Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor
Leopold II was Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary, Bohemia from 1790 to 1792, Archduke of Austria and Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1765 to 1790. He was the earliest opponent of capital punishment in modern history, he was a son of Emperor Francis I and his wife, Empress Maria Theresa, the brother of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France and Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor. Leopold was a moderate proponent of enlightened absolutism, he granted the Academy of Georgofili his protection. Leopold was born in Vienna, his parents' third son, was at first educated for the priesthood. In 1753, he was engaged to heiress to the Duchy of Modena; the marriage never materialised. On the death of his elder brother, Charles, in 1761, it was decided that Leopold should succeed to his father's Grand Duchy of Tuscany, erected into a "secundogeniture", or apanage, for a second son; this settlement was the condition of his marriage on 5 August 1764 with Infanta Maria Luisa of Spain, daughter of Charles III of Spain and Maria Amalia of Saxony.
On the death of his father, Francis I, he succeeded to the grand duchy. Leopold was famous in Florence for his numerous extra-marital affairs. For five years, Leopold exercised little more than nominal authority, under the supervision of counselors appointed by his mother. In 1770, he made a journey to Vienna to secure the removal of this vexatious guardianship and returned to Florence with a free hand. During the twenty years that elapsed between his return to Florence and the death of his eldest brother Joseph II in 1790, he was employed in reforming the administration of his small state; the reformation was carried out by the removal of the ruinous restrictions on industry and personal freedom imposed by his predecessors of the house of Medici and left untouched during his father's life, by the introduction of a rational system of taxation, by the execution of profitable public works, such as the drainage of the Val di Chiana. As Leopold had no army to maintain, as he suppressed the small naval force kept up by the Medici, the whole of his revenue was left free for the improvement of his state.
Leopold was never popular with his Italian subjects. His disposition was cold and retiring, his habits were simple to the verge of sordidness, though he could display splendour on occasion, he could not help offending those of his subjects who had profited by the abuses of the Medicean régime. But his steady and intelligent administration, which advanced step by step, brought the grand duchy to a high level of material prosperity, his ecclesiastical policy, which disturbed the rooted convictions of his people and brought him into collision with the Pope, was not successful. He was unable to secularize the property of the religious houses or to put the clergy under the control of the lay power. However, his abolition of capital punishment was the first permanent abolition in modern times. On 30 November 1786, after having de facto blocked capital executions, Leopold promulgated the reform of the penal code that abolished the death penalty and ordered the destruction of all the instruments for capital execution in his land.
Torture was banned. In line with the theories of the Age of Enlightenment, he enlarged La Specola with medical waxworks and other exhibits, aiming to educate Florentines in the empirical observation of natural laws. Leopold approved and collaborated on the development of a political constitution, said to have anticipated by many years the promulgation of the French constitution and which presented some similarities with the Virginia Bill of Rights of 1778. Leopold's concept of this was based on respect for the political rights of citizens and on a harmony of power between the executive and the legislative. However, it could not be put into effect because Leopold moved to Vienna to become emperor in 1790, because it was so radically new that it garnered opposition from those who might have benefited from it. Leopold supported many social and economic reforms. Smallpox inoculation was made systematically available, an early institution for the rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents was founded.
Leopold introduced radical reforms to the system of neglect and inhumane treatment of those deemed mentally ill. On 23 January 1774, the "legge sui pazzi" was established, the first of its kind to be introduced in all Europe, allowing steps to be taken to hospitalize individuals deemed insane. A few years Leopold undertook the project of building a new hospital, the Bonifacio Hospital, he used his skill at choosing collaborators to put a young physician, Vincenzo Chiarugi, at its head. Chiarugi and his collaborators introduced new humanitarian regulations in the running of the hospital and caring for the mentally ill patients, including banning the use of chains and physical punishment, in so doing have been recognized as early pioneers of what came to be known as the moral treatment movement. During the last few years of his rule in Tuscany, Leopold had begun to be frightened by the increasing disorders in the German and Hungarian dominions of his family, which were the direct result of his brother's strict methods.
