Author Topic: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family  (Read 153332 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Marc

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4354
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #180 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...

Offline prinzheinelgirl

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 479
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #181 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.....
kindness is the magic elixir of love

Offline Marc

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4354
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #182 on: June 09, 2011, 09:50:58 PM »
This one I post in your name ;-) and this is I assume from Austrian Court too...?


Offline prinzheinelgirl

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 479
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #183 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.  

« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 10:12:08 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
kindness is the magic elixir of love

Offline prinzheinelgirl

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 479
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #184 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?
 
« Last Edit: July 01, 2011, 09:35:00 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
kindness is the magic elixir of love

Offline Marc

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4354
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #185 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...
« Last Edit: July 01, 2011, 09:31:25 AM by Marc »

Offline prinzheinelgirl

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 479
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #186 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".
« Last Edit: July 01, 2011, 10:07:21 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
kindness is the magic elixir of love

Offline Eric_Lowe

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 17014
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #187 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.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 479
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #188 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....  
« Last Edit: July 02, 2011, 07:11:48 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
kindness is the magic elixir of love

Offline prinzheinelgirl

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 479
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #189 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!
« Last Edit: July 02, 2011, 09:54:09 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
kindness is the magic elixir of love

Offline prinzheinelgirl

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 479
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #190 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
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 03:17:36 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
kindness is the magic elixir of love

Offline prinzheinelgirl

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 479
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #191 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!
kindness is the magic elixir of love

Offline ivanushka

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 141
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #192 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!

Offline Eric_Lowe

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 17014
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #193 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).

Offline prinzheinelgirl

  • Graf
  • ***
  • Posts: 479
    • View Profile
Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #194 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!  :)
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 12:04:12 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
kindness is the magic elixir of love