Author Topic: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family  (Read 263369 times)

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Offline Bourgogne

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #285 on: August 20, 2012, 07:52:26 PM »

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

Thank you very much... Strange I never saw it in KHM, which I visited many times, and also not in Ambras near Innsbruck, where almost all the Habsburg portraits of the KHM are now "relocated"... But there are so many portraits which are not exposed............  :(

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #286 on: August 21, 2012, 04:29:45 AM »
There is actually a photo of the portrait on the wall in the Kunsthistorisches Museum on Flickr, which was taken in 2010: http://www.flickr.com/photos/washuotaku/7125167477/
Of course by now it might have been changed for something else. That's the trouble with the really large collections - there's not enough room for what are deemed to be 'minor' pieces and they appear and disappear quite quickly.  You can only depend on the big showstoppers, and even then they can be on loan, or taken down for cleaning or restoration.  My father made a special journey to Chicago to see Seurat's La Grande Jatte and it wasn't there.

Offline Bourgogne

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #287 on: August 21, 2012, 06:54:04 PM »
There is actually a photo of the portrait on the wall in the Kunsthistorisches Museum on Flickr, which was taken in 2010: http://www.flickr.com/photos/washuotaku/7125167477/
Of course by now it might have been changed for something else. That's the trouble with the really large collections - there's not enough room for what are deemed to be 'minor' pieces and they appear and disappear quite quickly.  You can only depend on the big showstoppers, and even then they can be on loan, or taken down for cleaning or restoration.  My father made a special journey to Chicago to see Seurat's La Grande Jatte and it wasn't there.

Same misadventure as your father, for me, in Musée d'Orsay to see the magnificient Bouguereau's Birth of Venus... I was so disapointed. But ok I'm living in Paris, so it was not a big problem to come back later...
The link you give is really very very interesting because I remember very well to have seen the portrait of Sainte Catherine of Sienna by Tiepolo, in the KHM, which is here on the left of our Mimi's portrait... And now I'm sure Mimi's portrait wasn't there at that time, because of course, I could not have forgoten it, if it would have been exposed near the Tiepolo. Btw, my last visit in the KHM was before 2010 :-)
Thank you again and again for all your kind informations...

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #288 on: August 23, 2012, 09:15:23 AM »
I think that they should catalog the pieces that is not on show some like the NPG in London.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #289 on: August 18, 2013, 12:34:31 AM »
The saddest case was Maria Elisabeth whose beauty should have landed her a husband, but never happened. :-(

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #290 on: August 20, 2013, 06:50:48 PM »
Thanks for the info...I wonder how ME herself thought about the failed marriage proposals and all. She was to be Queen of Poland or France, but neither crown came to her.

Offline prinzheinelgirl

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #291 on: August 24, 2013, 01:20:46 AM »
Thanks for the info...I wonder how ME herself thought about the failed marriage proposals and all. She was to be Queen of Poland or France, but neither crown came to her.

I think she may have been thankful that neither came to her, given how things ended in both countries.  France was in bad shape even in the late 1760s - which MT nor Kaunitz was able to realize - and Poland partitioned with the King of Poland ended his life in exile in Russia.  ME lived rather long enough to experience either situation.

As for Maria Elisabeth and her cousin the Duke of Chablais, the post as Governor of Bohemia would have been possible. Mimi & Albert were intended for the Netherlands, with their post in Hungary was only temporary until their uncle Charles of Lorraine passed away; Archduke Maximilian was originally intended to replace them in Hungary. Archduke Ferdinand was fine as Governor of Milan and waiting to inherit Modena with his wife Beatrix. Leopold was to take over Joseph's position eventually. Leaving Maria Anna out for practical reasons (and she was Princess-Abbess in the HRE with a splendid income), everything and everyone else in the family could've been sorted out satisfactorily but it didn't happen for ME. For me, that is the greater tragedy, not the smallpox or the French & Polish matches that didn't come through.  

From this article I learned MA had more children in her late 30s who did not live more than 2 or 3 years and then also twins who died at birth when she was 43!

It must have been very sad to lose them but also very dangerous before the days of modern medicine to bear children at such an age. (Maria Carolina's last two children were born when she was 40 and 41 and Leopold's wife was 42 for her last child- Beethoven's future student Archduke Rudolph.)

