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maria 2nd

MARIA II OF PORTUGAL & her son LUIS I—House of Braganza

This portrait of Maria is now titled “Portrait of a Brazilian woman”

It was painted circa 1850...


Maria II, “the Educator" or "the Good Mother” reigned as Queen of Portugal from 1826 to 1828, and again from 1834 to 1853...

Born in Rio de Janeiro, she was the first child of Emperor Pedro I of Brazil and of his first wife, Empress Maria Leopoldina, and thus a member of the House of Braganza...

Born in Brazil, Maria was the only European monarch to have been born outside of Europe, though she was still born in Portuguese territory...


Maria's reign saw a revolutionary insurrection on May 16, 1846, but this was crushed by royalist troops on February 22, 1847, and Portugal otherwise avoided the European Revolution of 1848...

Maria's reign was also notable for a public health act aimed at curbing the spread of cholera throughout the country...

She also pursued policies aimed at raising the levels of education throughout the country...

The portrait of Luis was painted by João António Correia in 1869...

João António Correia was a Portuguese painter and art professor that received several commissions from Luis I in the late 19th century...

Luís I was a member of the ruling House of Braganza, and King of Portugal from 1861 to 1889...

The Most Serene House of Braganza is a dynasty of emperors, kings, princes, and dukes of Portuguese origin...

The second son of Maria II and Ferdinand II, he acceded to the throne upon the death of his brother Pedro V...

Luís was a cultured man who wrote vernacular poetry, but had no distinguishing gifts in the political field into which he was thrust by the deaths of his brothers Pedro V and Fernando in 1861...

Despite a flirtation with the Spanish succession prior to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, Luís's reign was otherwise one of domestic stagnation as Portugal fell ever further behind the nations of western Europe in terms of public education, political stability, technological progress and economic prosperity...

Luís was mostly a man of the sciences, with a passion for oceanography...

He invested a large portion of his fortune in funding research boats to collect specimens in the oceans of the world, and was responsible for the establishment of one of the world's first aquariums, the Aquário Vasco da Gama in Lisbon, which is still open to the public with its vast collection of maritime life forms, including a 10 meter long squid..

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