The royal and ducal House of Wittelsbach families

The reclusive future king was not very fond of all the members of his large family, as many were rather unsympathetic to his interests. While he had a distant relationship with his parents throughout his life, his relationship with his uncle Adalbert (1828-1875) (3rd from left) was more intimate, as he shared an interest with him in Richard Wagner and the court of the absolutist Sun King. He also cultivated close friendly ties at times with his father’s cousins, Elisabeth (1837-1898, Empress of Austria from 1854) and her sister Sophie (1847-1897), his later fiancée.

All living family members of the House of Wittelsbach were united in this photo collage. The Munich court photographer Joseph Albert (1825-1886) put together the individual portraits of all members of the royal family and the family of the dukes in Bavaria. The reason for this was that such a group photo would have been technically difficult to take at that time and not all the people pictured lived in Munich. In the centre are the royal couple, the princes and Ludwig II’s grandfather, the abdicated King Ludwig I. On the left the artist arranged the king’s brothers and their families. The family of Duke Max in Bavaria (1808-1888) is on the right. A painted garden scene of the Max II conservatory, which no longer exists today, in the Munich Residence (Residenz München) served as the framing backdrop.

Stefan Schnupp