Author Topic: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family  (Read 264362 times)

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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #270 on: May 19, 2012, 03:53:28 PM »
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He did like Maria Carolina better than he did Marie Christine or Maria Amalia or Maria Elisabeth. I wonder why. Perhaps he felt a bit sorry for what she had to put up with in the early years of her marriage. There seems to no mention that he liked her that much in Vienna.

I don't think being in Vienna brought out the best in Joseph in relation to his sisters.  He certainly ignored Marie Antoinette as a young girl there, but despite significant criticism of her beforehand, when he met her again as a married woman in Paris he succumbed to her charm, while Maria Carolina was equally ignored in Vienna but possibly bonded with him a bit more when he escorted her to her marriage in Naples.  Perhaps the freedom of foreign travel, and the attraction of individual attention from his sisters together with a familial intimacy free from the competitive scrum of the huge family in Austria, softened his hypercritical attitude towards them.  It's not unnatural - I don't have a huge family, but nevertheless I interact much better on a one-to-one basis than I do when we are all together.   

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #271 on: May 20, 2012, 07:12:26 AM »
Actually, I now see it wasn't Joseph who escorted Maria Carolina to Naples; he had promised Josepha he would do this for her but obviously couldn't face doing it for her replacement, Maria Carolina - though he promised to visit her in the future.  But I think the general principles of Joseph liking his sisters better outside Austria seems to apply nonetheless.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #272 on: May 20, 2012, 08:33:33 PM »
I don't think being in Vienna brought out the best in Joseph in relation to his sisters.  He certainly ignored Marie Antoinette as a young girl there, but despite significant criticism of her beforehand, when he met her again as a married woman in Paris he succumbed to her charm, while Maria Carolina was equally ignored in Vienna but possibly bonded with him a bit more when he escorted her to her marriage in Naples.  Perhaps the freedom of foreign travel, and the attraction of individual attention from his sisters together with a familial intimacy free from the competitive scrum of the huge family in Austria, softened his hypercritical attitude towards them.  It's not unnatural - I don't have a huge family, but nevertheless I interact much better on a one-to-one basis than I do when we are all together.  

Joseph was a difficult child and obviously a difficult man as well (to put it mildly). IMHO, Maria Carolina and Marie Antoinette were lucky to have been ignored by him as young girls. I'm not too sure but I think it would've been Maria Elisabeth and Maria Amalia who borne the brunt of his sarcastic remarks and castigations in Vienna. Their less-than-interested attitude towards learning and reading (although Maria Amalia seemed to step up on this later on) would've classified them as "vain airheads" in his book. I doubt if Marianne (who certainly had superior intellect than him!... although i doubt if he acknowledged such.) or Mimi (not as intelligent as Marianne but could certainly hold her own and sort of "protected" as their mother's favourite) would've been his favourite targets. Johanna wasn't favoured by him either but she was only 12 when she died, I doubt if she had much to do with him.

As for him visiting his sisters when they were married, yes, Maria Carolina and Marie Antoinette appeared to love him and grew emotional when he left. I'm not sure about Maria Amalia... if she was similarly emotional.  I read a letter by Maria Amalia, wherein she mentioned to one of her best friends that he scolded her greatly in one of his visits.  On the other hand, whatever her shortcomings (real or imagined), he praised her capability for ruling. Nevertheless, she does not seem one to hold rancour and genuinely mourned his death.  No idea how he and Maria Elisabeth got on after she transferred to Innsbruck.  
« Last Edit: May 20, 2012, 09:06:28 PM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #273 on: May 21, 2012, 03:05:47 AM »
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No idea how he and Maria Elisabeth got on after she transferred to Innsbruck.   

Joseph described Maria Elisabeth to Leopold in a letter of 1781 as "merely mad" as opposed to Marianne who, according to him, was "like a harpy", suggesting he at least felt no very warm feelings after Maria Elisabeth had left the court.  Derek Beales says both sisters went off to their respective convents unwillingly, strongly encouraged by the emperor (or rather, discouraged from staying in Vienna).  Joseph did not appear to wish to have anything to do with them subsequently, not even sending for Maria Elisabeth when he was dying.  It's not clear what the archduchesses felt, but as neither were renowned for extreme good nature, it would have been very natural to have resented this unpleasant treatment.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #274 on: May 21, 2012, 06:29:00 AM »
Joseph described Maria Elisabeth to Leopold in a letter of 1781 as "merely mad" as opposed to Marianne who, according to him, was "like a harpy", suggesting he at least felt no very warm feelings after Maria Elisabeth had left the court.  Derek Beales says both sisters went off to their respective convents unwillingly, strongly encouraged by the emperor (or rather, discouraged from staying in Vienna).  Joseph did not appear to wish to have anything to do with them subsequently, not even sending for Maria Elisabeth when he was dying.  It's not clear what the archduchesses felt, but as neither were renowned for extreme good nature, it would have been very natural to have resented this unpleasant treatment.

