Maybe it sounded a bit greedy that Mary of Burgundy demanded a golden wedding ring with a diamond of Maximilian I before even meeting her future husband in person, but she probably did the right thing considering the wedding gift he presented to his second wife Bianca Maria Sforza.
At first the idea sounds quite lovely. He renovated a building in Innsbruck so that they would have a royal box from which they could enjoy festivals, tournaments and other festivities. The most important improvement he made to the building was that he had the 2,738 copper tiles on the roof fire-gilded.
He added many different heraldry weapons but that’s fine, because at least he added his second wife’s family weapon as well.
They were all weapons that had to do with Maximilian I except for the last one the snake eating a child that was the family weapon of the Sforza family that Bianca Maria belonged to.
What made it the worst wedding gift was the relief in the middle at the balcony.
Those 6 reliefs in front of the fresco. 4 of them are just Moorish dancers engaged in acrobatic dancing which was all the rage at the time.
But its the other ones that are bad. Real bad. can you see what is wrong in this picture?
The right one is a relief of Maximilian with his court jester and and his chancellor. The left relief shows Maximilian I with Bianca Maria Sforza offering him an apple but next to her stands his beloved dead wife Mary of Burgundy!
He probably didn’t want to offend her family and allies but still that is no way to start a marriage. The marriage wasn’t happy either. Not very surprising considering that Bianca Maria always had to compete with his dead wife.
Maximilian I admitted for example that Bianca Maria was prettier than his wife had been, “but she wasn’t as wise”. He also called her her too uneducated, talkative, naive, wasteful with money, and careless. She was very nice to her bonus children Philip the handsome and Margaret of Austria but their father even complained about that. He felt like she forgot her dignity by sitting on the floor to play with his kids.
He did try to get kids with her but she didn’t bore him any living children even though she got pregnant a couple of times. In 1500 just 7 years after the wedding Maximilian lost all interest in her. She lived with her Milanese court people in several castles in Tirol but he left her behind on several occasions as a security several times when he couldn’t pay for his rooms on trips. They never had children together. It is in particularly sad because Bianca had already been in an unfortunate marriage before when she was married off before she was 2 years old and became a widow at age 10.
Buona sera amici miei, Hilde