Author Topic: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family  (Read 154407 times)

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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #135 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
« Last Edit: September 23, 2010, 09:27:45 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #136 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.   
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 01:13:51 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 #137 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. 

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #138 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.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 09:52:55 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #139 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.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 03:35:12 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline ivanushka

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #140 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?

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #141 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.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2010, 11:33:42 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #142 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".......
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #143 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. 

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #144 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!
« Last Edit: October 25, 2010, 05:41:26 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #145 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. :)  
« Last Edit: November 02, 2010, 01:03:43 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #146 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.

« Last Edit: November 02, 2010, 09:17:10 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline Prince Paul

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #147 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.
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Offline ivanushka

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #148 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. 

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #149 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.    

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« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 10:16:24 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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