help me out.

I just read an excerpt of Mimi's letter to a friend,  the Princess of Liechtenstein, in which she wrote a series of letters expressing her sadness/being heartbroken over what was happening in France 1789-1793): that Louis XVI is too good to her sister (Marie Antoinette) but he or she  is (or both are)  capricious, and that she is now suffering for it. Yes, Mimi, after all, had some heart.  :)

It's fortunate that Maria Amalia knew how to avoid the pitfalls in being capricious because I think she was even more capricious than Marie Antoinette.      
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 10, 2011, 02:40:12 PM
Thanks in advance !  ;) I will sent you a private message on that. Appreciate it very much.

I think historians gave Maria Carolina some credit that she was able to remain in power avid doing it clumsily by threats, shouting matches, seduction (in short anything in her arsenal !). As she was a main character in the Emma Hamilton & Lord Nelson romance drama, it gave her quite good press in the English speaking world by allying herself with Britain against Napoleon. The books usually gave her a gushing description by comparing her with her sister Marie Antoinette. Maria Amalia was under the radar and when she was banished back to Austria like her sister, not much was written about her.

Nice to know Mimi has a heart too.  ;D

 
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Marc on July 10, 2011, 04:10:52 PM
I just read an excerpt of Mimi's letter to a friend,  the Princess of Liechtenstein

Do you maybe know who is this Princess of Liechtenstein?
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 10, 2011, 04:52:23 PM
Most likely a friend. The family has a palace in Vienna.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 10, 2011, 05:26:41 PM
Do you maybe know who is this Princess of Liechtenstein?

I'm not sure, Marc. The name wasn't mentioned. Maybe it was Leopoldine von Sternberg, who was married to Franz Josef I. Or Princess Eleonore (nee Oettingen-Spielberg), wife of the prince-general Karl, whom Joseph II appeared to love.   There was another Princess of Liechtenstein in Vienna, but I can't recall her name (married to Francis of Liechtenstein).
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 10, 2011, 06:27:02 PM
Thanks in advance !  ;) I will sent you a private message on that. Appreciate it very much.


Welcome. And please give me time to gather the information -- they're "dispersed" in 2 laptops and 1 desktop computer, plus some notes here and there. I can send them to you bit by bit.

I think historians gave Maria Carolina some credit that she was able to remain in power avid doing it clumsily by threats, shouting matches, seduction (in short anything in her arsenal !). As she was a main character in the Emma Hamilton & Lord Nelson romance drama, it gave her quite good press in the English speaking world by allying herself with Britain against Napoleon. The books usually gave her a gushing description by comparing her with her sister Marie Antoinette. Maria Amalia was under the radar and when she was banished back to Austria like her sister, not much was written about her.

I think the British writers very much inflated Maria Carolina's importance, intellect, and talents. The Italian writers mainly reviled her (and I can't blame them, for the perspective that mainly mattered were the Neapolitans' and Sicilians', and MC wasn't appreciated by both) while the Austrian ones aren't so harsh. I think what CountessKate earlier said is very plausible -- that she was somewhere in the middle. Although her poor people skills couldn't be denied, and that caused her many (avoidable) problems if she had only learned to temper her rage. 

Maria Amalia was reviled by the French historians. However, I don't think that should count much, it's what the people in the duchy thought of her that should count. Just because France gave money to Parma, they think they had all the right to determine everything there. The Italian historians are mixed -- some revile her, others are quite fair.  But what's interesting is that the hostile ones are mostly silent about how the people regarded her; instead they repeat over and over her faults (real or imagined) - she was ugly, cunning, dominating, vulgar, etc. One very hostile writer even repeated: "Maria Amalia was vulgar, vulgar, vulgar." If said writer gave examples of why/how she was vulgar, that would've been helpful, hmmmm? As for the Austrian historians, most of them don't go beyond Maria Amalia's rebellion either and mainly present Maria Theresa in a very idealised way so Maria Amalia seemed to be depicted at a disadavantage.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 11, 2011, 11:43:43 AM
Yes. Maria Carolina also benefited dynastically from being the mother of Queen Amelie of the French, grandmother of Marie Louise (Napoleon I's second empress), Leopoldina (Empress of Brazil), great grandmother of Franz Josef & the Orleans family. Maria Amalia did not have as much as a branch canvas as her more productive sister. Indeed, Maria Amalia was known mostly in most history books as a trouble maker in Parma, taking lovers and being a disappointment to her saintly mother, the great empress. I only hope with your help, I could give her a most balance portrait for others to give her a fair assessment.  :)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Marc on July 11, 2011, 06:34:11 PM
Do you maybe know who is this Princess of Liechtenstein?

I'm not sure, Marc. The name wasn't mentioned. Maybe it was Leopoldine von Sternberg, who was married to Franz Josef I. Or Princess Eleonore (nee Oettingen-Spielberg), wife of the prince-general Karl, whom Joseph II appeared to love.   There was another Princess of Liechtenstein in Vienna, but I can't recall her name (married to Francis of Liechtenstein).

Thank you for all the options...

I don't think there is any lady married into the Liechtenstein family left(of the age of Imaperial children)apart from those two you mentioned and maybe Karoline von Manderscheid-Blankenheim(1768-1831 and married in 1782)...Thought I thought it could be Eleonore because she was regarded as a "relative" of the Imperial family because of her Oetteingen roots(though other line to an Imperial grandmother) and maybe Holstein roots as Maria Theresia's great-grandmother was Princess of Holstein as was Eleonore's mother(again other line)...


Sorry for this...I just wanted to know to which Princess of Liechtenstein Maria Christina wrote from 1789-1793!
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 11, 2011, 09:28:56 PM
Indeed, Maria Amalia was known mostly in most history books as a trouble maker in Parma, taking lovers and being a disappointment to her saintly mother, the great empress.

She did make trouble in Parma, but the main motivation cited (she was heartbroken over Karl of Zweibrucken and so she took it out on her poor husband and Du Tillot) is incorrect. At any rate, she was following her mother's orders - get Parma under Austrian influence.

As for her reported lovers, I'd like very much to know who these men were. There was never any concrete proof of such. Bodyguards? The French envoy Comte de Flavigny?  If she ever had them, I can only think of 1 possible lover, who was a long-standing favourite. That said,  Maria Amalia wasn't one to get close/intimate to people...  she didn't give her trust so easily  so how could she have all those lovers early on? Even so, the gentleman in question (the favourite) was also a good friend of Ferdinand's. If it ever amounted to an affair, we can safely say it had Ferdinand's "blessing" (or at least, tolerance).  In addition, Maria Amalia wasn't in good health and Ferdinand kept her busy enough (in their intimate life). Given all that, it's highly implausible that she could find time to have numerous lovers and even live with them openly.... perhaps just one, but even so, no concrete proof. It's funny, she was accused of having many lovers but it was also said that all her children were indeed fathered by Ferdinand! She must be very good at avoiding conception with her lovers then!  ;)  

As for her rocky relationship with her mother --- Maria Theresa didn't seem to like Maria Amalia early on. Maria Amalia didn't want to compromise on certain things -- as far as she was concerned, she was only accountable to her husband. MT was unduly suspicious of her children and kept grudges. We can see the results of all this.  


Thank you for all the options...

I don't think there is any lady married into the Liechtenstein family left(of the age of Imaperial children)apart from those two you mentioned and maybe Karoline von Manderscheid-Blankenheim(1768-1831 and married in 1782)...Thought I thought it could be Eleonore because she was regarded as a "relative" of the Imperial family because of her Oetteingen roots(though other line to an Imperial grandmother) and maybe Holstein roots as Maria Theresia's great-grandmother was Princess of Holstein as was Eleonore's mother(again other line)...


Sorry for this...I just wanted to know to which Princess of Liechtenstein Maria Christina wrote from 1789-1793!


You're welcome and if I find out the identity of said Princess of Liechtenstein, I'll let you know. I also think it was Eleonore, she was the closest, I think, to the imperial family.      
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Marc on July 12, 2011, 07:03:17 AM
You're welcome and if I find out the identity of said Princess of Liechtenstein, I'll let you know. I also think it was Eleonore, she was the closest, I think, to the imperial family.      