He and Joseph II were tenderly attached to one another and met both before and after the death of their mother. The portrait by Pompeo Batoni in which they appear together shows that they bore a strong personal resemblance to one another, but it may be said of Leopold, as of Fontenelle. He knew that he had to succeed his childless eldest br
Tuscany is a region in central Italy with an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence. Tuscany is known for its landscapes, artistic legacy, its influence on high culture, it is regarded as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and has been home to many figures influential in the history of art and science, contains well-known museums such as the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace. Tuscany produces wines, including Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino. Having a strong linguistic and cultural identity, it is sometimes considered "a nation within a nation". Tuscany is a popular destination in Italy, the main tourist spots are Florence, Lucca, Versilia and Chianti; the village of Castiglione della Pescaia is the most visited seaside destination in the region, with seaside tourism accounting for 40% of tourist arrivals. Additionally, Lucca, the Chianti region and Val d'Orcia are internationally renowned and popular spots among travellers.
Seven Tuscan localities have been designated World Heritage Sites: the historic centre of Florence. Tuscany has over 120 protected nature reserves, making Tuscany and its capital Florence popular tourist destinations that attract millions of tourists every year. In 2012, the city of Florence was the world's 89th most visited city, with over 1.834 million arrivals. Triangular in shape, Tuscany borders the regions of Liguria to the northwest, Emilia-Romagna to the north, Marche to the northeast, Umbria to the east and Lazio to the southeast; the comune of Badia Tedalda, in the Tuscan Province of Arezzo, has an exclave named Ca' Raffaello within Emilia-Romagna. Tuscany has a western coastline on the Ligurian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea, among, the Tuscan Archipelago, of which the largest island is Elba. Tuscany has an area of 22,993 square kilometres. Surrounded and crossed by major mountain chains, with few plains, the region has a relief, dominated by hilly country used for agriculture. Hills make up nearly two-thirds of the region's total area, covering 15,292 square kilometres, mountains, a further 25%, or 5,770 square kilometres.
Plains occupy 8.4% of the total area—1,930 square kilometres —mostly around the valley of the Arno. Many of Tuscany's largest cities lie on the banks of the Arno, including the capital Florence and Pisa; the climate is mild in the coastal areas, is harsher and rainy in the interior, with considerable fluctuations in temperature between winter and summer, giving the region a soil-building active freeze-thaw cycle, in part accounting for the region's once having served as a key breadbasket of ancient Rome. The pre-Etruscan history of the area in the late Bronze and Iron Ages parallels that of the early Greeks; the Tuscan area was inhabited by peoples of the so-called Apennine culture in the late second millennium BC who had trading relationships with the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations in the Aegean Sea. Following this, the Villanovan culture saw Tuscany, the rest of Etruria, taken over by chiefdoms. City-states developed in the late Villanovan before "Orientalization" occurred and the Etruscan civilization rose.
The Etruscans created the first major civilization in this region, large enough to establish a transport infrastructure, to implement agriculture and mining and to produce vibrant art. The Etruscans lived in the area of Etruria well into prehistory; the civilization grew to fill the area between the Arno and Tiber from the eighth century BCE, reaching its peak during the seventh and sixth centuries B. C. succumbing to the Romans by the first century BCE. Throughout their existence, they lost territory to Magna Graecia and Celts. Despite being seen as distinct in its manners and customs by contemporary Greeks, the cultures of Greece, Rome, influenced the civilization to a great extent. One reason for its eventual demise was this increasing absorption by surrounding cultures, including the adoption of the Etruscan upper class by the Romans. Soon after absorbing Etruria, Rome established the cities of Lucca, Pisa and Florence, endowed the area with new technologies and development, ensured peace.
