Isabella of Parma
* 1741, † 1763

Highly educated and musical, Isabella of Parma grew up in Spain and Parma. She entered a politically arranged marriage with Joseph II in 1760. The wedding festivities were recorded in a cycle of paintings by the studio of the court painter Martin van Meytens. While Joseph was very fond of his wife, Isabella probably had a lesbian relationship with his sister, Marie Christine. Ill at ease in her role as empress, she was prey to presentiments of death and eventually died of smallpox at a young age.

 

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