Author Topic: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family  (Read 196218 times)

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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #270 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.....
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Eric_Lowe

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #271 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.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #272 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.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 10:07:09 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Eric_Lowe

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #273 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.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #274 on: August 19, 2011, 05:06:43 PM »
She liked bread (and presumably pastries) from Vienna.
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Eric_Lowe

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #275 on: August 19, 2011, 05:20:47 PM »
Yes. They all did (MA, MC and even Antonia "Let them eat cake !") :-)

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #276 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...
« Last Edit: November 08, 2012, 06:33:37 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #277 on: June 23, 2013, 04:22:05 AM »
A lovely image of Maria Amalia, by Johan Zoffany, is up for auction at Sotheby's:



It's worth taking a look at the catalogue notes as well.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #278 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.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 03:01:05 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 #279 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.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 04:03:23 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 #280 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.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Duke Ferdinand of Parma, his wife Maria Amalia,their family
« Reply #281 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?
« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 08:09:01 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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sbeallvla

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Music in Maria Amalia's court in Parma
« Reply #282 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.

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Re: Music in Maria Amalia's court in Parma
« Reply #283 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.

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Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Music in Maria Amalia's court in Parma
« Reply #284 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.  
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 10:04:30 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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