Let Your Light Shine
Maria Luisa was responsible for numerous public works and the foundation of cultural institutions. She established the astronomical observatory in Marlia, designed by the architect Lorenzo Nottolini with the help of Jean-Louis Pons. She revived agriculture and supported the efforts of producers. Lucca became a centre of excellence: a modernised system of education which also gave birth to the prestigious University of the Real Liceo. In the health field, controls and vaccinations were made compulsory. She declared war on smallpox and typhus. The long period of peace, the increase of agricultural production and trade improved the economy of the small duchy. In this image there is an explicit reference to the duality of Maria Luisa and Elisa Baciocchi, the constellation of the lion (Spain), king of the earth and the eagle (France), queen of the sky. The two sovereigns had a great interest in science and their lives were intertwined during the splendours and decline of the Napoleonic Empire.