L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Monday, November 25, 2013

Second Empress of the French - The Empress Marie-Louise with her son, the roi de Rome, by Baron Gérard

Portrait by François Pascal Simon, Baron Gérard (March 12, 1770, Rome – January 11, 1837, Paris), 1813.
Marie Louise of Austria (December 12, 1791, Vienna – December 17, 1847, Parma), born Maria Ludovica Leopoldina Franziska Therese Josepha Lucia von Habsburg-Lothringen, was the second wife Napoléon I.  The daughter of Emperor Francis I of Austria, her marriage was arranged, after Napoléon's divorce from Joséphine, for strictly political reasons and so that her husband might have an heir.  Their son, Napoléon François Charles Joseph Bonaparte, prince impérial, roi de Rome (after 1818 known as Franz, Duke of Reichstadt), was born at the Tuilleries Palace in Paris on March 20, 1811.  After the fall of the empire, the Congress of Vienna recognized her as ruler of the Italian duchy of Parma, but her son was not allowed to accompany her.  After Napoléon's death in 1821, she contracted a morganantic marriage with Count Adam Albert von Neipperg.  And after his death, she married Count Charles-René de Bombelles, who survived her.  Her son, the Duke of Reichstadt - the titular Napoléon II - died of tuberculosis in Vienna at the age of twenty-one, on July 22, 1832.

A daguerreotype of the Duchess of Parma, the former Empress Marie Louise, taken the year of her death.

Gérard's oil sketch for the portrait.

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