Author Topic: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family  (Read 154432 times)

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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #165 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.    
« Last Edit: February 04, 2011, 03:55:55 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 #166 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
« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 06:58:48 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 #167 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
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #168 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.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #169 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.  
« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 03:42:56 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 #170 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

« Last Edit: February 27, 2011, 08:53:20 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline Marc

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #171 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!

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #172 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....
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #173 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."
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #174 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.

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« Last Edit: March 25, 2011, 03:44:39 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 #175 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....
« Last Edit: March 25, 2011, 03:58:41 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 #176 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
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 09:22:19 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline Marc

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #177 on: June 08, 2011, 08:31:35 PM »
One more portrait of the Duchess:


Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #178 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! 
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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #179 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!
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 08:16:57 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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