|Mariana of Austria|
Mariana of Austria by Velázquez
|Queen consort of Spain|
|Tenure||7 October 1649 – 17 September 1665|
|Born||24 December 1634|
Wiener Neustadt, Archduchy of Austria, Holy Roman Empire
|Died||16 May 1696 61) (aged|
Uceda Palace, Madrid, Spain
Philip IV, King of Spain
(m. 1649;died 1665)
| Margaret Theresa, Holy Roman Empress |
Philip Prospero, Prince of Asturias
Charles II, King of Spain
|Father||Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor|
|Mother||Maria Anna of Spain|
Mariana of Austria or Maria Anna (24 December 1634 – 16 May 1696) was Queen of Spain from 1649 until her husband and uncle, Philip IV, died in 1665. She was then appointed regent for their three-year-old son Charles II, and due to his ill health remained an influential figure until her own death in 1696.
Her regency was overshadowed by the need to manage Spain's post-1648 decline as the dominant global power, internal political divisions and the European economic crisis of the second half of the 17th century. The inability of her son Charles to produce an heir led to constant manoeuvring by other European powers, which ultimately ended in the 1701 to 1714 War of the Spanish Succession.
Maria Anna was born on 24 December 1634 in Wiener Neustadt, second child of Maria Anna of Spain and her husband Ferdinand (1608-1657), who became Holy Roman Emperor in 1637. Her parents had six children, of whom only Maria Anna and two brothers survived to adulthood; Ferdinand (1633-1654), and Leopold (1640-1705), elected emperor in 1658.
The Habsburgs often married within the family to retain their lands and properties, and in 1646 Maria Anna was betrothed to her cousin and heir to the Spanish throne, Balthasar Charles, Prince of Asturias. His death three months later left her without a prospective husband and her widowed uncle Philip IV without an heir.
On 7 October 1649, Philip married his fourteen-year-old niece in Navalcarnero, outside Madrid; from then on, she was known by her Spanish name 'Mariana.' Her exclusion from political life meant she focused on religion and education, which society viewed as fitting women's 'role' as nurturers and providers of moral guidance.
Only two of their five children survived to adulthood; in 1666, Margaret Theresa (1651-1673) married her maternal uncle Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor. Mariana's second daughter, Maria Ambrosia, lived only fifteen days, followed by two sons, Philip Prospero (1657-1661) and Ferdinand Thomas (1658-1659).
On 6 November 1661, Mariana gave birth to her last child, Charles, later known as El Hechizado or "The Bewitched", in the belief his disabilities were caused by "sorcery." In his case, the so-called Habsburg lip was so pronounced he spoke and ate with difficulty all his life. He did not learn to walk until he was eight and never attended school, but foreign observers noted his mental capacities remained intact; others speculated the Regents overstated his defects to retain political control.
It has been suggested Charles suffered from the endocrine disease acromegaly and a combination of rare genetic disorders often transmitted through recessive genes, including combined pituitary hormone deficiency and distal renal tubular acidosis.However, his elder sister did not appear to suffer the same issues and the authors of the most significant study state it has not been demonstrated (his) disabilities...were caused by...recessive alleles inherited from common ancestors.
Regardless of the cause, Charles suffered ill health throughout his life, and the Spanish court was split by the struggle between his co-heirs, Louis XIV and Emperor Leopold. His death was expected almost from birth; he was "short, lame, epileptic, senile and completely bald before 35,...repeatedly baffling Christendom by continuing to live."
When Philip died on 17 September 1665, Charles was only three; Mariana was appointed regent, advised by a Regency Council, until he became a legal adult at the age of 14. She adopted the system of using a valido or 'favourite' established by Philip in 1620 and widely used elsewhere in Europe. The first was Juan Everardo Nithard, an Austrian Jesuit and her personal confessor who came with her from Vienna; as Philip's will excluded foreigners from the Regency Council, he had to be naturalised, causing immediate resentment.
A 'foreigner' herself, the two men habitually identified as her 'favourites' were also outsiders; Nithard and Valenzuela, who came from the lower rank of Spanish nobility.Even modern English-language sources are often based on contemporary sources that viewed women as incapable of ruling on their own and thus imply a sexual relationship.
In reality, Mariana used a variety of advisors, including Castilian nobles such as Count Peñaranda and the Marquis de Aytona. Historian Silvia Mitchell disputes whether either Nithard or Valenzuela can truly be considered a 'valido', since Mariana retained power, rather than delegating it to them.