Thanks!

I wonder why was Maria Elisabeth termed as "mad"? Marianne being "like a harpy" is quite unclear to me as well. I think I've read Marianne could be unkind to the servants in Vienna (like Maria Christina and Maria Carolina) but I'm also unsure if it was due to her ill health (or if such a claim came from a reliable source). It seemed to me that she was happier in Klagenfurt, where she felt loved by the people. She also maintained a stimulating environment there, with her salon, masonic lodge, and continuing her scientific interests. As for Maria Elisabeth, she also seemed happier in Innsbruck -- being the center of attention there, going out (certainly not like a nun) and not being answerable to anyone on a day-to-day basis. I think it's just Joseph disparaging those whom he clearly didn't like.  

Incidentally, Maria Elisabeth was not a vain airhead who wasn't interested in anything except her good looks -- she had a very strong interest in music.  Not only did she have a lovely voice but she was the most (musically) talented among her siblings. She played the keyboard extremely well and built up a rather impressive collection of music, which was inherited by one of her nephews (a son of Leopold, if I remember it right).  Not to mention her artworks (rather good for an amateur).
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 06:45:33 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline CountessKate

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #275 on: May 21, 2012, 08:59:38 AM »
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I wonder why was Maria Elisabeth termed as "mad"? Marianne being "like a harpy" is quite unclear to me as well. I think I've read Marianne could be unkind to the servants in Vienna (like Maria Christina and Maria Carolina) but I'm also unsure if it was due to her ill health (or if such a claim came from a reliable source). It seemed to me that she was happier in Klagenfurt, where she felt loved by the people. She also maintained a stimulating environment there, with her salon, masonic lodge, and continuing her scientific interests. As for Maria Elisabeth, she also seemed happier in Innsbruck -- being the center of attention there, going out (certainly not like a nun) and not being answerable to anyone on a day-to-day basis. I think it's just Joseph disparaging those whom he clearly didn't like. 
Joseph seems to have had an extreme example of eighteenth century contempt for confident women - any female who appeared at all strongly disputatious certainly went iinto his bad books.  Marianne I imagine was the more likely to have made a more outspoken fuss about going off to Klagenfurt - she was the one who showed annoyance about having to give precedence at court to Joseph's new wife Isabel of Parma - so possibly this is the reason why she received the more insulting epithet of 'harpy', while Elisabeth, who seems to have been more likely to have been miserable in a lower key compared to her sister, was 'merely mad'.  I am sure you are right they eventually did find themselves better off in their respective convents, as the centre of attention and deference in a way that they certainly weren't before, and with greater freedom to do what they wanted, but that is not the same as actually wanting to leave the only homes they had ever known for 42 years (Marianne) and 37 years (Maria Elisabeth), pushed out by their brother who clearly showed he had no use for them.  As Derek Beales remarked, Joseph's banishment of his sisters and his own dislike of court ceremony made his court "the meanest, the most masculine and the least attractive in Europe". 

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #276 on: May 21, 2012, 09:37:18 AM »
Joseph seems to have had an extreme example of eighteenth century contempt for confident women - any female who appeared at all strongly disputatious certainly went iinto his bad books.  Marianne I imagine was the more likely to have made a more outspoken fuss about going off to Klagenfurt - she was the one who showed annoyance about having to give precedence at court to Joseph's new wife Isabel of Parma - so possibly this is the reason why she received the more insulting epithet of 'harpy', while Elisabeth, who seems to have been more likely to have been miserable in a lower key compared to her sister, was 'merely mad'.  I am sure you are right they eventually did find themselves better off in their respective convents, as the centre of attention and deference in a way that they certainly weren't before, and with greater freedom to do what they wanted, but that is not the same as actually wanting to leave the only homes they had ever known for 42 years (Marianne) and 37 years (Maria Elisabeth), pushed out by their brother who clearly showed he had no use for them.  As Derek Beales remarked, Joseph's banishment of his sisters and his own dislike of court ceremony made his court "the meanest, the most masculine and the least attractive in Europe".  

