Maria Amalia of Saxony (Maria Amalia Christina Franziska Xaveria Flora Walburga; 24 November 1724 – 27 September 1760) was Queen consort of Naples and Sicily from 1738 till 1759 and then Queen consort of Spain from 1759 until her death in 1760, by marriage to Charles III of Spain. A popular consort, she oversaw the construction of the Caserta Palace outside Naples as well as various other projects, and she is known for her influence upon the affairs of state. Moving to Spain in 1759, she then set about the improvements to the Royal Palace of Madrid but died before its completion. Maria Amalia was politically active and openly participated in state affairs in both Naples and Spain.
|Maria Amalia of Saxony|
Maria Amalia overlooking the Neapolitan crown, by Giuseppe Bonito, c. 1745.
|Queen consort of Spain|
|Tenure||10 August 1759 – 27 September 1760|
|Queen consort of Naples and Sicily|
|Tenure||19 June 1738 – 10 August 1759|
|Born||24 November 1724|
Dresden Castle, Dresden, Saxony
|Died||27 September 1760 (aged 35)|
Buen Retiro Palace, Madrid, Spain
|Spouse||Charles III of Spain|
|Infanta Maria Josefa|
Maria Luisa, Holy Roman Empress
Felipe, Duke of Calabria
Charles IV of Spain
Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies
Infante Antonio Pascual
Infante Francisco Javier
|Father||Augustus III of Poland|
|Mother||Maria Josepha of Austria|
She was born at Dresden Castle in Dresden, the daughter of Augustus III of Poland, Elector of Saxony and Maria Josepha of Austria, herself daughter of Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor. Her mother was the first cousin of Empress Maria Theresa. The infant was baptised with the names Maria Amalia Christina Franziska Xaveria Flora Walburga, but known as Maria Amalia. One of 15 children, she was the sister of Frederick Christian, Elector of Saxony, Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony wife of her cousin Maximilian III Joseph, Elector of Bavaria; she was the older sister of Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony who was the mother of Louis XVI of France. Her youngest sister, Princess Kunigunde was a possible wife for the future Philippe Égalité. She grew up at the court of Dresden and was educated in French, dance and painting. She was also an accomplished musician and sang and played the keyboard from an early age.
In 1738 Maria Amalia became engaged to Charles, King of Naples and Sicily, the future Charles III of Spain. The marriage was arranged by her future mother-in-law Elizabeth Farnese, after Elizabeth had failed to arrange a marriage of Charles to Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria, and refused to agree to have him marry to Louise Élisabeth of France. The impenetrable secret negotiations had taken place earlier in Vienna, where the Dowager Empress Wilhelmina Amalia, grandmother of Maria Amalia, played an important part in the negotiations. The Spanish ambassador in Vienna, Count Fuenclara, acted on behalf of the courts of Madrid and Naples, while the Italian banker Giovanni Battista Bolza represented the interests of Dresden court. In December 1737, a papal dispensation was made, and the marriage announced in the beginning 1738. On 8 May 1738 Maria Amalia had a proxy ceremony at Dresden with her brother, Frederick Christian of Saxony, representing Charles. Since this marriage was looked upon favorably by the papacy, it soothed the diplomatic disagreements between Charles and the Papal states.
On 4 July 1738 Maria Amalia arrived at Naples and to what was described as a euphoric welcome. The couple met for the first time on 19 June 1738 at Portella, a village on the kingdom's frontier near Fondi. At court, festivities lasted till 3 July when Charles created the Royal order of San Gennaro – the most prestigious chivalric order in the kingdom. He later had the Order of Charles III created in Spain on 19 September 1771.
