Almost everyone is familiar with the appearance of a little girl from the immortal paintings of Diego Velazquez - Infanta Margarita Teresa, from a young age doomed to become the wife of her mother's brother. And, since Margaret lived in Spain, and Leopold in Vienna, almost every year the groom was sent to the court of the groom according to the portrait of the Infanta so that he could watch how his bride was growing up. Therefore, in childhood, the little Muse Velazquez had to pose for a famous artist so often that in the end she left a much brighter trace in world painting than in politics. However, the fate of the blonde princess, forever frozen in the many portraits of the famous Spanish painter, was very sad.
Margarita Teresa was born in 1651 in Madrid in the family of the Spanish king Philip IV and Marianne of Austria, a princess from the Imperial branch of the Habsburg family. The parents of the Infanta were close relatives to each other - an uncle and a niece. In addition, Philip was almost thirty years older than his young wife. Having been married for 12 years, Marianne was finally able to give birth to her first living child.
Infanta Margaret Teresa, almost from the very birth, began to prepare as a wife for the future emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Leopold I. In a word, another kindred marriage union was prepared between representatives of the Habsburg family, which was supposed to strengthen the positions of Spain and the Roman Empire in relation to the French kingdom.
The betrothed of the Infanta Margarita was 11 years older than her and was her maternal uncle and paternal cousin. The Habsburgs welcomed intra-family marriages, which from the point of view of genetics was an egregious fact, leading to the birth of dead or unhealthy children. In a word, constant closely related marriages completely ruined the gene pool of the clan, but no one paid attention to this at that time.
And be that as it may, thanks to the family marriage contract, after centuries, we can admire the portraits of the Infanta, which were written annually and sent to her groom, her mother's brother, the future Emperor Leopold I. A kind of "photo reports" testified to how the bride was growing up.
At that time, at the court of Philip IV, fortunately, the brilliant portrait painter Diego Velazquez worked, who, with such trepidation and love, portrayed a little angel, very cute and cheerful. Parents and loved ones called her so - an angel, and the king in letters - "my joy". The future queen was brought up according to all the rules of palace etiquette and was given an excellent education.
A chic dress of heavy brocade, embroidered with gold and silver, like armor, fettered a fragile child's body. Delicate blond hair, and the lively shine of her eyes are the hallmark of all Velazquez's portraits.
When Velazquez painted the first portrait of Margarita, he was 54 years old, and the girl was two. The artist seems to admire the little one and with trepidation betrays short soft hairs and round children's cheeks on the canvas. The little girl is still so small that she is dressed in a dress without a crinoline, but richly trimmed. In those days, both girls and boys walked in such.
In order to alleviate the fate of a small model during a long posing, the painter allowed the girl to lean on the table with her hand, and in the second she took a fan - "just like an adult." The facial expression speaks of the discontent and indignation of the child, cut off from his usual games and fun, and also set in an uncomfortable position for a long time. The result is a portrait that is both ceremonial and surprisingly alive, which is very typical for all the images of Margarita by Velazquez.
A couple of years later, Velazquez will again paint a portrait of the Infanta, looking at which we experience all the same emotion and delight. The pose will remain the same as in the first portrait, but the dress will become heavier with the crinoline, but in the eyes of the ruddy girl - already doom. For some reason, it seems that the little model is about to cry.
At the age of six, Margarita poses as an adult - without props. Curls of golden hair, tight bodice, hands gracefully touch the skirt. And not a face - interest.
Infanta Margarita in a chic heavy velvet dress, blue, which is reflected in her eyes. Therefore, she seems to be a blue-eyed blonde, whose eyes are studying the artist with curiosity. The heavy robe pulls the girl to the floor, "but she does her best to maintain a solemn expression on her face. And yet the artist does not forget that he is painting at least a royal, but a child: round cheeks are completely childish, and sparks of dignity are reflected in large eyes." Many art critics believe that in this portrait, the charm of the young Infanta reached its climax. Later, having matured, Margarita will acquire the features of the Habsburg family: angular face, bulging of the lower lip and protruding chin.
And here is 9-year-old Margarita - in pink. The crinoline of her dress is becoming more and more immense, her hair is becoming more magnificent, and her look is becoming dimmer. Diego Velazquez will soon die. This is the last portrait of Margarita by his brush.
In the future, portraits of the Infanta will be painted by other artists of the Spanish court. Francisco Ignacio Ruiz de la Iglesia will paint the princess as an adorable young girl. In his portrait, Margarita's features have become a little sharper, the figure is more sophisticated, and there is emptiness in her eyes.
The hair of the Infanta is brown, the accent of the face is shifted to the lower part with a heavy chin, the expression on her face is displeased. Apparently, the artist's love for the model is an integral condition of the master for painting portraits, which was fully inherent only in Velazquez's portraits.
At fourteen, the Infanta will be written by Gerard du Chateau, presenting the viewer with a completely different face: dark, dull, bulging eyes (she really suffered from a thyroid disease), full lips and a heavy chin pushed forward. In addition, the shapes of the nose and skull are very strange. This prompts many to think that Velazquez in his works embellished the Infanta, which is called "smoothing the corners." Who knows to what extent the canvases of that era corresponded to the appearance of the portrayed.
Here we see the Infanta in mourning on the occasion of the death in 1665 of her father Philip IV. But already next year a happy event awaited the young girl: she got married. For the official wedding procedure in 1666, Margarita left Madrid for Vienna, accompanied by her retinue. She was then fifteen, and the groom was twenty-six.
Jan Thomas created a pair portrait of the emperor and the young empress. Margarita and her husband are dressed in bright masquerade costumes, and what is clearly striking is the joy and happiness of their faces.
The celebrations that took place on the occasion of the wedding of Leopold I and Margaret Teresa went down in history as one of the most spectacular and pompous in that era and lasted more than a year. If only the happiness and well-being of the family depended on their scale, then Leopold and Margarita would have had enough of them until the end of their days. However, family happiness, alas, turned out to be fleeting, and the life of the lovely Infanta was short …
Although numerous eyewitnesses assured that it was a happy marriage. The couple had many common interests, they were united not only by family ties, but also by love for art and music. Looking closely at the portraits of the uncle and niece, we see the family signs of the Habsburg dynasty. Although Margarita was very, very pretty.
As a rule, fertility and the survival of offspring in related marriages are a big problem. The first heir, Margarita, having given birth in 1667, was buried afterwards. For six years of marriage, Margarita Teresa gave birth to four children, three of whom died in infancy. Only her daughter, Maria Antonia, survived.
Almost annual pregnancies have completely undermined the health of the young woman. In addition, brought up at the royal court in Madrid, the Infanta, having become an empress, remained a hot Spaniard. She never learned German. The arrogant arrogance of her entourage led to anti-Spanish sentiment among the imperial court.
The emperor's subjects did not hide the hope that the sick empress would soon die and Leopold I would be able to marry a second time. This unbearable situation was very depressing for Margarita. She died very young - at the age of 21, leaving behind a picturesque image for centuries.
And in continuation of the topic more 11 intriguing and unexpected facts about the world's most famous paintings.