These developments included extensions of existing roads, introduction of aqueducts and sewers, the construction of many buildings, both public and private. However, many of these structures have been destroyed by erosion due to weather; the Roman civilization in the West of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire collapsed in the fifth century, the region fell to barbarians migrating through the Empire from Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the Goths was re-conquered by the revived Eastern Roman Empire under the strong Emperor Justinian. In the years following 572, the Lombards arrived and designated Lucca the capital of their subsequent Tuscia. Pilgrims travelling along the Via Francigena between Rome and France brought wealth and development during the medieval period; the food and shelter required by the
Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor
Joseph II was Holy Roman Emperor from August 1765 and sole ruler of the Habsburg lands from November 1780 until his death. He was the eldest son of Empress Maria Theresa and her husband, Emperor Francis I, the brother of Marie Antoinette, he was thus the first ruler in the Austrian dominions of the House of Lorraine, styled Habsburg-Lorraine. Joseph was a proponent of enlightened absolutism, he has been ranked, with Catherine the Great of Russia and Frederick the Great of Prussia, as one of the three great Enlightenment monarchs. His policies are now known as Josephinism, he died with no sons and was succeeded by his younger brother, Leopold II. Joseph was born in the midst of the early upheavals of the War of the Austrian Succession, his formal education was provided through the writings of Voltaire and the Encyclopédistes, by the example of his contemporary King Frederick II of Prussia. His practical training was conferred by government officials, who were directed to instruct him in the mechanical details of the administration of the numerous states composing the Austrian dominions and the Holy Roman Empire.
Joseph married Princess Isabella of Parma in October 1760, a union fashioned to bolster the 1756 defensive pact between France and Austria. Joseph loved his bride, finding her both stimulating and charming, she sought with special care to cultivate his favor and affection. Isabella found a best friend and confidant in her husband's sister, Maria Christina, Duchess of Teschen; the marriage of Joseph and Isabella resulted in the birth of Maria Theresa. Isabella was fearful of pregnancy and early death a result of the early loss of her mother, her own pregnancy proved difficult as she suffered symptoms of pain and melancholy both during and afterward, though Joseph attended to her and tried to comfort her. She remained bedridden for six weeks after their daughter's birth. On the back of their newfound parenthood, the couple endured two consecutive miscarriages—an ordeal hard on Isabella—followed by another pregnancy. Pregnancy was again provoking melancholy and dread in Isabella. In November 1763, while six months pregnant, Isabella fell ill with smallpox and went into premature labor, resulting in the birth of their second child, Archduchess Maria Christina, who died shortly after being born.
Progressively ill with smallpox and strained by sudden childbirth and tragedy, Isabella died the following week. The loss of his beloved wife and their newborn child was devastating for Joseph, after which he felt keenly reluctant to remarry, though he dearly loved his daughter and remained a devoted father to Maria Theresa. For political reasons, under constant pressure, in 1765, he relented and married his second cousin, Princess Maria Josepha of Bavaria, the daughter of Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor, Archduchess Maria Amalia of Austria; this marriage proved unhappy, albeit brief, as it lasted only two years. Though Maria Josepha loved her husband, she felt inferior in his company. Lacking common interests or pleasures, the relationship offered little for Joseph, who confessed he felt no love for her in return, he adapted by distancing himself from his wife to the point of near total avoidance, seeing her only at meals and upon retiring to bed. Maria Josepha, in turn, suffered considerable misery in finding herself locked in a cold, loveless union.
Four months after the second anniversary of their wedding, Maria Josepha grew ill and died from smallpox. Joseph neither visited her during her illness nor attended her funeral, though he expressed regret for not having shown her more kindness, respect, or warmth. One thing the union did provide him was the improved possibility of laying claim to a portion of Bavaria, though this would lead to the War of the Bavarian Succession. Joseph never remarried. In 1770, Joseph's only surviving child, the seven-year-old Maria Theresa, became ill with pleurisy and died; the loss of his daughter was traumatic for him and left him grief-stricken and scarred. Lacking children, Joseph II was succeeded by his younger brother, who became Leopold II. Joseph was made a member of the constituted council of state and began to draw up minutes for his mother to read; these papers contain the germs of his policy, of all the disasters that overtook him. He was a friend to religious toleration, anxious to reduce the power of the church, to relieve the peasantry of feudal burdens, to remove restrictions on trade and knowledge.