Despite being an arranged marriage, the couple became very close: it was noted and reported to her mother-in-law in Spain, that Charles seemed happy and pleased when he first met her. Maria Amalia was described as a beauty and as a skillful rider, and she accompanied Charles on his hunts. As Queen, she exerted great influence upon politics despite her frequent illnesses, and she actively participated in state affairs. She ended the careers of several politicians she disliked, such as J.M. de Benavides y Aragón, conte di Santisteban; Y.Y. de Montealegre, marchese di Salas; and G. Fogliani Sforza d'Aragona, marchese di Pellegrino. Her displeasure led directly to the latter being deposed as prime minister. Maria Amalia did not need to keep her influence secret: after the birth of her first son in 1747, she was given a seat in the council of state. She worked against the Spanish influence on Naples and in 1742 convinced Charles, against the will of Spain, to declare Naples neutral during the War of the Austrian Succession, during which Britain threatened to bomb Naples. In 1744, however she was forced to agree to declare war. She then favored Great Britain before France and Austria. Maria Amalia was talked about because of her favorites, which were to have influence over her policy when she was very ill, such as princess Anna Francesca Pinelli and duchess Zenobia Revertera. In 1754, she supported the career of Bernardo Tanucci as Foreign Minister.
Maria Amalia was very cultivated and played an important role in the construction of Caserta Palace, for which she saw her husband lay the foundation stone for on his 26th birthday, on 20 January 1752 amid much festivity. However, they left Naples before its completion due to her declining health so they never actually lived in the palace. She also was influential in the building of the Palace of Portici (Reggia di Portici), the Teatro di San Carlo – constructed in just 270 days – the Palace of Capodimonte (Reggia di Capodimonte); her husband also had the Royal Palace of Naples renovated. Her apartments at Portici were home to the famous porcelain from the Capodimonte Porcelain Manufactory which she who introduced the production of Porcelain in Naples in 1743. She was also a heavy user of tobacco. Maria Amalia was also a patron of the composer Gian Francesco Fortunati, a favorite at the Neapolitan court. She was criticized for being too religious from what was proper from someone not a member of a Catholic monastic order: she attended mass twice and eventually four times a day and kept more devotions than what was normal for a nun or a monk, and he eventually lectured her that she was more fervent than what could be regarded as modest for a lay person.
At the end of 1758, Charles' half brother Ferdinand VI was displaying the same symptoms of depression from which their father used to suffer. Ferdinand lost his devoted wife, Infanta Barbara of Portugal in August 1758 and would fall into deep mourning for her. He named Charles his heir on 10 December 1758 before leaving Madrid to stay at Villaviciosa de Odón where he died on 10 August 1759.
At that point Charles was proclaimed the King of Spain under the name of Charles III of Spain; in respect of the third Treaty of Vienna, which stated should he become King of Spain he would not be able to join them to the Neapolitan and Sicilian territories. He was later given the title of Lord of the Two Sicilies.
That same year they left Naples for Madrid, leaving two of their children behind in Caserta. Her third-surviving son became Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies, while his elder brother Carlos was groomed in Spain to inherit the Spanish crown; their oldest brother, Infante Felipe, Duke of Calabria was mentally retarded and was thus taken out of the line of succession to any throne; he died quietly and forgotten in Portici where he had been born in 1747. The right of succession to Naples and Sicily was reserved for her second son Prince Ferdinand of Naples and Sicily; Prince Ferdinand would stay in Italy while his parents were in Spain. In favour of that, Charles would abdicate on 6 October 1759, decreeing the final separation between the Spanish and Neapolitan crowns. Charles and his consort arrived in Barcelona on 7 October 1759.
Maria Amalia once again did much to improve the royal residences having them redecorated. She, along with her husband, helped with the founding of the luxury porcelain factory under the name Real Fábrica del Buen Retiro. Maria Amalia deemed Spain to be ill managed and undeveloped, and she partially blamed her mother-in-law, the Spanish Queen Dowager Elizabeth Farnese, who was thereby obliged to leave the Spanish court. She did not like it in Spain, and complained about the food, the language, which she refused to learn; the climate, the Spaniards, which she regarded to be passive and the Spanish courtiers, which she regarded as ignorant and uneducated. She was at the Spanish court described as depressed and hysterical. She planned great reforms to the Spanish system, but did not have time to finish them...