I think the same...here is what I found about Princess Eleonore:

"Dadurch wohlhabend geworden, wurde sie von ihrem Vater am Hof von Maria Theresia eingeführt und dort wie ihre Schwester zu einem Kammerfräulein ernannt. Enge Beziehungen hatten beide zu den Töchtern von Maria Theresia."

She had known all Imperial children,including Amalia,so it makes sense that Mimi wrote to her about other siblings...
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 12, 2011, 09:18:51 AM
Thanks, Marc!  I missed that Oettingen connection of Princess Eleonore of Liechtenstein with the imperial family.  She had an affair with Joseph II and Mimi had one with Eleonore's husband.  What a mess! At any rate, Maria Theresa only seemed to do little about such tangled affairs (she transferred Karl of Liechtenstein to a post in Brussels, presumably to keep him away from Mimi in Pressburg but nothing else was said about any other negative reactions nor did it seem to have "lowered" Mimi in her mother's eyes) and even teased Joseph about Eleonore.  What a double standard for her favourites (Eleonore, Mimi, Joseph as her heir)!  Whereas she couldn't bear the same news - real or imagined - about Maria Amalia and was so angry! Even her (MT) piousness, said to be unshakeable and one of her greatest strengths, was subject to her biases.... it seems that Maria Amalia could not just "win" as far as her mother was concerned!    
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Marc on July 12, 2011, 12:15:19 PM
I couln't agree more...everything Amalia did was just "wrong"...One must admire her because all this did not afect her at all...it seems she was as strong willed as her mother,but just in oposite directions!
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Marc on July 12, 2011, 08:35:44 PM
Here is one more painting of Amalia with her children provided to you by fellow poster Monica:

(http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k126/auersperg21/amal-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 13, 2011, 03:09:56 AM
Marc, thanks, thanks for posting the portrait!

====

I couln't agree more...everything Amalia did was just "wrong"...One must admire her because all this did not afect her at all...it seems she was as strong willed as her mother,but just in oposite directions!

Maria Amalia couldn't be blind that her mother didn't like her.... so  yes, I give her credit for trying to have good feelings for her mother.  
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 13, 2011, 11:48:09 AM
It seems that Maria Amalia like the color red (she wore a red dress in her portrait in the Schonbrunn Palace ) and looks good in it too !  :) Thanks Marc for posting it.

If Mara Amalia was not a favorite of her mother, was she one with her father ?
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 13, 2011, 09:48:25 PM
If Mara Amalia was not a favorite of her mother, was she one with her father ?

I have not read anything yet that explicitly states it. It appears that Maria Anna was the closest child/daughter to Franz Stephan.  Although I have read that she and Maria Anna often accompanied Franz Stephan in outdoor activities. Perhaps it was Franz Stephan's way of making up for the "coldness" of Maria Theresa to both. I believe Maria Amalia, who had an 8-year age gap with Maria Anna, started to "hang around" her older sister and father at a very young age.  And that most likely developed her lifelong love for the outdoors.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 15, 2011, 02:42:53 PM
Well...At least one of her parents loved her. I guess maybe Maria Amalia was too outspoken for her autocratic mother, who tolerated no opposition in her judgment on them. Marie Antoinette once wrote that she feared her mother as much as she loved her.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 16, 2011, 03:58:02 AM
Well...At least one of her parents loved her.

Yes, I think that was at least a consolation to her.

I guess maybe Maria Amalia was too outspoken for her autocratic mother, who tolerated no opposition in her judgment on them. Marie Antoinette once wrote that she feared her mother as much as she loved her.

It's unclear to me when Maria Amalia started being outspoken or too headstrong. Surely a little girl who was was seemingly criticised and unloved at such a young age would be afraid of her mother and tried to follow her commands? At least until she was older and could fight her mother over certain things?

Maria Theresa had "irrational" likes and dislikes, and was not above "manufacturing" things in her head to suit her view and satisfy her grudges, etc.  Her idealisation of Franz Stephan after his death, her unshakeable liking of Mimi and the minister Kaunitz (a well-known libertine and follower of Enlightenment, who was also lazy and unreliable in his work, which should have led her to abhor him instead of making concessions and valuing him,  at least she treated him better than some of her own children) are just a few examples of such.....

Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 16, 2011, 12:51:44 PM
The interesting thing is that were there any sibling rivalry with so many brothers and sisters. I think Mimi was quite sharp tongued and not liked by most of her sisters (Amalia may not have been an exception to this). 
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on July 16, 2011, 01:35:17 PM
Quote
Well...At least one of her parents loved her.

Yes, I think that was at least a consolation to her.

And yet, it was Maria Theresa, not Franz Stephan, who wrote to Maria Amalia, "You are extraordinarily patient, ready to do a good turn to others, and, when you choose, you can be so absolutely winning that it is difficult to resist you."  Her criticisms of Maria Amalia as a girl were directed to what she perceived as her daughter's laziness - something the energetic empress could not abide.

Quote
It's unclear to me when Maria Amalia started being outspoken or too headstrong. Surely a little girl who was was seemingly criticised and unloved at such a young age would be afraid of her mother and tried to follow her commands? At least until she was older and could fight her mother over certain things?

I am not aware that Maria Amalia was particularly 'outspoken' or 'headstrong' until she reached Parma and started trying out her power on her young husband.  After all, despite her reluctance, she did actually go to Parma and there's no indication she did anything other than plead her case - there's no evidence of tears or scenes or arguments.

The interesting thing is that were there any sibling rivalry with so many brothers and sisters. I think Mimi was quite sharp tongued and not liked by most of her sisters (Amalia may not have been an exception to this). 

Several of Maria Theresa’s children were jealous of Maria Christina’s position of favourite/her tale-bearing propensities.  There is no evidence however that Maria Amalia displayed any such animosities.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 16, 2011, 02:01:48 PM
Indeed. It was Maria Carolina who made the scenes, with her crying fits and ill humor that her mother decided to separate her from Maria Antonia.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: trentk80 on July 16, 2011, 03:01:07 PM
I am not aware that Maria Amalia was particularly 'outspoken' or 'headstrong' until she reached Parma and started trying out her power on her young husband.

From all I've read, Maria Amalia didn't try out her power on her husband. On the contrary, there's strong evidence that their relationship was good.

Quote
After all, despite her reluctance, she did actually go to Parma and there's no indication she did anything other than plead her case - there's no evidence of tears or scenes or arguments.

Do you mean there's no evidence of tears or scenes or arguments between Maria Amalia and Maria Theresa? If so, I haven't come across it in the sources I've read, but that doesn't mean there weren't.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on July 17, 2011, 05:37:35 AM
I am not aware that Maria Amalia was particularly 'outspoken' or 'headstrong' until she reached Parma and started trying out her power on her young husband.

From all I've read, Maria Amalia didn't try out her power on her husband. On the contrary, there's strong evidence that their relationship was good.

Quote
After all, despite her reluctance, she did actually go to Parma and there's no indication she did anything other than plead her case - there's no evidence of tears or scenes or arguments.

Do you mean there's no evidence of tears or scenes or arguments between Maria Amalia and Maria Theresa? If so, I haven't come across it in the sources I've read, but that doesn't mean there weren't.

I would agree that their relationship was good.  All I meant was that there is no evidence that Ferdinand would have dismissed his minister(s) if he hadn't had the full support or indeed, the direction of Maria Amalia; and in terms of what her mother Maria Theresa and Ferdinand's grandfather Louis XV expected and required, she was certainly both 'outspoken' and 'headstrong'.  And I do mean there was no evidence of tears or scenes or arguments between Maria Amalia and Maria Theresa – and I agree there might possibly have been such scenes; but one argument against Maria Amalia arguing her case very forcefully is that Maria Theresa seemed genuinely surprised and shocked at her defiance of Austrian wishes in her conduct in Parma, which suggests she expected Maria Amalia to continue to do what she had been told. 
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 17, 2011, 05:54:48 AM
And yet, it was Maria Theresa, not Franz Stephan, who wrote to Maria Amalia, "You are extraordinarily patient, ready to do a good turn to others, and, when you choose, you can be so absolutely winning that it is difficult to resist you."  Her criticisms of Maria Amalia as a girl were directed to what she perceived as her daughter's laziness - something the energetic empress could not abide.

