König Max I. Joseph mit Krone und Verfassung
After the death of Elector Karl Theodor (1724-1799), Count Palatine Maximilian Joseph of Birkenfeld-Zweibrücken took over the reign of the united Palatinate of Bavaria as Elector Maximilian IV Joseph (ruled 1799-1825). Due to its loyalty to the alliance, Bavaria was upgraded to a kingdom by the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) in the Bavarian-French Treaty of Brno and the Peace of Pressburg in 1805. On 1 January 1806, Maximilian I was proclaimed the first Bavarian king. The modern Bavarian state came into being under him and his minister Maximilian von Montgelas (1759-1838) through drastic reforms and territorial changes.
The painting by Moritz von Kellerhoven (1758-1830) probably dates from 1818 and is based on a commissioned work made around 1808 for the University of Landshut. The Bavarian regent is depicted in coronation regalia with the Order of Hubertus and the imperial sword of the kingdom. The sword symbolises supreme jurisdiction and thus sets out the central monarchical claim to rule. The monarch’s right hand is placed on the Bavarian Constitution of 1818. The throne in the background and the ornate tablecloth show relational embroidery symbolising a regiment favoured by heaven.