In September 1760, a year after arriving in Madrid, Maria Amalia suddenly died at the Buen Retiro Palace outside the capital. She was buried at the Royal Crypt in El Escorial. She was joined by her devoted husband in 1788.
In 1761, Charles commissioned Giovanni Battista Tiepolo to paint frescoes for the Royal Palace in Madrid. In the Queen's Antechamber, Tiepolo and his assistants painted the Apotheosis of the Spanish Monarchy. The frescos were painted from 1762–1766. Queen Maria Amalia appears surrounded by several of the gods of Greek mythology, including Apollo.
Prince Ferdinand became King of Naples and Sicily, at only eight years old, under the name of Ferdinand IV of Naples and as Ferdinand III of Sicily; in order to consolidate the alliance with Austria, he was destined to marry an Archduchess of Austria. Charles left his son's education and care to a Regency Counsel which was composed of eight members. This counsel would govern the countries until the young king be 16 years old. The Archduchess came in the form of Maria Carolina of Austria. The two would have 18 children.
Her descendants include today's King Juan Carlos I of Spain, Archduke Otto of Austria, Prince Henri, Count of Paris along with The Prince Napoléon as well as the two pretenders to the throne of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, Prince Carlo, Duke of Castro and the Infante Carlos, Duke of Calabria.
By Infante Carlos of Spain, Duke of Parma and Piacenza; King of Naples and Sicily; King of Spain (Real Alcázar de Madrid, Madrid, Kingdom of Spain, 20 January 1716 – Royal Palace of Madrid, Madrid, Kingdom of Spain, 14 December 1788)
Maria Amalia of SaxonyBorn: 24 November 1724 Died: 27 September 1760
Title last held byElisabeth Christine
| Queen consort of Naples and Sicily
Title next held byMaria Carolina of Austria
Title last held byBarbara of Portugal
| Queen consort of Spain
Title next held byMaria Luisa of Parma
Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria (Maria Anna Ferdinanda Josepha Charlotte Johanna; 21 April 1770 – 1 October 1809) was an Archduchess of Austria by birth, and an Abbess at the Theresian Convent in Prague.Archduchess Maria Isabella of Austria
Archduchess Maria Isabella of Austria, Princess of Tuscany (21 May 1834 – 14 July 1901), was an Archduchess of Austria and Princess of Tuscany by birth and Countess of Trapani by marriage to her uncle Prince Francis, Count of Trapani.
Maria Isabella was born in Florence, Grand Duchy of Tuscany, as the daughter of Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany and his second wife, Princess Maria Antonia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies.Archduke Karl Salvator of Austria
Archduke Karl Salvator of Austria, in Italian Carlo Salvatore Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Battista Filippo Jacopo Gennaro Lodovico Gonzaga Raniero, in German Karl Salvator Maria Joseph Johann Baptist Philipp Jakob Januarius Ludwig Gonzaga Ranier (Florence, 30 April 1839 – Vienna, 18 January 1892), was a member of the Tuscan branch of the House of Habsburg.Descendants of Charles III of Spain
The descendants of Charles III of Spain, the third surviving son of the first Bourbon King of Spain are numerous. Growing up in Madrid till he was 16, he was sent to the Italian Sovereign Duchy of Parma and Piacenza which, through his mother Elisabeth of Parma, was considered his birthright. Charles married only once, to the cultured Princess Maria Amalia of Saxony, with whom he had 13 children; 8 of these reached adulthood (most dying young of smallpox) and only 4 of these had issue.