Do you remember when this particular paragraph was written, CountessKate? Was it part of Maria Theresa's farewell letter to Maria Amalia on the latter's departure for Parma?

I agree that Maria Amalia could be very winning when she wanted to be and ready to a good turn turn to others.

Was her "laziness" related to her refusal to study and being a "sleepyhead"? Those two are the only ones I can think of..... She thought herself as clever enough, books didn't interest her - what she loved were the outdoors and animals. So maybe that's why MT thought her "lazy"...?  She seemed talented enough in singing and painting/drawing, particularly in the first one.

Several of Maria Theresa’s children were jealous of Maria Christina’s position of favourite/her tale-bearing propensities.  There is no evidence however that Maria Amalia displayed any such animosities.

Whatever her feelings were for Maria Christina, she apparently didn't bear her sister any grudges for being their mother's favourite and being allowed a love match. That was clear from the warm reception she gave Mimi in Parma. After the visit, she and her family even traveled to Mantua to say (another) goodbye to Mimi and Albert, who were on the last leg of their sojourn in Italy.  What she wrote (to a friend) was that Mimi didn't love her, but that was all. It was most likely true (I don't see any reason why she would lie about it) -- she didn't feel this particular sister loved her. But she was still friendly and warm to Mimi nevertheless, so that speaks a lot of her character.  

Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on July 17, 2011, 06:23:23 AM
Quote
Do you remember when this particular paragraph was written, CountessKate? Was it part of Maria Theresa's farewell letter to Maria Amalia on the latter's departure for Parma?

It was quoted in Mary Maxwell Moffat's 'Maria Theresa' and no date was given, but from the context it seem unlikely it was in the farewell letter - just one of general admonishment.  No examples were given of what Maria Theresa thought her laziness consisted of, but presumably it was some form of hostility towards reading or the sort of rote-learning rather too prevalent in eighteenth century education.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 17, 2011, 07:52:43 AM
It was quoted in Mary Maxwell Moffat's 'Maria Theresa' and no date was given, but from the context it seem unlikely it was in the farewell letter - just one of general admonishment.  No examples were given of what Maria Theresa thought her laziness consisted of, but presumably it was some form of hostility towards reading or the sort of rote-learning rather too prevalent in eighteenth century education.

Many thanks!

I also think that Maria Theresa's criticisms of her daughter indeed had to do with her studies.. right: either reading or rote learning and her poor French. She wasn't naturally inclined to it (studies) and a harsh tutor (dismissed later on) did not help. It probably "sored" her in some way towards education. Maria Theresa couldn't have criticised Maria Amalia much on either her looks, good behaviour, or lack of talent in the arts, for Maria Amalia had all those...  laziness -- related to her studies-- must be it.

Also, has anyone read on MT thinking her daughter was conceited?
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: trentk80 on July 17, 2011, 01:35:17 PM
I would agree that their relationship was good.  All I meant was that there is no evidence that Ferdinand would have dismissed his minister(s) if he hadn't had the full support or indeed, the direction of Maria Amalia;

Ferdinand had Maria Amalia's full support in dismissing Du Tillot, but what's the evidence that he did it under her direction?
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 17, 2011, 01:47:08 PM
Talking about Laziness, I don't think Maria Amalia was any lazier than her sister Marie Antoinette or maybe even Maria Carolina...
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 18, 2011, 09:32:36 AM
Well, from what I understand, Maria Amalia was "selectively lazy"...those she didn't have much interest in, she didn't make much effort on, those she liked paid much attention and devoted a lot of time to. I guess Maria Theresa wasn't so wrong in this matter.   Although it seems to me that MT was surprised at her daughter being so "energetic" once in Parma, but unfortunately not in the things she approved of!
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on July 18, 2011, 09:40:31 AM
Indeed. But it is strange that for one thing MT preaches her daughters to be submissive to their husbands, but she also expect s them to influence the husbands for the benefit of Austria. So it is quite hard to do, but I think with the exception of Maria Josefa or Maria Johanna, most of her daughters were actually quite bossy (like MT).
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 18, 2011, 05:59:42 PM
I think what Maria Theresa expected her daughters was to influence their husbands but not so blatantly, behind the scenes so to speak.  Hence, her anger over their behaviour once in their new homes.  Lessons in "gentle manipulation" would've been more useful rather than her severe and critical letters....

I don't expect a 12-year old or a 16- year girl to have the same "personality" as grown up women; surely, they must change so it's difficult for me to state that Maria Johanna and Maria Josepha were not as "bossy" as their other sisters.  Everyone also reacts differently to certain conditions.  However, Maria Carolina showed such tendencies early on and seemed to grow worse as she aged...
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 19, 2011, 03:11:03 AM
Anyone read Leopold's comments on Maria Amalia in his 1778 "State of the Family" assessment? I just read his 1776 comments on Mimi, and he seemed to have disliked Mimi a lot (well, she was quite nasty), I've only read an excerpt but it said it went on page after page...?  I read Leopold criticised everyone in that 1778 document but what were his specific comments on Maria Amalia? Thank you in advance, if ever.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on July 19, 2011, 01:08:48 PM
Anyone read Leopold's comments on Maria Amalia in his 1778 "State of the Family" assessment? I just read his 1776 comments on Mimi, and he seemed to have disliked Mimi a lot (well, she was quite nasty), I've only read an excerpt but it said it went on page after page...?  I read Leopold criticised everyone in that 1778 document but what were his specific comments on Maria Amalia? Thank you in advance, if ever.

In 1778/1779 Leopold wrote simply that "She [Maria Theresa] is especially angry with Parma, wants to hear nothing more about it, and mingles no longer either directly or indirectly in its business"  - that was it with regard to Maria Amalia, as by Parma Leopold did not of course mean Ferdinand.  He goes on at length about his other siblings, but this is not perhaps appropriate for this thread.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 19, 2011, 11:46:19 PM
In 1778/1779 Leopold wrote simply that "She [Maria Theresa] is especially angry with Parma, wants to hear nothing more about it, and mingles no longer either directly or indirectly in its business"  - that was it with regard to Maria Amalia, as by Parma Leopold did not of course mean Ferdinand.  He goes on at length about his other siblings, but this is not perhaps appropriate for this thread.

Oh, thank you! It seems that Leopold did not have any grave issues with his sister since his comments were limited to what their mother felt..... From what I have read, Leopold and Maria Amalia seem to have quite a warm relationship, and Leopold wanting to go to Parma in 1772 (when MT forbidden all communication) is quite touching, considering that MT criticised him as "cold and reserved".

Still, I'm unclear as to why Maria Theresa was so angry..... Maria Amalia's behaviour at that point was better. Perhaps it was the lack of influence in Parma mentioned earlier. Or perhaps it was due to MT's temper and imaginings/suspicions going worse.... or maybe it had to do with other problems but she chose to focus her wrath on her daughter instead.  I guess MT's anger was the reason why Johann Zoffany's portrait done in Parma (1778) only showed her grandchildren, and not the duke and the duchess while the Zoffany portrait done in Florence earlier showed her grandchildren there with their parents!  
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on July 20, 2011, 05:00:49 AM
Quote
Still, I'm unclear as to why Maria Theresa was so angry..... Maria Amalia's behaviour at that point was better. Perhaps it was the lack of influence in Parma mentioned earlier. Or perhaps it was due to MT's temper and imaginings/suspicions going worse.... or maybe it had to do with other problems but she chose to focus her wrath on her daughter instead.