Her son's poor health and lack of an heir led to a constant struggle between Mariana's 'Austrian' faction, and a 'French' faction, nominally led by his illegitimate half-brother, John of Austria the Younger. Spain was also divided into the Crowns of Castile and Aragon, whose very different political cultures made it almost impossible to enact reforms or increase taxes. Government finances were in perpetual crisis, the Crown declaring bankruptcy in 1647, 1652, 1661 and 1666.
The external situation facing Mariana would have challenged even the most competent ruler; Spain was financially exhausted by almost a century of continuous war. Her reign also coincided with the Little Ice Age, a period of cold and wet weather that affected the whole of Europe in the second half of the 17th century. Between 1692 to 1699, an estimated 5-10% of the European population starved to death.
The new government inherited a wide range of economic and political problems. The long-running Portuguese Restoration War was the most urgent, followed in May 1667 by the War of Devolution, when France invaded the Spanish Netherlands and the Spanish province of Franche-Comté.The need to reduce spending resulted in the 1668 treaties of Aix-la-Chapelle and Lisbon ended the wars with France and Portugal.
Peace ended the constant drain of Spanish resources, while Aix-La-Chapelle forced France to return most of the territories over-run in 1667 to 1668. Despite this, the army consisted them a humiliation; in June 1668, Joseph Malladas, an Aragonese captain living in Madrid, was executed for plotting to murder Nithard, reputedly on John's behalf.An internal power struggle ended with Nithard becoming Ambassador to Rome in February 1669; he was succeeded by Aytona, who died in 1670 and was replaced by Valenzuela, a member of her household since 1661.
In 1672, Spain was dragged into the Franco-Dutch War; Valenzuela was dismissed when Charles came of age in 1675, but Spanish policy continued to be undermined by the struggle for power. Marianna reinstated the regency in 1677 on the grounds of Charles's ill-health and Valenzuela was restored, before John finally gained control in 1678. He died in September 1679 and Marianna became regent once again; one of his final acts was arranging the marriage of Charles to 17-year-old Marie Louise of Orléans, which took place in November 1679.
Marie Louise died in February 1689, without producing an heir; as with many deaths of the period, limited medical knowledge led to allegations she was poisoned. Modern assessments of her symptoms conclude it was almost certainly appendicitis, possibly from the treatments undertaken to improve fertility. Her replacement was Maria Anna of Neuburg, one of 12 children whose family reputation for fertility made them popular choices for royal marriages. Of her sisters, Maria Sophia married Peter II of Portugal, while Eleonore was the third wife of Emperor Leopold. Maria Anna was aunt to future emperors Joseph I and Charles VI, making her an ideal choice for the Austrian faction.
Charles remained childless; by that time, he was almost certainly impotent, his autopsy later revealing he had only one atrophied testicle.As his health declined, internal struggles over the succession became increasingly bitter, leadership of the pro-French faction passing to Fernández de Portocarrero, Cardinal and Archbishop of Toledo.
Under the influence of the 'Austrians,' in 1690 Spain joined the Grand Alliance in the Nine Years' War with France. It declared bankruptcy again in 1692 and by 1696, France occupied most of Catalonia; Mariana retained power with the support of German auxiliaries under Maria Anna's brother Charles Philip, many of whom were expelled after Mariana's death.She died on 16 May 1696 at the Uceda Palace in Madrid, at the age of sixty-one; the cause is thought to have been breast cancer.
Mariana supported the 1668 mission led by Diego Luis de San Vitores and Saint Pedro Calungsod to convert the indigenous Chamorro people of Guam and the Mariana Islands to Christianity.
The Portrait of Mariana painted by Diego Velázquez was commissioned by Philip and is the only known full-length painting of her. The original is in the Prado Museum in Madrid; a copy was sent to her father Ferdinand and is held by the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
Several other portraits of her were made, including Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo's Queen Mariana of Spain in Mourning, 1666. She also appears as a detail in Velasquez' masterpiece Las Meninas which features her daughter Margaret Theresa.
Mariana of Austria is depicted as regent in a brief scene during the fourth episode of Juana Inés, a television mini-series centered around Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Mariana's increasingly famous and controversial subject in the colony of New Spain, produced by Canal Once.[ citation needed ]
|Ancestors of Mariana of Austria|
The House of Habsburg, also officially called the House of Austria, was one of the most influential and distinguished royal houses of Europe. The throne of the Holy Roman Empire was continuously occupied by the Habsburgs from 1438 until their extinction in the male line in 1740. The house also produced kings of Bohemia, Hungary, Croatia, Galicia, Portugal and Spain with their respective colonies, as well as rulers of several principalities in the Netherlands and Italy. From the 16th century, following the reign of Charles V, the dynasty was split between its Austrian and Spanish branches. Although they ruled distinct territories, they nevertheless maintained close relations and frequently intermarried.
