In the painting above, painted by Martin van Meytens, in 1754, Maria Theresa is sitting with her family and all her children. Maria Theresa was very close to her family, and was specifically devoted to her husband. She was married at the age of eighteen and had sixteen children with her husband over the course of their twenty-nine year marriage. Maria was the ruler of the Austria Empire, and she enacted some reforms during her reign, but in my opinion, her family life affected her reign severely.
The Austrian Empire had already been extremely weak, because of its composition of various nationalities and religious differences. Maria Theresa’s extreme devotion to her husband was proven by her reaction when he died. She said I hardly know myself now, for I have become like an animal with no true life or reasoning power” She even cut her hair, dressed in black, and had even went as far as painting her rooms black. Maria had also separated herself from theater, court, and public life all together. She also said had it not been for her being pregnant, she would’ve went into war herself, proving further that her family life was a setback.