I imagine that whatever Maria Amalia's ostensible behaviour towards her mother, Parma was the one place where Maria Theresa had no influence at all, and every time the place was mentioned it reminded Maria Theresa of her failures there, where she had to give way to her child rather than the other way around.  However, Leopold's memorandum, quoted - I think in full in Karl A Roider Jr's 'Maria Theresa' in the 'Great lives observed' series, Prentice-Hall 1973 - paints a rather sad picture of the empress, often bad-tempered as her faculties and health declined at the end of her life (although of course this is all filtered through Leopold's rather severe viewpoint).  Maria Amalia was not by any means especially singled out by Maria Theresa's bad temper at this time, according to Leopold, although fuller discussion of what she said about her other children is perhaps not relevant for this thread.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 20, 2011, 09:52:26 AM
Parma was the one place where Maria Theresa had no influence at all, and every time the place was mentioned it reminded Maria Theresa of her failures there, where she had to give way to her child rather than the other way around.  However, Leopold's memorandum, quoted - I think in full in Karl A Roider Jr's 'Maria Theresa' in the 'Great lives observed' series, Prentice-Hall 1973 - paints a rather sad picture of the empress, often bad-tempered as her faculties and health declined at the end of her life (although of course this is all filtered through Leopold's rather severe viewpoint).  Maria Amalia was not by any means especially singled out by Maria Theresa's bad temper at this time, according to Leopold.

Thanks again! I haven't read that work by Karl A. Roider, Jr. Yes, Maria Theresa's temper was even worse at that point. I have great sympathy for all her children who had to "bear" the brunt of it.

By 1778/1779, Maria Amalia had turned into her country pursuits and traveling on an almost full-time basis. While all that had her husband's approval (or at least his tolerance), I can't imagine MT greeting such news with happiness. They probably led to renewed feelings of anger, on top of what happened before. I'm certain Maria Amalia's behaviour was better then, and there seems to be no major complaints from France and Spain.  
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Marc on July 31, 2011, 11:34:29 AM
Maria Amalia in 1795 by Francisco Vieira.

(http://i87.photobucket.com/albums/k126/auersperg21/amalia.jpg)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 31, 2011, 10:00:07 PM
Thanks, Marc. :)  You are wonderful with portraits.

This portrait seems better than Maria Amalia's 1991 portrait by Johann Zoffany. I think she was also wore some sort of a hunting dress there.  She's far from being a beauty at age 49 but at least she doesn't look that arrogant (which she can be in many of her early and later portraits) in this 1995 portrait.  
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 02, 2011, 03:22:16 PM
Thanks Marc ! Where did you found this painting ? Amalia looked very relaxed and natural here.  ;)

Judging on the daughters of Maria Theresa, most of them have lovely fresh complexion (peaches & cream type) which was their main claim to beauty. 
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 02, 2011, 10:41:13 PM
I meant 1791 and 1795 in the post above, not 1991 and 1995!

I'm not sure, Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun described Maria Amalia was 'very pale' in 1790 -- so perhaps her skin was "scarily" white by then?
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 03, 2011, 12:16:20 PM
I think it could be white powder ? Both her sisters were praised for their "white skin" & "milky arms". Such remarks reminded me when Ingrid Bergman first came to Hollywood, her natural complexion was much praised.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: ivanushka on August 03, 2011, 01:03:18 PM
I think she looks rather handsome in the portrait, though rather masculine too.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 03, 2011, 02:53:46 PM
She was part of the horsey set and not very into jewels & clothes. More Camilla than Diana in outlook.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 03, 2011, 09:40:46 PM
I think she started to be masculine in some ways in the 1780s. An English traveler in 1783 described her as tall, slender but not nearly as good looking as (her brother) the emperor, somewhat masculine in her manners. I didn't expect her to be a 'dainty' lady at all (once I have read more about her later life) since she preferred to be away from court, either traveling or into the country pursuits she liked so much, and she was with animals  most of the time. I don't know much about her toilette but the autopsy on her body said she took very good care of her hair, hands, and feet. But aside from that, she was far from vain about her appearance - dressing badly and oddly at that - by her late 30s onwards.  

I'm not sure whether she used white powder extensively. From many accounts, this generation of Habsburg-Lorraine archduchesses had naturally white and good complexion, barring any smallpox marks. Maria Amalia didn't seem to have any visible pock marks though - at least none that was written about. It was Maria Elisabeth and Marie Antoinette who were written about having such marks.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 04, 2011, 09:22:17 AM
Yes. In that she was very different from her siblings. I think that was what Mimi said about "her glamour gone".
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 05, 2011, 03:15:54 AM
Yes. In that she was very different from her siblings. I think that was what Mimi said about "her glamour gone".

Let's get the timeline straight, shall we? I am quite annoyed by many writers referring to that line to prove her "rebelliousness" and "unhappiness". Mimi visited in 1776. Other than that remark, which I don't find very credible at all,  we have no other "guide" as to her looks,glamour, dressing style, etc. except for her portraits done 1776 onwards and that remark by an English traveler in 1783. Her portrait by Alexander Roslin looks good, arguably better than Mimi's by the same artist, and that was in 1778. We have at least two portraits seemingly done in her late 30s. Then her older portraits by Zoffany (1791) and Veiera (1795) and a few unnamed ones seemingly done by the 1790s. Certainly, by her mid/late 30s her facial features turned sharp, just like her sister Maria Anna's, but it seemed like a genetic thing because they shared similar physical problems, not because she was "miserable" (as Mimi seemed to imply) or out of rebellion/wildness or whatever else.  

How is Maria Amalia different from her siblings then?  I very much agree that she wasn't a fashion plate and could have dressed better. On the other hand, I think it is to her credit that she didn't, at least no one can accuse her of wasting money on such things.  

Marie Antoinette spent a lot on clothes and accessories but did that keep her young and  good-looking (not that she was such a beauty in the first place) and we know that she was fat and looking older than her years by the mid-late 1780s. I have never read that Maria Carolina was such a fashion plate although she also patronised Rose Bertin and Leonard (Marie Antoinette's dressmaker and hairdresser); she wasn't also a beauty. I have no idea whether Mimi was fashionable but judging from a portrait (or was it an engraving?) I saw of her in Brussels, she was very fat and rather ugly by the early 1790s.      
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 06, 2011, 08:34:56 AM
Maria Amalia in 1795 by Francisco Vieira.

I have come across this article on Francisco Vieira; it says he was part of the social circle of the ducal family. He also painted Princess Carolina and her husband Maximilian of Saxony:

http://sigarra.up.pt/up_uk/web_base.gera_pagina?p_pagina=1006572

So, Maria Amalia and Ferdinand have at least 3 foreigner-painters who were considered "friends":

1.  Johann Zoffany
2.  Johann Christian von Mannlich (later on Karl of Zweibrucken's architect and his uncle Duke Christian IV's painter)
3.  Francisco Vieira

Angelica Kauffman also received commissions from Maria Amalia but I'm not sure if she was considered as a friend.  I think it is very likely though-- as she made friends with all the classes, plus Kauffman was highly esteemed by her siblings as well (Joseph, Leopold and Maria Carolina).
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 06, 2011, 11:51:49 AM
Of course we must remember Mimi was written very subjectively on her sister. As you say Mimi had grown fat, but I think she still dresses luxuriously with appropriate amounts of jewelry. I think you wrote that Maria Amalia had in some point to sell her jewels. So dressing shabbily might be Mimi's "requirement" that her wayward sister had finally lost it. As you written that Maria Amalia wasn't that much interested in clothes and court balls, so that would explain that why she would look shabby anyway to her critical, proud and sharp tongued sister. Also Marie Antoinette may have lost her figure, but not her famous charm and wonderful complexion that even in her worst appearance was able to fascinate people. Hence lies the fatal attraction of her to historians & biographers even after 300 years after her death.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 07, 2011, 06:39:29 AM
Of course we must remember Mimi was written very subjectively on her sister. As you say Mimi had grown fat, but I think she still dresses luxuriously with appropriate amounts of jewelry. I think you wrote that Maria Amalia had in some point to sell her jewels. So dressing shabbily might be Mimi's "requirement" that her wayward sister had finally lost it.

