Betty von Rothschild, Baronne de Rothschild (15 June 1805 – 1 September 1886) was a noted salonnière, patron of the arts and philanthropist.

Portrait of Baronne de Rothschild by Ingres, 1848

Life edit

Betty von Rothschild was born in Frankfurt to the Jewish Austrian banker Salomon Mayer von Rothschild and Caroline Stern. Her only sibling was her brother Anselm Salomon von Rothschild. In 1824 at the age of 19 Betty married her uncle, the Paris-based banker James Mayer de Rothschild (1792-1868). Both Salomon and James were sons of Mayer Amschel Rothschild, the founder of the Rothschild dynasty.[1][2]

In Paris she was noted for her salon and for her patronage of the arts. She secured the services of Frédéric Chopin as piano teacher to her family soon after his arrival in Paris,[3] and she commissioned a portrait from Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres in 1841, although it was not completed until 1848. In 1842 the artist wrote to a friend: "Tuesday, I have a definite sitting with Mme. de Rothschild, which came at the price of a dozen puerile and sincere letters. Long live portraits! may God damn them…!"[4] She also became a friend of Marie-Amélie, the wife of King Louis-Philippe.[1] Others who frequented her salon in Rue Laffitte in the 9th arrondissement of Paris included Heinrich Heine, Honoré de Balzac, Gioacchino Rossini and the Goncourt brothers. From the 1850s she and James spent time at the Château de Ferrières outside Paris, which James commissioned from Joseph Paxton, where spectacular entertainments, including the choir of the Paris Opéra conducted by Rossini, were frequently arranged.[5]

Unlike her husband, she maintained Jewish traditions in the household: James is reported as saying "Pour le judaïsme, voyez ma femme (When it comes to Judaism, refer to my wife)."[5] Betty had five children by James:

After the death of James de Rothschild in 1868, she spent several months each year in Cannes. in 1881 she purchased and rebuilt the Villa Marie-Thèrese[7] in Cannes. She died in the Château de Boulogne in 1886, and is buried in Père-Lachaise cemetery.[1][8]

Her son Edmond, who was an ardent Zionist, founded in 1889 the settlement in Ottoman Palestine (now Israel) of Bat Shlomo (Hebrew: בָּת שְׁלֹמֹה, lit. Solomon's Daughter) , named in her memory .[9]

Philanthropy edit

Betty de Rothschild worked with her husband to found the Rothschild Hospital, Paris, opened in 1852, originally to serve the Jewish community. Other activities included the provision of social housing, orphanages, assistance to those suffering from tuberculosis, and the development of the Assistance Publique. She also supported similar initiatives in Cannes.[8][10]

See also edit

References edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ a b c "Betty von Rothschild (1805-1886)". The Rothschild Archive. Rothschild Research Forum. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Genealogy 3:2". The Rothschild Archive. Rothschild Research Forum. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  3. ^ Conway (2012), p. 208
  4. ^ Tinterow (1999), p. 416
  5. ^ a b Robert, Françoise (2020). "Betty de Rothschild 1805-1886". 9e Histoire (in French). Association 9ème Histoire. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  6. ^ "Genealogy 3:15". The Rothschild Archive. Rothschild Research Forum. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b "Cannes : les VMF 06 en visite chez Betty de Rothschild et Lord Brougham" (PDF). VMF (in French). VMF Patrimoine. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  9. ^ Steinberg, Jessica (27 July 2012). "After a century, Baron Rothschild's Bat Shlomo vineyards are flourishing again". Times of Israel. Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  10. ^ "L'hôpital Rothschild hier". (in French). Retrieved 2 December 2020.

Sources edit

  • Conway, David (2012). Jewry in Music: Entry to the Profession from the Enlightenment to Richard Wagner. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1107-01538-8
  • Tinterow, Gary; Conisbee, Philip; Naef, Hans. (1999) Portraits by Ingres: Image of an Epoch. New York: Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 0-8109-6536-4