Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"The Empress kissed me"


Perhaps the story of the childhood meeting of Mozart with Marie-Antoinette and her family is partly apocryphal, but it has some elements worth reflecting upon. In the picture above, the little Archduchess Maria Antonia is leaning against her mother Empress Maria Theresa as the young prodigy is introduced. It is said that Mozart slipped and fell at one point; when Antonia ran forward to help him get up, he asked her to marry him. Mozart then ensconced himself upon the Empress' lap, and Maria Theresa kissed him. According to Mozart biographer Otto Jahn:
He was particularly proud of the Empress's notice. When they were encouraging him to play at a small German court, where there were to be some persons of high rank, he answered that he had played before the Empress, and was not at all afraid.
 Later, when the boy Mozart was taken to Versailles, he tried to kiss Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of Louis XV, but La Pompadour pushed him away. He asked, "Who is this that does not want to kiss me ?—the Empress kissed me." The French royal family were much more welcoming than the courtesan, however. Queen Marie fed Mozart with her own hands, speaking to him in German, while her daughters kissed him and visited with his family in the royal apartments. He was obviously a very engaging little boy, to everyone but Madame de Pompadour, that is. Share

7 comments:

Ms. Lucy said...

That's so interesting! I never knew that he was that engaging as a child. Thanks:)

Matterhorn said...

Very charming post, thank you.

(I tried posting this comment earlier but something didn't seem to be working - so I hope this isn't the second or third time it appears)

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Awww! What a cute kid! =)

You'd think a courtesan would be less stuffy.

elena maria vidal said...

You'd think...she obviously did not like children.

Margaret said...

Mozart's boyhood charm described here reminds me of the movie Vitus. It is a wonderful foreign film. I won't spoil it by saying much else!

Violet said...

I hate how everyone threat Madame de Pompadour. She loved her daughter very much, she didn`t push Mozart away, she stepped back. People threat Madame de Pompadour the same way people threated Marie Antoinette before, think of it...!

Violet said...

Sorry if i was harsh, i really love your blog:)