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1758 Princess Isabella von Parma

1758 Princess Isabella von Parma
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Marc Nattier

Princess Isabella Maria Luisa Antonietta Ferdinanda Giuseppina Saveria Dominica Giovanna of Parma, Archduchess of Austria (31 December 1741 – 27 November 1763), was the daughter of Infante Felipe of Spain, Duke of Parma and his wife Louise Elisabeth, eldest daughter of Louis XV of France and Maria Leszczyńska. Her paternal grandparents were Philip V of Spain (in turn a grandson of Louis XIV) and his second wife, Elisabeth of Parma. Born at Buen Retiro Palace in Madrid, she was an Infanta of Spain and grew up at the court of her grandfather, Philip V of Spain. As she was an Infanta she was allowed the style of Royal Highness. One of three children, she had 2 younger siblings. Her sister was Maria Louisa of Parma.

In 1759 Isabella lost her mother, who at the time was in France, living at the Palace of Versailles and plotting to get a better realm to rule. Her mother had been the Duchess of Parma for a mere 10 years and was only 32. The relationship between mother and daughter had not been good, since the Duchess was cold towards Isabella and showed a clear favouritism towards her youngest daughter, Maria Luisa. Isabella learned to play the violin, and also read books by philosophers and theologians like Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet or John Law. She sometimes became melancholic and, after her mother's death in 1759, was often preoccupied with thoughts about death. On 6 October 1760, at the age of 18, she was married to Archduke Joseph of Austria, heir of the Habsburg Monarchy. Due to her marriage to an Imperial house, she became Her Imperial and Royal Highness - the "Royal" signifying her status as a Princess of Hungary and Bohemia. She quickly charmed the court in Vienna with her beauty and intelligence; apparently Isabella could solve difficult mathematical problems. She died at Schönbrunn Palace and was buried in Maria Theresa's vault in the Imperial Crypt Vaults in Vienna, Austria.
Date: 2009-11-07 22:50:57

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