Friday, October 1, 2010

Situating Charlotte: Reading Politics in Portraits of Belgian Princess Charlotte, Vicereine of Lombardy-Venetia, Empress of Mexico


By a stroke of luck, I just found this PhD dissertation, by Linda MacNayr of Queen's University, on the artistic portrayals of Empress Carlota. I have only had a chance to glance through it briefly, but it looks fascinating. The illustrations are beautiful. You can download the thesis in PDF format HERE. 

6 comments:

BelgieRoyalist said...

From what I have heard Mexico would have been better off if Charlotte had ruled the country and let Maximilian chase bugs. She had a more realistic view of things and fierce in working for success.

Matterhorn said...

That could be true. I actually think there are a number of similar cases among rulers in crisis situations, where the wife was more dynamic, more energetic and more "with it" than her husband. (Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, Marie-José and Umberto II, as well as Maximilian and Carlota).

MadMonarchist said...

Some very interesting information there and some that was news to me. I may be showing my ignorance but I had no idea that Leopold I had offered to abdicate. Thank God he was taken up on the offer or there would have been an awful mess.

As to Carlota and Maximilian, she was always adamant that Max was her superior in every way, she was gushing about what a great and lofty man he was. That being said, others in Mexico also said that if you wanted to get things done you went to the Empress rather than the Emperor.

Matterhorn said...

It is indeed an extraordinary story about Leopold...

I'm sure Carlota did think Max was her superior in every way. Yet, I still get the impression she had more practical 'drive'.

MadMonarchist said...

Very true, her protestations were, I think, simply a reflection of her admiration and devotion to her husband rather than a realistic appraisal. Everyone else seemed to be of the opinion that she was the more practical, driven 'get things done' woman while Max was more the idealistic dreamer who tended to shut out any unpleasant realities.

Matterhorn said...

Loyalty and devotion were also qualities common to all the royal/imperial consorts I mentioned...