A younger son of Charles would found the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, while his younger brother would found the House of Bourbon-Parma. This article deals with the children of Charles III and in turn their senior descendants.Equestrian Portrait of Charles of Bourbon
Equestrian Portrait of Charles of Bourbon is a mid-18th century oil on canvas portrait of Charles of Bourbon, produced by Francesco Liani towards the end of Charles' rule in Naples before becoming Charles III of Spain. Liani also produced a portrait of Charles' wife, Maria Amalia of Saxony. Both works are now in Room 34 of the National Museum of Capodimonte.Equestrian Portrait of Maria Amalia of Saxony
Equestrian Portrait of Amalia of Saxony is a mid-18th century portrait of Maria Amalia of Saxony, produced by Francesco Liani towards the end of her and her husband's rule in Naples before he became Charles III of Spain. It shows its subject in male hunting dress and is modelled on Louis Silvestre II's portrait of Maria's father Augustus III of Poland. Liani also produced a pair of her husband - both works are now in Room 34 of the National Museum of Capodimonte in Naples.Ferdinand IV, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Ferdinand IV, Grand Duke of Tuscany (Italian: Ferdinando IV, Granduca di Toscana; 10 June 1835 – 17 January 1908) was the last Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1859 to 1860. The House of Habsburg-Lorraine continued to hold the title as pretenders until the end of World War I.Giuseppe Gricci
Giuseppe Gricci (c 1700 - 1770), an Italian sculptor, was trained in his native Florence before moving to Naples in 1738, where he worked for the king before becoming the chief modeler at the Capodimonte porcelain manufactory when the king set it up in 1743. By 1755 he had five other modellers working for him, creating the moulds used for the pieces.When his employer became Charles III of Spain in 1759, he moved the whole Capodimonte factory, including Gricci, to Madrid the next year, setting it up as the Real Fábrica del Buen Retiro.
As well as many figure shapes, Gricci designed the Porcelain boudoir of Maria Amalia of Saxony, entirely made of porcelain panels in a chinoiserie style, originally made for the Palace of Portici (1757–59), but now moved to the Capodimonte Palace. The same team later made the rooms in Spain at the Royal Palace of Aranjuez (1763–65) and the main Palacio real in Madrid (1770s).Gricci died in Madrid.Infanta Maria Cristina of Spain (1833–1902)
Maria Cristina, Infanta of Portugal and Spain (5 June 1833 – 19 January 1902) was a daughter of Infante Francisco de Paula of Spain and his wife Princess Luisa Carlotta of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. She became an Infanta of Portugal by her marriage to Infante Sebastian of Portugal and Spain.Infante Gabriel of Spain
Infante Gabriel of Spain (12 May 1752 – 23 November 1788) was a son of King Charles III of Spain and his wife Maria Amalia of Saxony.Porcelain boudoir of Maria Amalia of Saxony
The Porcelain boudoir of Maria Amalia of Saxony is a rococo interior now located in the Palace of Capodimonte in Naples. It was originally made for the Palace of Portici in 1757–59, but has now been moved to the Capodimonte Palace.It is named after Maria Amalia of Saxony, queen of Naples. It consists of white porcelain panels decorated in high relief with festoons and genre scenes, drawing on the Chinoiserie popular at the time. It was designed by Giuseppe Gricci (c. 1700–1770) and produced in the Royal Porcelain Factory of Capodimonte, founded by Maria Amalia and her husband Charles of Bourbon in 1743.
