Author Topic: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family  (Read 106940 times)

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Offline gogm

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #15 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.

Offline Mari

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #16 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.....

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #17 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?
« Last Edit: September 07, 2008, 04:33:30 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #18 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.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #19 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.



 
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 06:08:21 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #20 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. 

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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.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #21 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 ?

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #22 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
« Last Edit: October 12, 2008, 07:56:12 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #23 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.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #24 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


 
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Offline Mari

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #25 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. 

.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #26 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!  ;)
« Last Edit: November 01, 2008, 03:18:00 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline Mari

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2008, 05:51:15 AM »

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #28 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.   
« Last Edit: November 01, 2008, 07:17:07 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline Mari

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2008, 11:45:05 PM »
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'sensualist' is not something that I expected to be associated with a someone who wanted to be a monk or loved playing one
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Yes, its an odd combination and does make you wonder! ;)