I agree - Marianne made it clear that Maria Elisabeth was "beneath" her by monopolising their visitors when they were finally the last two sisters left in Vienna and Maria Elisabeth was unhappy at having to defer to such (since Marianne had precedence over her). I've read that Maria Theresa wanted her two daughters to remain in Vienna after she died but Joseph disregarded her wish.  I also remember reading that  Maria Theresa had a palace built for Marianne in Klangenfurt?

And now that you mentioned it, attachment to the only home they knew could very likely be a strong factor in wanting to stay, despite Joseph's unpleasantness. Maria Amalia, who seemed to have loved her new home (Parma) more than any of her (married) sisters, was excessively attached to the town of Sala Baganza. Why? Because, as Marie Louise (who later on purchased her great-aunt's estate there and she appeared to love it as much as her great-aunt, both willing to stay in a mere "hole" for extended periods of time) later on put it, "it was just like home" (referring to Laxenburg).  
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 09:47:45 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline ivanushka

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #277 on: May 21, 2012, 10:51:59 AM »
Perhaps the freedom of foreign travel, and the attraction of individual attention from his sisters together with a familial intimacy free from the competitive scrum of the huge family in Austria, softened his hypercritical attitude towards them.  It's not unnatural - I don't have a huge family, but nevertheless I interact much better on a one-to-one basis than I do when we are all together.   

I think that's very likely.  The problem with a very large family is that often siblings get labels early in life; ie "the pretty one," "the clever one" "the funny one", etc and it can become very difficult to escape them.  A one to one interraction far away from the childhood environment can often lead to siblings seeing each other in a different and far more appreciative life.  This would have been particularly true with regard to Joseph's relationship with Antoinette.  When she left Vienna she would have been (in his eyes) just a sweet child, but when they met again seven years later she had transformed into a fascinating woman.  Also I guess the fact that both she and Caroline were now Queens (and therefore far more politically powerful than they had been in Vienna) meant that he would have to treat them on a more equal footing.

Offline Bourgogne

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #278 on: June 16, 2012, 07:39:01 PM »

 



Come on, CountessKate! How can you ask if this portrait depicts Marianne... ;-) Who else could it be...? :-)


Offline CountessKate

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #279 on: June 19, 2012, 03:49:57 PM »
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Come on, CountessKate! How can you ask if this portrait depicts Marianne... ;-) Who else could it be...? :-)


These are the two daughters of Joseph I, one of whom is supposed to be the sitter for the portrait:

Archduchess Maria Amalia, Electress of Bavaria and Holy Roman Empress
or 

Archduchess Maria Josefa, Electress of Saxony and Queen of Poland

The portraits of the two archduchesses are from when they were about the right age, but one can see the style of hair and dress is quite different and there seems very little facial resemblence, although possibly there is some sort of similarity with the eyes - they were Marianne's first cousins once removed.

Offline Bourgogne

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #280 on: June 19, 2012, 06:18:33 PM »

The portraits of the two archduchesses are from when they were about the right age, but one can see the style of hair and dress is quite different and there seems very little facial resemblence, although possibly there is some sort of similarity with the eyes - they were Marianne's first cousins once removed.

Yes I know well Marie-Amalia and Maria-Josepha, but it's definively sure they are not the archduchess on Auerbach's portrait. As you say, there is not any ressemblance, not the most little one...  And above all, the fashion is completely different, 1720's for Maria-Amalia and Marie-Josepha, while 1750's on Auerbach's portrait (MA and MJ would have been then ca 55 years old!)

Remember also her brother's face and compare : the debate is over... It's Marianne :-)


Offline CountessKate

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #281 on: August 19, 2012, 04:38:23 AM »
A nice picture of Maria Christina, though she's not everyone's favorite archduchess:


Offline Bourgogne

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #282 on: August 19, 2012, 04:44:12 PM »
A nice picture of Maria Christina, though she's not everyone's favorite archduchess:



Amazing!!!! I had never seen this one....!!! Thank you sooo much for this portrait!!! Do you know where it is, who's the painter...?...

PS. "Not everyone's", maybe (?), but mine, certainly ;-)
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 04:45:49 PM by Bourgogne »

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #283 on: August 19, 2012, 08:55:59 PM »
Mimi looks very nice in the red dress and jewels.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #284 on: August 20, 2012, 03:18:00 AM »
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Amazing!!!! I had never seen this one....!!! Thank you sooo much for this portrait!!! Do you know where it is, who's the painter...?...


It was painted in 1766 by Marcello Bacciarelli and is apparently in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.