In these, he did not differ from Frederick, or his own brother and successor Leopold II, all enlightened rulers of the 18th century. He tried to liberate serfs. Where Joseph differed from great contemporary rulers, where he was akin to the Jacobins, was in the intensity of his belief in the power of the state when directed by reason; as an absolutist ruler, however, he was convinced of his right to speak for the state uncontrolled by laws, of the sensibility of his own rule. He had inherited from his mother the belief of the house of Austria in its "august" quality and its claim to acquire whatever it found desirable for its power or profit, he was unable to understand that his philosophical plans for the molding of humani
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was without interruption, held in conjunction with title of King of Germany throughout the 12th to 18th centuries. From an autocracy in Carolingian times the title by the 13th century evolved into an elected monarchy chosen by the prince-electors. Various royal houses of Europe, at different times, became de-facto hereditary holders of the title, notably the Ottonians and the Salians. Following the late medieval crisis of government, the Habsburgs kept possession of the title without interruption from 1440–1740; the final emperors were from the House of Lorraine, from 1765–1806. The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved after the defeat at Austerlitz by emperor Francis II, who continued to rule as Austrian emperor; the Holy Roman Emperor was perceived to rule by divine right, though he contradicted or rivaled the Pope, most notably during the Investiture controversy. In theory, the Holy Roman Emperor was primus inter pares among other Catholic monarchs.
In practice, a Holy Roman Emperor was only as strong as his army and alliances, including marriage alliances, made him. There was never a Holy Roman Empress regnant, though women such as Theophanu and Maria Theresa of Austria served as de facto Empresses regnant. Throughout its history, the position was viewed as a defender of the Roman Catholic faith; until the Reformation, the Emperor elect was required to be crowned by the Pope before assuming the imperial title. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor was the last to be crowned by the Pope in 1530. After the Reformation, the elected Emperor always was a Roman Catholic. There were short periods in history when the electoral college was dominated by Protestants, the electors voted in their own political interest. From the time of Constantine I, the Roman emperors had, with few exceptions, taken on a role as promoters and defenders of Christianity; the reign of Constantine established a precedent for the position of the Christian emperor in the Church.
Emperors considered themselves responsible to the gods for the spiritual health of their subjects, after Constantine they had a duty to help the Church define orthodoxy and maintain orthodoxy. The emperor's role was to enforce doctrine, root out heresy, uphold ecclesiastical unity. Both the title and connection between Emperor and Church continued in the Eastern Roman Empire throughout the medieval period; the ecumenical councils of the 5th to 8th centuries were convoked by the Eastern Roman Emperors. In Western Europe, the title of Emperor became defunct after the death of Julius Nepos in 480, although the rulers of the barbarian kingdoms continued to recognize the Eastern Emperor at least nominally well into the 6th century. From the western perspective, the interregnum in the Roman Empire spanned the 8th centuries; the title of Emperor was revived in 800, when Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III. The title of Emperor in the West implied recognition by the pope; as the power of the papacy grew during the Middle Ages and emperors came into conflict over church administration.
The best-known and most bitter conflict was that known as the investiture controversy, fought during the 11th century between Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII. After the coronation of Charlemagne, his successors maintained the title until the death of Berengar I of Italy in 924; the comparatively brief interregnum between 924 and the coronation of Otto the Great in 962 is taken as marking the transition from the Frankish Empire to the Holy Roman Empire. Under the Ottonians, much of the former Carolingian kingdom of Eastern Francia fell within the boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire. Since 911, the various German princes had elected the King of the Germans from among their peers; the King of the Germans would be crowned as emperor following the precedent set by Charlemagne, during the period of 962–1530. Charles V was the last emperor to be crowned by the pope, his successor, Ferdinand I adopted the title of "Emperor elect" in 1558; the final Holy Roman Emperor-elect, Francis II, abdicated in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars that saw the Empire's final dissolution.