After Charles became Carlos III of Spain and moved the Capodimonte factory to Madrid as the Real Fábrica del Buen Retiro, similar rooms were made for the Palace of Aranjuez (also chinoiserie), and the Palacio Real, Madrid, this time in a Neoclassical style.Portrait of Ferdinand I
Portrait of Ferdinand I is an oil on canvas painting by Anton Raphael Mengs, now in the National Museum of Capodimonte. It shows Ferdinand and was commissioned by his mother Maria Amalia of Saxony to celebrate Ferdinand's accession to the throne of the Two Sicilies aged only eight after his father Charles of Bourbon's abdicated that throne to be king of Spain. This makes it the first official painting of the new king, produced by the artist in October 1759 in around a month, though it was critiqued by the other court artists Luigi Vanvitelli, Giuseppe Bonito and Francesco Liani, who had been passed over for the commission. Mengs also produced a lower-quality second copy the following year which is now in the Prado Museum in Madrid.Prince Januarius, Count of Caltagirone
Prince Januarius Maria Immaculata Louis of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Count of Caltagirone (Full Italian name: Gennaro Maria Immacolata Luigi, Principe di Borbone delle Due Sicilie, Conte di Caltagirone) (28 February 1857 – 13 August 1867) was the twelfth and youngest child of Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Theresa of Austria. Januarius was a member of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. The prince was named for Saint Januarius (Italian: San Gennaro), patron saint of Naples.Prince Pasquale, Count of Bari
Prince Pasquale of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Count of Bari, full Italian name: Pasquale Baylen Maria del Carmine Giovanni-Battista Vincenzo-Ferreri Michele Arcangel Francesco di Paola Ferdinando Francesco di Assisi Luigi-Re Alfonso Gaetano Giuseppe Pietro Paolo Gennaro Luigi-Gonzaga Giovanni Giuseppe della Croce Gaspare Melchiore Baldassare Alberto Sebastiano Giorgio Venanzio Emanuele Placido Andrea-Avelino Rocco Pacifico Francesco di Geronimo Felice Teziano Ana Filomena Sebazia Lucia Luitgarda Apollina, Principe di Borbone delle Due Sicilie, Conte di Bari (15 September 1852, Caserta Palace, Caserta, Two Sicilies – 21 December 1904, Château de Malmaison, Rueil-Malmaison, France) was the eleventh child of Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies and his second wife Maria Theresa of Austria.Princess Luisa Carlotta of Naples and Sicily
Luisa Carlotta of Naples and Sicily (Luisa Carlotta Maria Isabella; 24 October 1804 – 29 January 1844), was an Italian royal figure, who was Princess of the Two Sicilies, Infanta of Spain, who was a daughter of King Francis I of the Two Sicilies.Princess Maria Amalia of Saxony
Maria Amalia of Saxony (26 September 1757 – 20 April 1831) was a daughter of Frederick Christian, Elector of Saxony and his wife Maria Antonia Walpurgis of Bavaria. She became the Duchess of Zweibrücken by her 1774 marriage to Charles II August, Duke of Zweibrücken.Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1849–1882)
Maria Pia of the Two Sicilies (2 August 1849 – 29 September 1882) was a Princess of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and titular Duchess consort of Parma as the wife of Robert I, Duke of Parma. Maria Pia was the daughter of King Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies and his wife, Maria Theresa of Austria. Maria Pia was forced into exile along with the rest of her family after the unification of Italy in 1861.Villa Giovanelli Colonna
The Villa Giovannelli Colonna is a rural palace located in Noventa Padovana, in the region of the Veneto near Padua, northern Italy, which once was famous for its splendid decorations.
The villa was commissioned in the late 17th century by the Giovanelli family to the architect Antonio Gaspari.
In 1738 on the occasion of Maria Amalia of Saxony, the daughter of the polish king Augustus II the Strong visiting the villa, who had been married to King Charles of Naples and Sicily, the future Charles III of Spain, Andrea Giovanelli and his brother Benedetto decorated the facade of the Villa with the festive Pronaos and a precious entrance stairway by Giorgio Massari. On the balustrades are six allegorical statues representing the five senses: the Belvedere (sight/male), Il Odorato (smell/male), Il Tatto (touch/female), L'Udire (hearing/female), Il Gusto (taste/female) which are observed by La Ragione (top right). They were executed by Antonio Tarsia, Antonio Gai and by the brothers Paolo and Giuseppe Groppelli.
The interior is frescoed by Sebastiano Ricci and Giuseppe Angeli, who also did the frescos in Villa Widmann-Foscari. The frescos were changed when Federico Giovanelli, Patriarch of Venice, took over the villa. His brothers Giovanni Benedetto and Giovanni Paolo Giovannelli commissioned two large canvases by Luca Carlevarijs. The gardens consist of labyrinths and designs.Zenobia Revertera
Zenobia Revertera, duchess di Castropignano (19 October 1712- 31 January 1779) was an Italian noble and courtier. She was an influential favorite of the queen of Naples, Maria Amalia of Saxony.
|Ancestors of Maria Amalia of Saxony|
Generations start with the daughters-in-law of Charles I of Spain