Maximilian II, also known as Max Emanuel or Maximilian Emanuel, was a Wittelsbach ruler of Bavaria and a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire. He was also the last governor of the Spanish Netherlands and duke of Luxembourg. An able soldier, his ambition led to conflicts that limited his ultimate dynastic achievements.
Charles VI succeeded his elder brother, Joseph I, as Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia, King of Hungary and Croatia, Serbia and Archduke of Austria in 1711. He unsuccessfully claimed the throne of Spain following the death of his relative, Charles II. In 1708, he married Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, by whom he had his four children: Leopold Johann, Maria Theresa, Maria Anna, and Maria Amalia.
Charles II, also known as El Hechizado or the Bewitched, was the last Habsburg ruler of the Spanish Empire. He is now best remembered for his physical disabilities, and the war for his throne that followed his death.
Ferdinand IV was made and crowned King of Bohemia in 1646, King of Hungary and Croatia in 1647, and King of the Romans on 31 May 1653. He also served as Duke of Cieszyn.
Joseph Ferdinand Leopold of Bavaria was the son of Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria and his first wife, Maria Antonia of Austria, daughter of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, maternal granddaughter of King Philip IV of Spain.
The Treaty of London (1700) or Second Partition Treaty was the second of two attempts by France, Great Britain and the United Provinces, or Dutch Republic, to impose a diplomatic solution to the issues that resulted in the 1701-1714 War of the Spanish Succession.
Ferdinand Maria was a Wittelsbach ruler of Bavaria and an elector (Kurfürst) of the Holy Roman Empire from 1651 to 1679.
Margaret of Austria was Queen consort of Spain and Portugal by her marriage to King Philip III and II.
Fernando de Valenzuela, 1st Marquis of Villasierra, Grandee of Spain,, , who served as a trusted advisor and valido to Mariana of Austria, Queen Regent of Spain.
Maria Anna of Neuburg, was Queen of Spain from 1689 to 1700 as the second wife of Charles II, last Habsburg King of Spain.
Margaret Theresa of Spain was, by marriage to Leopold I, Holy Roman Empress, German Queen, Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary and Bohemia. She was the daughter of King Philip IV of Spain and the elder full-sister of Charles II, the last of the Spanish Habsburgs. She is the central figure in the famous Las Meninas by Diego Velázquez, and the subject of many of his later paintings.
InfantaMaria Anna of Spain was a Holy Roman Empress and Queen of Hungary and Bohemia by marriage to Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor. She acted as regent on several occasions during the absences of her spouse.
Maria Antonia of Austria was an Electress of Bavaria by marriage to Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria. She was the eldest daughter and only surviving child of Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I and his wife Margaret Theresa of Spain. She was the heir to the Spanish throne after her maternal uncle Charles II of Spain from 1673 until her death.
Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria was a member of the House of Habsburg who governed the Austrian Netherlands in the name of her elder sister, Empress Maria Theresa.
The 1698 Treaty of The Hague, also known as the 1698 Treaty of Den Haag or First Partition Treaty was the first of two attempts by France, Britain and the Dutch Republic to achieve a diplomatic solution to the issues that led to the 1701-1714 War of the Spanish Succession.
After the death of the last Habsburg monarch of Spain in 1700, the childless Charles II, the Spanish throne was up for grabs between the various dynasties of Europe despite Charles having left a will naming his heir. In this will, Charles left Philip, Duke of Anjou, grandson of the French king, the possessions of the Spanish Crown.
Juan Everardo Nithard was an Austrian priest of the Society of Jesus, confessor of Mariana of Austria, cardinal, and valido of Spain.
Portrait of Mariana of Austria is a 1652–53 oil-on-canvas painting by Diego Velázquez, the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age. Its subject, Dona Mariana, was the daughter of Emperor Ferdinand III and Maria Anna of Spain. She was nineteen years when the painting was completed. Although vivacious and fun loving in life, she is given an unhappy expression in Velázquez's portrait. The portrait is bathed in harmonious shades of black and red, and her face is heavily made up. Her right hand rests on the back of a chair, and she holds a lace handkerchief in her left hand. Her bodice is decorated with jewellery, including a gold necklace, bracelets and a large gold brooch. A clock rests on scarlet drapery behind her, signifying her status and discernment.
Mariana of AustriaBorn: 23 December 1634 Died: 16 May 1696
Title last held byElisabeth of France
| Queen consort of Spain |
7 October 1649 – 17 September 1665
Title next held byMarie Louise of Orléans