I'm just trying to set the context/timeline straight. Context is as important as facts. Yes, Maria Amalia dressed shabbily for a royal but it seems that started by the early 1780s, not when Mimi visited. Yes, she had to sell and pawn her diamonds when the pensions from France and Spain stopped for a year (1772-73). She also sold them to pay her personal debts (which is a very good thing rather than dipping her hands into state coffers).  

Mimi and her husband Albert managed to "siphon" a lot of money and presents (jewels, paintings, etc.) while Maria Theresa was alive; it was one thing that irked the thrifty Joseph II very much. However, the indulged Mimi didn't even have enough funds to transfer from Pressburg to Brussels after MT died. Leopold had to lend her 200,000 florins for it.  If Mimi continued to dress luxuriously with appropriate amounts of jewelry after MT died, perhaps it was because she had more than enough from her mother. But it didn't seem as if she was cash-rich after MT died, if she were she wouldn't have to borrow money from Leopold.  Joseph did say that Mimi had a lot of dealings with a banker in Brussels so it was likely that she was trying to make more money to support her lifestyle post-Maria Theresa; Joseph II certainly not indulge her that way.

As you written that Maria Amalia wasn't that much interested in clothes and court balls, so that would explain that why she would look shabby anyway to her critical, proud and sharp tongued sister.

Again, context and timeline. Maria Amalia seemingly became disinterested in clothes and court events later on, not during Mimi's visit.

Also Marie Antoinette may have lost her figure, but not her famous charm and wonderful complexion that even in her worst appearance was able to fascinate people. Hence lies the fatal attraction of her to historians & biographers even after 300 years after her death.

Again, context. yes, Marie Antoinette was very charming but only to selected people and when it suited her.  And a wonderful complexion? Not entirely. She had facial marks from smallpox, which was concealed by powder. Maria Theresa fretted about it before her marriage.  Her "maid" Rosalie at the prison also saw the marks when MA stood by the window with the strong sunlight. It would make sense that her facial pock marks were noticeable then, she didn't follow her old toilette nor had access to expensive make-up. And she was older as well.  

I think MA's "attraction" mainly lies at her ultimate fate (which she didn't deserve) that's why she is much written about, not her selective charm nor her mythical "perfect" complexion.    
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 08, 2011, 08:15:18 AM
I think we agree that it is all very subjected as Mimi's view on Maria Amalia was. She herself did live in a grand style and not above borrowing money to sustain it. In that context, I could see why she could see her sister as poor (as one who tried to live within one's means plus children to account for).

I think I read in a book that Marie Antoinette had very beautiful white and translucent skin. The author compared her to the infamous Charlotte Corday (who murdered Murat), who when she drank red wine, one could see the wine going down her throat ! After all, Maria Carolina was appreciated by her husband for her "milky arms".
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 08, 2011, 08:58:11 AM
I think we agree that it is all very subjected as Mimi's view on Maria Amalia was. She herself did live in a grand style and not above borrowing money to sustain it. In that context, I could see why she could see her sister as poor (as one who tried to live within one's means plus children to account for).

Mimi was just, sadly, plain bitchy. I don't people should give much credence to her comments or her views. I also don't think Maria Amalia put much into it. She didn't have a lot of rancour in her, unlike some of her siblings.  What is more important is that she tried her best to show goodwill to her rather nasty sister.

I think I read in a book that Marie Antoinette had very beautiful white and translucent skin.

I have read that line from various authors as well. No matter what they say, two very important people (who were  intimate with Marie Antoinette) said she had smallpox marks on her face: her mother Maria Theresa and her "maid" Rosalie at the Concergerie. MT had her marks covered with powder (seemingly sustained) and later on her toilette and cosmetics in prison weren't grand enough to fully conceal them.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 08, 2011, 09:27:57 AM
I totally agree with your assessment on Mimi. However you wrote that Mimi in a letter did sympathize with her sister Marie Antoinette. Love to see how kind her words were. 

I think her skin was greatly admired when she first arrived from Vienna. So by the time she was in prison, she may have long last that glow (hard to glow when you are sick as she bled a lot in prison), and after all she was 38 by then (very middle-aged).
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 11, 2011, 04:25:34 AM
I totally agree with your assessment on Mimi. However you wrote that Mimi in a letter did sympathize with her sister Marie Antoinette. Love to see how kind her words were.  

It was as I posted it earlier in this thread.

I think her skin was greatly admired when she first arrived from Vienna. So by the time she was in prison, she may have long last that glow (hard to glow when you are sick as she bled a lot in prison), and after all she was 38 by then (very middle-aged).

However Marie Antoinette's skin was admired in France when she first arrived there - for the last time - Marie Antoinette had some smallpox scars on her face, which was concealed by powder. And I'm not talking about the "glow" of the skin but some facial scars from smallpox.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 11, 2011, 09:18:58 AM
I don't think so. you talked about it but didn't not quote it directly (the exact words I mean). On Mimi's quote.

I know there are marks, but I don't think it was important enough to take away her beauty, charm and lovely skin. Unlike her sister Maria Elisabeth, Maria Antonia was not disfigured by the pox, she was wasn't "damaged goods" like her once beautiful sister...
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 12, 2011, 02:49:40 AM
I don't think so. you talked about it but didn't not quote it directly (the exact words I mean). On Mimi's quote.

Please see the thread on Maria Theresa and her large family for the exact quotes in German.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 14, 2011, 11:47:35 AM
Thanks I would look for that in the MT thread.

I wonder what MC & Antonia thought about their sister Amalia ?
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 14, 2011, 05:30:34 PM
I wonder what MC & Antonia thought about their sister Amalia ?

As discussed earlier in this thread (unsure if said posts were deleted or moved elsewhere), both sisters were disapproving of Maria Amalia at one point - Marie Antoinette at the height of the Parma/France/Spain/Austria disputes (1771-72 or 1773). Maria Carolina vented to Mimi (1783) about her disapproval regarding Maria Amalia. While Maria Amalia was far from perfect, she never seemed to exhibit any hostility or outright dislike of any of her siblings. Which speaks much of her character rather than their characters... no rancour either, which is more than one can say about her sister in France or Naples. 
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 15, 2011, 08:12:11 AM
I think They were more or less toeing the official line laid down by MT.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 18, 2011, 10:02:23 AM
I think They were more or less toeing the official line laid down by MT.

It may be so. Or is it to make themselves feel "better"?  Marie Antoinette was playing a game with her mother throughout the 1770s. And it's rather rich of Maria Carolina to criticise Maria Amalia's behaviour to Mimi when: 1) she herself was not an example of an well- behaved person; 2) her friends were rather a disgraceful lot - I don't believe Acton's assertation that MC was not like her lady friends and was just attracted to her opposite. For one, she was deceitful....
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 18, 2011, 11:05:53 AM
I don't think she was as forthright as Amalia, but her honesty only got her into more trouble especially with MT. Both Maria Antonia & Maria Carolina are totally honest in her dealings with MT, but Maria Carolina was more crafty.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 18, 2011, 11:06:45 AM
Sorry I mean not totally honest with MT.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 18, 2011, 10:51:45 PM
I'm not very surprised that Maria Carolina criticised Maria Amalia to Mimi. For one, Maria Amalia's behaviour was "controversial". And many of MC's letters contained criticisms of everyone and everything. As for Marie Antoinette, I guess she dealt with her mother's rebukes in the best way she knew how: pretend that she was following her mother to the letter and pointing out how her sister in Parma was so badly behaved.....
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 19, 2011, 08:55:46 AM
A trick that siblings usually play, I am the good girl and she is the bad one. Also much as Marie Antoinette loved her family, Maria Amalia was a bit older and more independent to be close to. She was the baby sister who was very close to Maria Carolina. Both Maria Carolina & Mimi were very opinionated. Amalia was "controversial" but not outrageous. I agree after her "retirement" from politics & "separation" from her husband, her life became much calmer and contented.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 19, 2011, 10:03:05 AM
I believe that having more horses, dogs and birds or hunting and traveling opportunities (as well as other country pursuits), then life was very simple for her. She was still very capricious (until the very end, if I'm not mistaken) but she - in essence - had simple joys.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 19, 2011, 11:05:00 AM
I hope she likes the wine, cheese & ham too. They are now world famous and mine too.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 19, 2011, 05:06:43 PM
She liked bread (and presumably pastries) from Vienna.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 19, 2011, 05:20:47 PM
Yes. They all did (MA, MC and even Antonia "Let them eat cake !") :-)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on November 08, 2012, 06:14:52 PM
Notice: all those interested in obtaining (new for us) information on Ferdinand, Amalia, and their children (grandchildren, too!), kindly contact me via PM - including those who are interested in writing articles, essays or books, whether as an individual or through collaboration (as discussed ages ago).

