This room is characterized by a number of personal objects and memories belonging to Maria Luigia, which better define the complexity of her private life.
An interesting gallery of family members includes portraits of her father, Emperor Francis I, of other Hapsbourg relatives, of Marie Louise herself and of her son, the King of Rome, later known as the Duke of Reichstadt.
Along with these best known characters, other portraits tell a more private history: soon after the exile of Napoleon, whom she never met again, Marie Louise started a long term relationship with General Adam Albrecht Neipperg, and gave birth to Albertina and Guglielmo, who were given the title of Counts of Montenuovo. Maria Luigia would marry Neipperg only after Bonaparte’s death in 1821, but was again left a widow in 1829. After years of sorrow, in 1834 she married Count Charles René de Bombelles, administrator of the States of Parma. Her daughter Albertina wed Count Luigi Sanvitale (first mayor of Parma after the Unification of Italy); portraits and busts of Neipperg and Sanvitale members (including Marie Louise’s beloved grandchildren), of her ladies-waiting, doctors and Court employees complete the overview on the people who shared the Duchess’ everyday life.
Most of the paintings are watercolours, rather small in size and lacking official austerity, according to Marie Louise’s bourgeois taste; some of them used to hang in the Duchess’ bedroom, whereas the neat boat-shaped bed is one of the few pieces of furniture from her palace which has been preserved from destruction.
The room also hosts precious textiles, important examples of the refined taste of the early 19th century: a valuable silk shawl presented by the Emperor of China in 1810 to acknowledge her marriage to Napoleon; a table cover embroidered by Maria Luigia herself, the striking dress belonging to the Duchess and later adapted to fit her daughter Albertina, still showing its silver decoration and rare lace.