The term sacrum in connection with the German Roman Empire was first used in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa. The standard designation of the Holy Roman Emperor was "August Emperor of the Romans"; when Charlemagne was crowned in 800, he was styled as "most serene Augustus, crowned by God and pacific emperor, governing the Roman Empire," thus constituting the elements of "Holy" and "Roman" in the imperial title. The word Roman was a reflection of the principle of translatio imperii that regarded the Holy Roman Emperors as the inheritors of the title of Emperor of the Western Roman Empire, despite the continued existence of the Eastern Roman Empire. In German-language historiography, the term Römisch-deutscher Kaiser is used to distinguish the title from that of Roman Emperor on one hand, that of German Emperor on the other; the English term "Holy Roman Emperor" is a modern shorthand for "emperor of the Holy Roman Empire" not corresponding to the historical style or title, i.e. the adjective "holy" is not intended as modifying "emperor".
Gian Gastone de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Gian Gastone de' Medici was the seventh and last Medicean Grand Duke of Tuscany. He was the second son of Grand Duke Cosimo Marguerite Louise d'Orléans, his sister, Electress Palatine Anna Maria Luisa, arranged his marriage to the wealthy and widowed Anna Maria Franziska of Saxe-Lauenburg in 1697. The couple had no children; as Grand Prince Ferdinando, Gian Gastone's elder brother, predeceased Cosimo III, Gian Gastone succeeded his father in 1723. His reign was marked by the reversal of his predecessor's conservative policy; the Medici were wanting in male heirs. However, Great Britain and the Dutch Republic disregarded Cosimo's plan and appointed Charles of Spain—whose mother, Elisabeth Farnese, was a great-granddaughter of Margherita de' Medici—Gian Gastone's heir. Charles transferred his claim to Francis Stephen of Lorraine pursuant to a preliminary peace, finalized in 1738. Francis Stephen duly succeeded at Gian Gastone's demise, on 9 July 1737, ending 300 years of Medici rule over Florence.
For the latter part of his reign, Gian Gastone chose to remain confined in his bed, tended by his entourage, the Ruspanti. On 24 May 1671, the first anniversary of his grandfather Ferdinando II's death, Giovanni Battista Gastone de' Medici was born in Florence to Grand Duke Cosimo III and Marguerite Louise d'Orléans, he derived his baptismal name, Giovanni Battista Gastone, from his maternal grandfather, Duke of Orléans. Cosimo and Marguerite Louise quarreled; as a result, four years after his birth, Marguerite Louise returned home to France. Gian Gastone and his siblings were left in the care of their grandmother Vittoria della Rovere. Gian Gastone was tutored by Cardinal Henry Noris; the Tuscan prince was an avid intellectual, being an antiquarian, a botanist and an amateur scientist. In addition, he could speak English, among other languages. However, it was these traits that earned Gian Gastone the disdain of his father and of his elder brother, Grand Prince Ferdinando. Cosimo III considered compelling Gian Gastone to become a cardinal.
In order to rally Gian Gastone to its cause, concerned that another Medicean cardinal—Gian Gastone's uncle, Francesco Maria de' Medici, Duke of Rovere and Montefeltro enjoyed that dignity—would tip the scales in favour of France at a Papal conclave, offered to create him "General of the Spanish Seas". Peter II of Portugal, had other things in mind for him: he wanted Gian Gastone to marry his only daughter, Isabel Luísa, Princess of Beira. To marry her, Gian Gastone would have to convince his father to allot him an allowance of "adequate stature". However, the Grand Duke refused and neither the cardinalate nor the Portuguese marriage materialised. Out of sympathy, Gian Gastone befriended his unhappy sister-in-law, Duchess Violante Beatrice of Bavaria, her husband, Grand Prince Ferdinando, thought her too dull for him. At the same time, Gian Gastone sank into a state of melancholy. In an attempt to rouse him from this condition, Cardinal Francesco Maria summoned Gian Gastone to festivities at his villa, Lappeggi.