Also, has anyone heard of the "Baron of Bourbon-Parma" line? certain people with (partial) roots from where i am from claim such. I may be wrong but I have never heard/read of such a line... i think it is pure fiction/fantasy...
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on June 23, 2013, 04:22:05 AM
A lovely image of Maria Amalia, by Johan Zoffany, is up for auction at Sotheby's:

(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/Italian%20Courts/MariaAmalia4_zps46890c94.jpg) (http://s8.photobucket.com/user/cfarnon/media/Italian%20Courts/MariaAmalia4_zps46890c94.jpg.html)

It's worth taking a look at the catalogue notes as well.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 24, 2013, 02:31:06 AM
Thank you very much, CountessKate!  It is indeed a lovely portrait. An an interesting catalogue, too. There are some new things there for me.

As for the catalogue notes, I don't fully agree with some information written on it. For example, it was Empress Maria Theresa who commissioned the portrait of Maria Amalia & Ferdinand's children, not the duchess.  It was part of five portraits made by Zoffany for the Empress: Franz Stephan (post-humous), Mimi, Leopold & his family, Leopold's eldest son Franz I/II, and the four children of Maria Amalia & Ferdinand. For his works/service, Maria Theresa made Zoffany a Baron of the Holy Roman Empire.  Also, Ferdinand was mad about the Dominicans, not the Capuchins.

I know not much about portraits and symbolism but according to what I read about  Maria Amalia's purported love affairs and her separation from Ferdinand, she was close to the guards..yes.  But there seems to be no concrete evidence of affairs.  It was said that rumours to that effect were just court intrigues to denigrate the duchess, especially during the political turmoils from 1769-1773.  Maria Amalia & Ferdinand indeed maintained separate residences from 1775 onwards but made "visits" to each other and both their correspondence mentioned the other frequently. So.. they appeared to have "maintained" their relationship and from all that I have read, they had a good relationship overall. Perhaps not a "normal" one but one that worked for them and was understood by both.  It seems that MT did not, writing to her daughter-in-law Beatrix of Modena that she (MT) had given up hope that the menage of Maria Amalia would ever "return to reason".

Anyway, I agree with the catalogue note stating that the duchess was a lady of eccentric democratic views. Not only for herself & her family, fighting the interference of France, Spain and Austria, but also for her duchy/people. She was, in her own way, ahead of her time. Way before the Italian Risorgimento in the mid-19th century.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 24, 2013, 03:57:58 AM
Here is an excerpt of the letter from Maria Theresa to her son Leopold in December 1772, acknowledging receipt of her son's report, "your long and detailed report on the unfortunate events and more pitiful than objectionable conduct of my children in Parma". MT wanted Leopold to go to Parma earlier but he did not. Instead, he made his own investigations and wrote about it. Joseph in a letter expressed "surprise" about what Leopold wrote.

It seems that the reports reaching Vienna were not accurate and as angry as she was, MT agreed with Leopold that the duke and the duchess were not as they were portrayed to be.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: CountessKate on June 24, 2013, 06:05:51 AM
I agree the catalogue notes are not historically accurate as they relate to Maria Amalia, but they reflect what was widely believed about her at the time.  With regard to the significance of her back being to the portrait of her husband, Zoffany was very fond of rather subversive, not to say salacious, imagery, and his 'Tribune of the Uffizi' is absolutely full of such things, some of quite a crude nature.  One fears that the rumours and innuendos about Maria Amalia and her relationship with her husband would have been just the sort of thing he would have enjoyed putting in a coded form in his painting.  It is true that a number of paintings of the Empress's family, including those of Parma, are shown with the families with their backs to portraits of their parents etc.  However, this particular positioning is a little unusual - one would have expected Ferdinand to be on the other side, looking down on Maria Amalia, with her gesturing towards him.  If Zoffany was making such a reference, it would not have been done from a position of especially good insider knowledge.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on June 24, 2013, 07:38:10 AM
Thank you very much again, CountessKate! The "coded forms" you mentioned explain some things.

Incidentally, the year (1775) of their "separation", it appears that Maria Amalia suffered a miscarriage of a male baby (or rather, more accurately, a male fetus).  Still, in her letter to one of her best friends at the same time or roughly at the same time (1775-1776), it appears that she was happy and had many things to be grateful for. Which suggests whatever reasons for their separation (different temperaments & lifestyles were cited, not specifically infidelities)  it didn't affect her much and she still knew how to count her blessings.

Based on all I have read, I can only think of one possible lover for her - and still, not much evidence on it. And even if she did, so what? That was "normal"  for royals in the 18th century. Ferdinand had many women. One thing is clear though: she did love Ferdinand. It wasn't as if she didn't try to make the best of her marriage, however she objected at first; her two sisters in France and Naples only "loved" their husbands out of duty, unlike her.  Karl of Zweibrucken's role and her bad humour about being denied a love match seem exaggerated, IMHO. It appears that she rather quickly forgot all about him once married! As she should, for Karl didn't appear to be honestly drawn to or in love with her, with his baroness on the side and proposing a year or two later on, to (of all people!) her sister Maria Elisabeth (they were close)!  Of course, Karl was very complicated himself, so who knows?
Title: Music in Maria Amalia's court in Parma
Post by: sbeallvla on July 12, 2013, 09:27:17 AM
I am doing research on Alessandro Rolla, a violinist/violist who was employed by Duchess Maria Amalia and Duke Ferdinand in Parma from 1782-1802.  Is there any reliable literature I can find on either Rolla or the Royal family?  I have seen a review of "In Destiny's Hands" that wasn't very favorable.
Title: Re: Music in Maria Amalia's court in Parma
Post by: Forum Admin on July 12, 2013, 09:31:50 AM
Welcome to the Forum.  Please make certain to place your new posts in the appropriate location.  good luck with your query.

FA
Title: Re: Music in Maria Amalia's court in Parma
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on July 14, 2013, 09:37:50 PM
I am doing research on Alessandro Rolla, a violinist/violist who was employed by Duchess Maria Amalia and Duke Ferdinand in Parma from 1782-1802.  Is there any reliable literature I can find on either Rolla or the Royal family?  I have seen a review of "In Destiny's Hands" that wasn't very favorable.

The online library of Parma mentions Alessandro Rolla but only briefly. He had 3 sons while in Parma, all became musicians like him:

1. Ferdinando, born in 1782
2. Filippo, born in 1784
3. Antonio, born in 1798

It seems that the oldest son, Ferdinando, was enrolled on a scholarship at a local school, which was provided for by the duke and the duchess.

Here is the source:

http://biblioteche2.comune.parma.it/dm/1901.htm

For an overview of the music and theater at the ducal court through the centuries:

http://biblioteche2.comune.parma.it/dm/1493.htm

As for Ferdinand of Parma, I think the best sources on him would be L'Infant de Parme by Elisabeth Badinter and the book on the  200th anniversary of his death, published in 2002-2003; it is based on the proceedings of conference attended by scholars in Parma. It is in Italian.

For Maria Amalia, there seems to be only one biography on her, published in the early 1930s and therefore hard to find. It is in Italian. Other than that, there seems to be no other publications centered on her; usually she is mentioned in relation to her husband, mother, siblings, and sometimes, her children. Not to forget how she angered Austria, France, and Spain.

