Grandfather King Ludwig I of Bavaria

The famous state portrait of King Ludwig I (1786-1868, ruled 1825-1848) by the painter Joseph Karl Stieler (1781-1858) shows the monarch in coronation regalia standing in front of the throne. With the sceptre in his right hand, he is leaning on the kingdom’s constitutional charter. Behind it lies the royal crown. Behind the throne chair on the wall is the king’s motto, "Gerecht und Beharrlich" (Just and Steadfast). The portrait, with its many symbols and references, shows the king’s claim to rule as a constitutional monarch and also displays his German patriotism using art projects.

Ludwig I was particularly pleased that his grandson, like himself, had a birthday on 25 August. At his request, the prince was called by the name Ludwig, which his grandfather recorded in a poem to his grandson. However, this was only presented to Ludwig II on his 18th birthday. In it, his grandfather expressed his joy at the birth and wished for his grandson to have a strong Christian faith and a patriotic spirit.

Ludwig I was very close to his grandson, as the latter had inherited his artistic tendencies and dreamy nature. After Ludwig’s accession to the throne in 1864, his abdicated grandfather occasionally gave advice to his grandson, but the latter paid hardly any regard to it. The abdicated king died in 1868 and was laid to rest in Munich.

Stefan Schnupp