However, these soirées had no effect and Gian Gastone continued to weep unceasingly in his private rooms. By 1697, Violante Beatrice and Ferdinando had been married for eight years and still lacked issue, as did Gian Gastone's sister, the Electress Palatine. Concerned for the future of the dynasty, Cosimo urged the Electress to find Gian Gastone—currently the only one of his siblings unmarried—a suitable bride, she put forward Anna Maria Franziska, her brother-in-law's widow and potential heiress of the Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg. The bride-to-be was hailed as "more like a Bohemian peasant than a princess" by a contemporary, they were married in Düsseldorf, the capital of the Electorate of the Palatinate, by the Bishop of Osnabrück on 2 July 1697. As she did not like cities or courts, Anna Maria Franziska demanded they establish themselves in her Bohemian residences, Ploskovice Castle and Reichstadt, post-haste. Gian Gastone found life in the little village intolerable. Anna Maria Franziska was unpredictable and prone to outbursts of rage, she held "conversations in the stables " and would rather have remained a widow than have been married again.
The lack of intellectual society there and his wife's hostility towards him drove Gian Gastone into the arms of alcohol. Gian Gastone, unable to rein in his disgust, abandoned Anna Maria Franziska for Paris after one year in Reichstadt; when he arrived there, an enraged Cosimo, who had explicitly told his son not to leave Anna Maria Franziksa without his prior consent, ordered him back to Reichstadt. Anna Maria Franziska made an effort to welcome him back. Thus, he went to Prague alone but for Giuliano Dami. Gian Gastone's once acclaimed complexion and weight were ruined by the course of dissipation he pursued in Prague, becoming blotchy and bloated respectively. Dami acted as a pimp for the Prince; the Prince gambled, racking up exorbitant debts, losing, on one occasion, 150,000 crowns. His ruinous behaviour was relayed to Florence by the Electress Palatine. Gian Gastone replied to Cosimo's ensuing admonishments with an account of his married life, blam
Martin van Meytens
Martin van Meytens was a Dutch-Swedish painter who painted members of the Royal Court of Austria such as Marie Antoinette, Maria Theresa of Austria, Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, the Emperor's family and members of the local aristocracy. His painting style inspired many other painters to paint in a similar format. Martin van Meytens was born and baptised in Stockholm, son of the painter Martin Meytens the Elder, who had moved around 1677 from The Hague to Sweden, he went early in his career on an extended study trip. He visited London and Vienna he lived and worked for a long time in Italy. At the beginning he painted little enamel miniature portraits, he changed to oil painting only around 1730, having settled in Vienna. Here he became popular as a portrait painter in the circles of the court and the aristocracy. In 1732 he became a court painter, in 1759 the director of the Viennese Academy of Fine Arts. Franz Xaver Messerschmidt was his protégé. Meytens was one of the most significant Austrian painters of representative Baroque courtly portrait, through his pupils and followers his influence remained alive and widespread for a long time throughout the whole Empire.
His personal virtues, varied interests and pleasant manners were appreciated by his contemporaries. The Wedding Supper depicts the wedding of Princess Isabella of Parma and Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor, 5 October 1760, at Hofburg Palace's Redoutensaele; the moment depicted is when the dessert is served, in the middle of the table is a garden made by sugar crust. Among his pupils was Giovanni Gabriele Cantone. Ca. 1731. Grill, 1750–1755. Familie,. Media related to Martin van Meytens at Wikimedia Commons