Infanta María Josefa of Spain

María Josefa Carmela of Spain (6 July 1744 – 8 December 1801) was a Princess of Naples and Sicily by birth. At the accession of her father to the Spanish throne as Charles III, she became an Infanta of Spain. Born and raised in Naples, she arrived in Spain with her family in October 1759, at age fifteen. She lived at the court of her father and later with her brother Charles IV of Spain. She remained unmarried.

María Josefa of Spain
Infanta of Spain
Mengs - Infanta Maria Josefa.jpg
Portrait by Anton Raphael Mengs.
Born(1744-07-06)6 July 1744
Gaeta, Kingdom of Naples
Died8 December 1801(1801-12-08) (aged 57)
Royal Palace of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Spanish: Maria Josefa Carmela de Borbón y Sajonia
FatherCharles III of Spain
MotherMaria Amalia of Saxony
ReligionRoman Catholicism


Infanta María Josefa (1800) by Goya, preliminary sketch for the group portrait of The Family of Charles IV

Princess María Josefa of Naples and Sicily was born in Gaeta, Naples. She received the name of her maternal grandmother, Maria Josepha of Austria. Her father had been King of Naples and Sicily as part of a personal union since 1734. Her parents married in 1738 and Maria Josefa was their first daughter to survive over the age of 5. Her parents' fourth child, at the time of her birth she had an older sister María Isabel Ana (1743–1749).

Her younger sister Infanta María Luisa was chosen over María Josefa (1764) to marry the then Grand Duke of Tuscany, son of Maria Theresa.

As a princess of Naples and Sicily, she was an Infanta of Spain through her father. This entitled Maria Josefa to the style of Royal Highness. Her parents were a devoted couple; her mother Maria Amalia of Saxony died barely a year after the family's arrival to Spain. Her father himself died in 1788. Afterwards, Maria Josefa lived at a court dominated by her sister-in-law, Maria Luisa of Parma, a granddaughter of Louis XV of France with whom she did not get along.[citation needed]

Maria Josefa was a candidate for marrying the widower Louis XV, his wife Marie Leszczyńska dying in 1768 when Maria Josefa was just 24. Louis rejected the idea being offended at her young age.[citation needed] Maria Josefa remained unmarried. After the death of her father, she continued living in the Royal Palace with her brother Charles IV.[1] She supported the Carmelitas nuns, in whose convent of Saint Teresa she arranged to be buried.[1]

She died at the Royal Palace of Madrid aged 57, before her brother Charles IV lost the throne and was exiled in 1808. In 1877 her body was transferred to El Escorial.[1]

Arms of Infanta María Josefa of Spain.



  1. ^ a b c Mississippi Commission, The Majesty of Spain, p. 72
  2. ^ Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. p. 9.


  • Mississippi Commission for International Cultural Exchange. The Majesty of Spain: Royal Collections from The Museo del Prado & The Patrimonio Nacional. Mississippi Commission for International Cultural Exchange Inc, 2001.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Infanta Maria Josefa of Spain at Wikimedia Commons