Saturday, October 3, 2015

Biography - Queen Juana I of Spain 1479-1555 a little unstable?

1500 Juan de Flandes (1460-1519) Joan the Mad

Joanna (1479–1555), nicknamed Juana la Loca, was the 1st queen regnant to reign over both the Crown of Castile (1504–55) & the Crown of Aragon (1516–55), a union which evolved into modern Spain. Besides the kingdoms of Spain, she also ruled the kingdoms of Sardinia, Sicily, & Naples in Italy; a vast colonial empire in the Americas; & was Countess of Burgundy & the consort of the Burgundian Netherlands.

Joanna with her parents, Isabella and Ferdinand in Rimado de la conquista de Granada by Pedro Marcuello, c. 1482.

She was the last monarch of the House of Trastámara & her marriage to Philip the Handsome initiated the rule of the Habsburgs in Spain. She succeeded her mother, Isabel I in 1505, & father Fernando in 1516.  Her father had nominated her as heir of all his possessions with her son as regent, because of her assumed mental instability, which is why she was known as Juana la Loca. 

Joanna around the time of her marriage, c. 1496

Some recent scholarship has attempted to separate Joanna's image from the appellation of "the Mad," seeking to demonstrate that she was the victim of the political ambitions of both her father and husband. She was known to be intelligent & educated. It was only after her marriage that accusations of mental instability began, perhaps because of her sympathy with Martin Luther's ideas. 

Joanna and her husband with their Spanish subjects

Despite her exclusion from power, Joanna remained the queen of Castile, reigning jointly after 1516 with her son Charles I, who became Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire.  Her husband Felipe I was king & regent 1504-06, & her son, Charles (or Carlos) I (& V of the Holy Roman Empire) became king in 1516.

This portrait of Joanna was done in Flanders, ca 1500 Detail from a wing of the Last Judgement Triptych of Zierikzee, by the Master of Afflighem

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