I think her (poor) health and/or perhaps estrangement at some level with her husband contributed to the six-year gap between their fourth and fifth children, Carlotta Maria born in 1777 and Philip Maria born in 1783.  She also had at least one miscarriage in the 1770s. Obviously a second son was desirable since Louis was sickly; not sure if Parma had a semi-Salic law or if it was changed by Ferdinand  but I read during Duke Philip's time, it was stipulated that in the absence of Ferdinand's heirs, it would go to his sister Maria Luisa and her children. They tried but they had more girls than boys and none of their children born in 1780s survived long. Maria Amalia also married rather late for that time, at age 23.  

Then, for MA to lose both her husband as well as Parma in 1802, son Louis in 1803 and her daughter Caroline in 1804, one family loss after another shortly before she herself died. Very sobering to think of these tragedies she had to go through near the end of her life after being the beautiful and glamorous princess in Vienna prior to her marriage. Does anyone know after she was forced out of Parma why she ended up going to live in Prague instead of Vienna? Since she was in Prague was she able to go to Saxony to visit Caroline and her grandchildren?

She was never in good health, at least when she came to Parma, despite Maria Theresa's reassurance to Charles III of Spain that her daughter's health promises numerous progeny. She was already rather in ill when she arrived in Prague. I'm not very clear on the details of her relationship with her nephew Franz I/II but she knew him from her visits to Tuscany in the 1780s. He was said to be the one who supported her financially while in exile, presumably from the family fund/trust fund that her father Franz Stephan left them. Perhaps the Austrian court was just too crowded (with Franz's numerous siblings and children) and anyway, Maria Elisabeth, although she visited rather often, was based in Innsbruck and later on, Linz. Maria Amalia's daughter Caroline and son in law Maximilian visited her in Prague in the spring of 1803. Not sure if they brought any of their children but she did get at least one visit.

I think that overall she fared better than most of her sisters or even fared better than all of her sisters (in many aspects).  
« Last Edit: August 24, 2013, 01:50:52 AM by prinzheinelgirl »
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Offline Gabriel Antonio

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #292 on: October 01, 2013, 11:54:48 PM »
Thanks for the info...I wonder how ME herself thought about the failed marriage proposals and all. She was to be Queen of Poland or France, but neither crown came to her.

I am trying to follow everything being said about Marie Elizabeth's potential marriages. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Was she considered as a possible wife for Louis XV after Queen Marie L. died in 1768? If so, it is quite a coincidence she was born in the exact same month (one week apart) and year as Madame Du Barry, August 1743. ( who in an unofficial capacity had the same job. ) ME would have then become the grandmother in law of her own sister MA in 1770?

And the potential Polish Crown- here is where I am very confused; was she actually considered to marry Stanislaw Poniatowski- a former lover of Cathernine the Great? A daughter of Maria Theresa would be allowed to do that? Or, are we talking about one of the older brothers of MC's husband Albert of Saxony who could have possibly been a contender for the Polish crown instead of the oldest brother who had died right after his father Augustus III?.

And was the Duke of Chablais the uncle of the 2 sisters who became wives of Louis XVI's brothers? And, when it did not work out for ME to marry him, didn't he then marry his own niece, a younger sister of the two sisters?

And finally Maria Amalia's Zweibrucken- did not he end up becoming the Elector of Bavaria in 1777- the state Joseph wanted so much to become a part of the Habsburg Empire? ( Frederick the Great: "Over my dead body.") I bet Joseph would have wanted ME to be married to him at this point.

 Poor Marie Elizabeth!

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #293 on: October 02, 2013, 11:13:58 AM »
Well...She did not have to be exiled and that is points for being unmarried.

Offline Gabriel Antonio

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #294 on: October 02, 2013, 11:22:36 PM »
Quote
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.

Thank you for sharing this painting. Marcello Bacciarelli may for some an unfamiliar name; but he was a wonderful artist working in Dresden for Augustus III and then in Warsaw for Stanislaw Poniatowski. I did not know he was also in Vienna- but it makes sense after Augustus III and before he was appointed by SP that he would be there in the 1760s. Bernardo Bellotto did the same thing.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #295 on: October 03, 2013, 02:18:35 PM »
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I am trying to follow everything being said about Marie Elizabeth's potential marriages. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Was she considered as a possible wife for Louis XV after Queen Marie L. died in 1768? If so, it is quite a coincidence she was born in the exact same month (one week apart) and year as Madame Du Barry, August 1743. ( who in an unofficial capacity had the same job. ) ME would have then become the grandmother in law of her own sister MA in 1770?

