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Portrait of King Ludwig II.
München, Verlag Josef Albert., ca. 1863. Original photograph, cabinetcard, albumen print, 11,3 x 17,1 cm. Ludwig II (German: Ludwig Otto Friedrich Wilhelm; English: Louis Otto Frederick William; 25 August 1845 - 13 June 1886) was King of Bavaria from 1864 until his death in 1886. He is sometimes called the Swan King, Mad King Ludwig or der Märchenkönig (the 'Fairy Tale King'). He also held the titles of Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, Duke of Franconia, and Duke in Swabia. He succeeded to the throne aged 18. Two years later Bavaria and Austria fought a war against Prussia, which they lost. However, in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 Bavaria sided with Prussia against France, and after the Prussian victory it became part of the new German Empire led by Prussia. Though Bavaria retained a degree of autonomy on some matters within the new German Reich, Ludwig increasingly withdrew from day-to-day affairs of state in favour of extravagant artistic and architectural projects. He commissioned the construction of two lavish palaces and the Neuschwanstein Castle, and was a devoted patron of the composer Richard Wagner. Ludwig spent all his royal revenues (although not state funds) on these projects, borrowed extensively, and defied all attempts by his ministers to restrain him. This extravagance was used against him to declare him insane, an accusation which has since come under scrutiny. Today, his architectural and artistic legacy includes many of Bavaria's most important tourist attractions. Born in Nymphenburg Palace (today located in suburban Munich), he was the elder son of Maximilian II of Bavaria (then Bavarian Crown Prince) of the House of Wittelsbach, and his wife Princess Marie of Prussia. His parents intended to name him Otto, but his grandfather, Ludwig I of Bavaria, insisted that his grandson be named after him, since their common birthday, 25 August, is the feast day of Saint Louis IX of France, patron saint of Bavaria. His younger brother, born three years later, was named Otto. Like many young heirs in an age when kings governed most of Europe, Ludwig was continually reminded of his royal status. King Maximilian wanted to instruct both of his sons in the burdens of royal duty from an early age. Ludwig was both extremely indulged and severely controlled by his tutors and subjected to a strict regimen of study and exercise. There are some who point to these stresses of growing up in a royal family as the causes for much of his odd behavior as an adult. Ludwig was not close to either of his parents. King Maximilian's advisers had suggested that on his daily walks he might like, at times, to be accompanied by his future successor. The King replied, "But what am I to say to him? After all, my son takes no interest in what other people tell him." Later, Ludwig would refer to his mother as "my predecessor's consort". He was far closer to his grandfather, the deposed and notorious King Ludwig I, who came from a family of eccentrics. Ludwig's childhood years did have happy moments. He lived for much of the time at Castle Hohenschwangau, a fantasy castle his father had built near the Alpsee (Alp Lake) near Füssen. It was decorated in the Gothic Revival style with many frescoes depicting heroic German sagas. The family also visited Lake Starnberg. As an adolescent, Ludwig became close friends with his aide de camp, Prince Paul, a member of Bavaria's wealthy Thurn und Taxis family. The two young men rode together, read poetry aloud, and staged scenes from the Romantic operas of Richard Wagner. The friendship ended when Paul became engaged in 1866. During his youth Ludwig also initiated a lifelong friendship with his cousin, Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria, later Empress of Austria.(Wikipedia). KEYWORDS:photo/münchen/germany.
      [Bookseller: Krul Antiquarian Books]
Last Found On: 2017-10-12           Check availability:      NVvA    

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