Kindly send me a private message if you wish to know more on the duke, the duchess, and their children.

I hope this helps a bit.  
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 16, 2013, 04:27:28 AM
Link to a very nice miniature of Maria Amalia (supposedly as the newly married Duchess of Parma), circa 1770:

http://www.wilnitsky.com/scripts/redgallery1.dll/details?No=36177
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on August 16, 2013, 03:07:48 PM
She looked very pretty here. I could imagine "the glamour" that her sister Maria Cristina talked about must be in full force.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 17, 2013, 04:17:46 AM
For me, the prettiest ones were Maria Elisabeth, Maria Amalia, and Maria Josepha. And none of the sisters looked as glamorous as Maria Amalia in her prime.  Too bad she let herself go in the subsequent years, but I also think it didn't bother her much.  Getting back to the pretty miniature, it resembled one of her earlier portraits (in red dress, perhaps aged 13-15) and another miniature done in 1780. Of course, the latter showed her as no longer a beauty but I can still see some resemblance (an older version with sharper features). Here it is....

http://www.wilnitsky.com/scripts/redgallery1.dll/details?No=27121


 
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on August 18, 2013, 08:35:01 PM
Their cousin the Duke of Chablais would have been a good alternative even though he wasn't a splendid match; he had some money, his own palace and a duchy, after all. Even after her smallpox, he was keen on her and seemed to have hoped that Franz Stephan's wish (for either Mimi or ME to marry him) would be honoured. It would've been nice if MT honoured it but she didn't.  The arguments that they (Austrians) didn't have money to provide for ME splendidly rang hollow.  Joseph gave up almost half of his inheritance from FS for his siblings' establishment.  Half of it went to Mimi's dowry and the rest, I guess, to the Bourbon marriages (the dowriew which Louis XV thought were rather small).  Certainly, MT could have supplemented it to make room for ME... but nothing.  ME may have been one of MT's favoured children due to her beauty but after the smallpox....... was another matter. It shows me another side of MT, which isn't nice. I also think MT didn't want the match because she didn't like the Savoys, plain and simple.  So her dislike of them was greater than her inclination to honour what her husband wanted?

But hey, let's not forget Karl of Zweibrucken who asked for ME's hand in 1770 or 1771!  What would Maria Amalia have thought of it?!?! I can't imagine her brooding that much, though.  Once in Parma, she seemed to have new sets of problems and new experiences to contend and enjoy.....
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Gabriel Antonio on August 23, 2013, 10:07:23 PM
I have found these comments on Maria Amalia and her sisters, and the painters and musicans she interacted with to be very interesting. Thank you to everyone for sharing what they know and also the links- For example the link to learn the life of the Portuguese painter who I had never heard of.

I have seen the painting of Maria Amalia by Alexander Roslin in the Wikipedia article (a painter I am starting to learn more about) and I think it is very natural and beautiful. From this article I learned MA had more children in her late 30s who did not live more than 2 or 3 years and then also twins who died at birth when she was 43!
It must have been very sad to lose them but also very dangerous before the days of modern medicine to bear children at such an age. (Maria Carolina's last two children were born when she was 40 and 41 and Leopold's wife was 42 for her last child- Beethoven's future student Archduke Rudolph.)

Then, for MA to lose both her husband as well as Parma in 1802, son Louis in 1803 and her daughter Caroline in 1804, one family loss after another shortly before she herself died. Very sobering to think of these tragedies she had to go through near the end of her life after being the beautiful and glamorous princess in Vienna prior to her marriage. Does anyone know after she was forced out of Parma why she ended up going to live in Prague instead of Vienna? Since she was in Prague was she able to go to Saxony to visit Caroline and her grandchildren?
I would very much enjoy reading a translation of her biography written in Italian which was mentioned. Not very likely.



Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Svetabel on October 02, 2013, 07:24:55 AM
Once again I should remind to all posters here: Please stay in topic!

I had to move last posts on Maria Elizabeth to the proper thread:

http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=2743.300#bot (http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=2743.300#bot)

Don't give in Mr.Lowe's provocative remarks that can lead to off-top.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on October 02, 2013, 11:12:35 AM
The copy of the Italian biography on Maria Amalia is in UCLA.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on December 11, 2013, 01:33:03 AM
Link to a nice miniature of a young Louis that was auctioned...

http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/20328321_luigi-figlio-di-ferdinando-duca-di-parma-e-re
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: ivanushka on December 11, 2013, 03:17:43 PM
What a lovely picture of young Louis.  He seems to have been a very good looking young man.  Apparently Amalia's eldest daughter Caroline was very good looking too - as a child at least.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 11, 2013, 08:49:19 PM
Don Luis looked like his mother (more Germanic than Spanish/Italian) and when he arrived in Paris, people saw his aunt (Queen Marie Antoinette) in his looks.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on December 12, 2013, 02:07:05 AM
What a lovely picture of young Louis.  He seems to have been a very good looking young man.  Apparently Amalia's eldest daughter Caroline was very good looking too - as a child at least.

Based on his later portraits, he seemed to have retained his looks into adulthood.  The Marquis de Bombelles commented on his fine looks when he visited Parma in 1791.  His sister Caroline appeared to have looked more like their father Ferdinand later in life (like their sister Maria Antonia). But she did not seem to have inherited their father's figure.

Don Luis looked like his mother (more Germanic than Spanish/Italian) and when he arrived in Paris, people saw his aunt (Queen Marie Antoinette) in his looks.

That's because Maria Amalia and Marie Antoinette took after their father Franz Stephan in looks.  Although, IMHO, Maria Amalia resembled Franz Stephan more than Marie Antoinette did and I see more Maria Amalia than Marie Antoinette in Louis. Based on a childhood portrait, it was his sister Carlotta Maria who was (almost) a carbon copy of their aunt - IMHO, everything except MA's "pinched" (sour expression) look as a young child (at roughly the same age).  

Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 12, 2013, 06:55:05 PM
Indeed. He must be a very good looking man with striking looks when he appeared in Paris. Although apart from looks, people in France thought of him either stupid or sickly.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: ivanushka on December 13, 2013, 01:21:38 PM
Clearly he had pretty good genes!  Maria Amalia was considered a beautiful woman by many when younger and judging my his portraits, Ferdinand of Parma had quite an attractive face - certainly far more so than Ferdinand of Naples!
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 13, 2013, 08:11:01 PM
Yes. I think Infanta Luisa of Spain fell for Don Luis (unlike her sister) and married him...mostly for his looks. He was the best looking man in Goya's painting of the Spanish Royal Family. He was depicted as a blond man.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on December 13, 2013, 10:56:25 PM
Louis was far, far from being stupid. Perhaps it was his shyness, ill health, and being uncomfortable (he clearly did not like Napoleon so would not have gone to any of the festivities arranged by the latter gladly...)  that made him appear awkward while in Paris. I'm certain he was far more intelligent than the people who criticised him as "stupid". Not only was he very good at languages, good enough to translate even Greek under a  pseudonym, he also built quite a solid reputation in the natural sciences and wanted to become an industrialist. Just imagine how much more he could've accomplished had he enjoyed good health and he was barely 30 when he died. In terms of scientific bent and entrepreneurial spirit, he took after his grandfather Franz Stephan....

Louise-Elisabeth described her son Ferdinand as "beautiful'; don't know if that was just mother's pride but she went on to describe him as looking like his aunt and her sister, Marie Adelaide of France. This princess, together with Henriette, was the best of looking of Louis XV's daughters, IMHO.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: ivanushka on December 14, 2013, 12:44:45 PM
I think that when Emperor Joseph visited Parma he described Ferdinand as facially quite handsome, though small and stocky in build.  As Louis XV was I believe generally considered the best looking man at Versailles there was, yet again, good genes there.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on December 16, 2013, 05:28:58 PM
Indeed. Lousie Elizabeth (Madame de Infanta) Duchess of Parma was described as looking very much like her father, King Louis XV, however Don Luis looked more Hapsburg in his coloring (like Franz Stephen of Lorraine) than the French side.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 14, 2014, 10:11:15 PM
Link to a portrait of Ferdinand & Maria Amalia's three eldest children at the Museo de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid....

http://ceres.mcu.es/pages/Main?idt=122497&inventary=0721&table=FMUS&museum=MRABASF

Young Caroline of Parma was very beautiful in it...

