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Portrait of Prince Ludwig II, King of Bavaria and his 3 year younger brother Prince Otto.
ca. 1862/1863. 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. - - - Otto (Otto Wilhelm Luitpold Adalbert Waldemar von Wittelsbach; 27 April 1848 - 11 October 1916), was King of Bavaria from 1886 to 1913. However, he never actively reigned due to severe mental illness; his uncle, Luitpold, and cousin, Ludwig, served as regents. Ludwig deposed him in 1913 a day after the legislature passed a law allowing him to do so, becoming king in his own right. He was the son of Maximilian II and his wife, Marie of Prussia, and younger brother of Ludwig II. King Otto of Bavaria is not to be confused with King Otto of Greece, who was his uncle and godfather. Prince Otto was born on 27 April 1848, two months premature, in the Munich Residenz. His parents were King Maximilian II of Bavaria and Marie of Prussia. His uncle King Otto I of Greece served as his godfather. Otto had an older brother, the Crown Prince Ludwig. They spent most of their childhood with servants and teachers at Hohenschwangau Castle. Their parents were distant and formal and had little time for them and Ludwig had a tendency to lord it over Otto. Their parents were aware that Otto and Ludwig didn't like them much, but they made no effort to win the children over. Their parents were at such a loss about what to say to Otto and Ludwig that they often ignored and even avoided them. Their mother did take an interest in what the brothers wore: she ordered that Ludwig should always be dressed in blue while Otto should always wear red. Their father was strict with the brothers, particularly Ludwig, the heir to the throne. Between 1853 and 1863, the brothers spent their summer holidays at the Royal Villa in Berchtesgaden, which had been specially built for their father. Otto served in the Bavarian army from 1863. He was appointed sub-lieutenant on 27 April 1863 and admitted to the Cadet Corps on 1 March 1864. On 26 May 1864, he was promoted to full lieutenant. On 10 March 1864, Otto's father died and his brother Ludwig succeeded as King of Bavaria. Between 18 June and 15 July 1864, the two brothers received state visits by the emperors of Austria and Russia. Otto was promoted to Captain on 27 April 1866 and entered active military service in the Royal Bavarian Infantry Guards. He participated in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 and as colonel in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. His experiences on the battlefield traumatized him and caused him to suffer from depression and insomnia. When Wilhelm I was proclaimed German Emperor on 18 January 1871 at the Palace of Versailles, Prince Otto and his uncle Luitpold represented King Ludwig II, who refused to participate. Otto then criticized the celebration as ostentatious and heartless in a letter to his brother. Ludwig and Otto despised their ambitious Prussian relatives and cordially disliked their Prussian mother, so they were appalled by the creation of the new German Empire. Ludwig and Otto's hostility was no secret to the Prussian government. Otto and Ludwig were often seen together during the early years of Ludwig's reign but they became estranged over time. Ludwig was shy and introverted and eventually became a recluse while Otto was cheerful, outgoing and extroverted until the Franco-Prussian War. In 1868, Otto received the Royal Order of Saint George for the Defense of the Immaculate Conception, the house order of the House of Wittelsbach. In 1869, he joined the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, on the initiative of Cardinal Karl-August von Reisach. (Wikipedia). KEYWORDS:photo/münchen/germany.
      [Bookseller: Krul Antiquarian Books]
Last Found On: 2017-10-12           Check availability:      NVvA    

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