And the potential Polish Crown- here is where I am very confused; was she actually considered to marry Stanislaw Poniatowski- a former lover of Cathernine the Great? A daughter of Maria Theresa would be allowed to do that? Or, are we talking about one of the older brothers of MC's husband Albert of Saxony who could have possibly been a contender for the Polish crown instead of the oldest brother who had died right after his father Augustus III?.

And was the Duke of Chablais the uncle of the 2 sisters who became wives of Louis XVI's brothers? And, when it did not work out for ME to marry him, didn't he then marry his own niece, a younger sister of the two sisters?

And finally Maria Amalia's Zweibrucken- did not he end up becoming the Elector of Bavaria in 1777- the state Joseph wanted so much to become a part of the Habsburg Empire? ( Frederick the Great: "Over my dead body.") I bet Joseph would have wanted ME to be married to him at this point.

 Poor Marie Elizabeth!

The widowed Louis XV was very much taken with Marie Antoinette when she arrived in France to marry his grandson, and rather fancied the idea of marrieage to her sister, writing to the marquis de Ruffec (part of his private diplomatic group) in 1770, 'Let [François-Michel Durand de Distroff, French chargé d'affaires in Vienna] take a good look at her figure, from head to foot and without leaving out anything he can see of the Archduchess Elisabeth; let him also find out about her character, all in deepest secrecy and without arousing suspicions in Vienna".  However, he didn't persist with the notion - whether because he cooled with regard to Marie Antoinette, thought Maria Elisabeth's smallpox scarring was too unpleasant, or just cooled on the idea of marrying again, is not clear.  So this project was never really a goer. 

Stanislaw Poniatowski made matrimonial overtures to Maria Theresa for Maria Elisabeth but due to the instability of his throne and his lack of private fortune the Empress was not enthusiastic (although she did not immediately reject the offer), though when Catherine the Great learned of it she very firmly indicated she would not agree to such a marriage, and Poniatowski was too dependent on Russian backing to go against her.

Maria Elisabeth's chances as replacement for Marie Christine as wife to Benedetto Maria Maurizio, Duc de Chablais, seem to have been scuppered by the size of the establishment Maria Theresa granted to Marie Christine and Albrecht of Saxony, and Joseph's refusal to provide for another brother-in-law who was not useful in a dynastic sense, e.g. a ruling sovereign.  Chablais was indeed the uncle of the Comtesses de Provence and Artois and did marry his niece Maria Anna of Savoy.  They apparently had a happy marriage, though there were no children.

Joseph's grab at Bavaria would not have been improved by Maria Elisabeth's marrying the Duke of Zweibrucken and producing more heirs to Bavaria who would cut out the Habsburgs; there has been some suggestion that this is one reason he supported Maria Amalia's marriage to the Duke of Parma, to get her off the scene.  So a sister married to a Bavarian would never have been a goer for Joseph until far too late.

Yes, poor Maria Elisabeth - all the matrimonial projects were a bit emphemeral.  Though frankly, Queenship of France or Poland could have had rather chancy outcomes; the Duc de Chablais sounds the best candidate.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #296 on: October 03, 2013, 08:01:27 PM »
Poor Maria Elisabeth indeed.

Offline CountessKate

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #297 on: October 07, 2013, 12:50:23 PM »


Maria Christina, by an anonymous court portraitist.  She is wearing The Ordre de l'Union Parfaite.

Offline Eric_Lowe

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #298 on: October 07, 2013, 06:46:59 PM »
That would be "Mimi" isn't it. The one with the sharp tongue ?

Offline Gabriel Antonio

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Re: Empress Maria Theresa and her large family
« Reply #299 on: October 10, 2013, 09:39:53 PM »
Thank you Countess Kate for your insightful and thought provoking responses to my comments/questions regarding Maria Elizabeth's marriage possibilities. Regarding Stanislaw Poniatowski, why was Catherine the Great against the marriage? I suppose there could have been a number of reasons, but were two of them not wanting too much potential Austrian influence in Warsaw and also that Frederick the Great probably would be against this? I also think of the potential irony if ME had become the Queen of Poland and then having her mother and brother involved in the first partition in 1772.