(thanks to trentk80 for the lead on this)
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 15, 2014, 10:26:53 AM
she was a very pretty girl. No wonder her mother was jealous. It was a repeat of Madame de Infanta on Isabelle of Parma.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 22, 2014, 05:41:32 AM
Well, Ferdinand was very fond of her..... as for grandmother the Empress-Queen, Caroline was, to her,  "my charming granddaughter" (as Maria Theresa called Caroline in a letter to Marie Antoinette).  

The Marquis de Bombelles visited Parma in 1791 and he wrote about Caroline's resemblance to the Dauphine (Marie Antoinette) in Strausbourg long ago. I guess he meant Caroline's countenance (i.e. expression and composure, if not exactly her physical features).  
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on February 22, 2014, 09:40:49 AM
Indeed even the acid tongued Mimi paid tribute to her niece's prettiness.
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 11, 2014, 07:24:55 AM
Link to portrait of Maria Amalia; don't know the year it was painted but most likely after Johann Zoffany's 1778 portrait of her:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/thelostgallery/12078748256/in/set-72157629133789921
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Eric_Lowe on March 12, 2014, 10:09:23 PM
Where is the portrait located ? Austria or Parma ?
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 16, 2014, 01:30:59 AM
sorry, i have no idea where it's located.....

link to a nice portrait of (supposedly) maria amalia and her four young children: maria antonia, carlotta maria, philip maria & antonia luisa. maria amalia looks young here but the source appears reliable.....it's said to come from an austrian castle. if it's indeed her and her children, then it's my first time to see a portrait of her children philip & antonia luisa......

http://www.wilnitsky.com/scripts/redgallery1.dll/details?No=37169
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 16, 2014, 02:23:48 AM
An event on the past Valentine's Day in Parma... "starring" Ferdinand and Maria Amalia,  complete with their "loves, passions and scandals" and intimate biographies (with facts not found in books, they assert), at Sala Baganza.... fun! Wonder what they came up for this couple;  Parma/Emilia Romagna seems to be developing tours/events along these lines (i.e. associated with royals). They had a Valentine's Day event last year or so with Maria Amalia and other ladies as the attraction....

http://www.emiliaromagnaturismo.it/en/events/parma/parma-editorial-staff/san-valentino-nei-castelli-del-ducato-di-parma
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Marc on October 01, 2014, 09:15:45 AM
Very similar,although unidentified portrait to the one of Maria Amalia painted by Roslin:

http://www.artnet.com/artists/antoine-vestier/a-portrait-of-a-lady-wearing-a-lace-trimmed-oaIklezgVp7rTFVVohUbCQ2
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on October 19, 2014, 02:45:58 AM
An interesting find, very similar indeed.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 13, 2016, 07:02:41 PM
Miniatures of  Ferdinand and Amalia's children and one of Amalia as a young lady, all from Bildarchivaustria.....

http://www.bildarchivaustria.at/Pages/ImageDetail.aspx?p_iBildID=10053512

http://www.bildarchivaustria.at/Pages/ImageDetail.aspx?p_iBildID=10053335

http://www.bildarchivaustria.at/Pages/ImageDetail.aspx?p_iBildID=10050316

https://www.bildarchivaustria.at/Pages/ImageDetail.aspx?p_iBildID=10053201

Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 13, 2016, 07:43:36 PM
And here is a miniature of a young Maria Antonia (Tognina), same source.....

http://www.bildarchivaustria.at/Pages/ImageDetail.aspx?p_iBildID=10053300
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: Marc on March 14, 2016, 07:53:13 AM
Assumed portrait of Maria Amalia:

http://www.proantic.com/display.php?mode=obj&id=133593
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: LisaG on March 14, 2016, 03:54:23 PM
Carolina of Parma married Prince Maximilian of Saxony, and they had seven children, all of whom have Wiki pages except for Klemens. He died at age 24 - does anyone know what happened?
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 14, 2016, 10:30:49 PM
Carolina of Parma married Prince Maximilian of Saxony, and they had seven children, all of whom have Wiki pages except for Klemens. He died at age 24 - does anyone know what happened?

Two sources give two different reasons for his death:  Gazzetta di Genova (1822) stated that he died of an accident in Pisa while the Annali d'Italia dal principio dell'era volgare sino all'anno 1750, continuto sino all'anno 1827 stated that he died of an inflammatory disease. What is certain is that Prince Klemens died in Tuscany while visiting his sisters. The siblings were all close - as  his brother Johann put it (looking back at their childhood and youth), "We were 3 brothers and four sisters who were almost always together and loved each other dearly."
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: LisaG on March 15, 2016, 08:49:48 AM
Thank you!!
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on February 28, 2018, 10:04:27 PM
The Province of Parma continues to promote tourism with a touch of history. On March 8, a guided tour of the Palace of Colorno with the theme: "Ladies of the Palace" -- a journey on the lives, plots and loves of  the women who lived there: Marquise Barbara Sanseverino ("love triumphs"), Elisabeth Farnese ("An Italian on the throne of Spain"), Louise Elisabeth of France ("Madame Premiere"), Maria Amalia of Austria ("joie de vivre"), and Marie Louise of Austria ("Duchess of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla"). 

The link to the event http://reggiadicolorno.it/festa-della-donna/
Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on March 23, 2018, 01:46:29 AM
Louis of Parma certainly took after his maternal grandfather Franz Stephan of Lorraine and aunt Archduchess Maria Anna in terms of scientific bent (natural sciences). He was mentioned to have a natural history museum (he certainly had one in Parma, with the help of his friend, Count Stefano Sanvitale) and corresponded with Thomas Jefferson, who appeared to have helped him in acquiring scientific specimens. Charles Willson Peale was also connected in this endeavor.

"Aranjuez, the 30 March1798

Sir, I received about two months ago yours dated the 23d. of May 1797. I pray you to be well persuaded of my greatefull acknowledgement, and for the many other motives I am so much indebted to you for. In the first place, for the complaisance and great pains you were pleased to take to procure means of gratifying my desire, afterwards for the just picture you make of the state of things and persons, and for the good advices and councils which you give me on the subject with the same interest as if it had personally regarded you. In short, for the huge tusk of the mammoth which I received and a very estimable piece for its rarity; it is still more so for me; being a remembrance of your politeness, and complaisance; the sight of that enormous tusk augmented my desire of reading the account of that animal which make an article worthy of being inserted in a volume of your philosophical transactions which you promise me that did not yet come to hand, but I expect it with impatience....."

He ends it with:

"I am at this moment ashamed of having so much encroached upon your civility, I beg then of you to pardon me, and to be perfectly assured that I wish for every occasion of being useful to you in any thing, and to give, you a proof of the acknowledgement, and perfect esteem with which I am

Sir Your most affec,te. humble Servt.

Louis Prince of Parma"

Souce/Link:   https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-30-02-0154


Title: Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
Post by: prinzheinelgirl on December 28, 2018, 02:48:57 AM
Maria Amalia has a new biography!  Published by Eleutheria Foundation in June 2018.  Duke Carlos Xavier and his wife Duchess  Annamarie were in Prague for the book launch at the Embassy of Italy and he also paid his respects to her at the St. Vitus Cathedral, among other Parma-Prague related events.

The links....

https://www.facebook.com/EleutheriaFoundation/photos/a.1776448349102123/1776450872435204/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/EleutheriaFoundation/photos/a.1768920216521603/1768920313188260/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/parmavpraze/photos/a.2020476721534278/2060250490890234/?type=3&theater

What a great contribution, after almost 100 years from her one and only biography published in 1932! i read that it is not for sale but perhaps some arrangements can be made for perusal or by appointment.