The Bavarian king, Maximilian II (1811-1864, king from 1848), took over after the abdication of Ludwig I (1786-1868, king 1825-1848) in the course of the March Revolution of 1848 and implemented the liberal laws announced in his father's March proclamation. Revolution could thus be prevented by a reform from above. Shortly after, however, Maximilian II switched to more conservative politics and tried to reverse some of the reforms. His reign, which ended with his unexpected death in 1864, is marked by the liberal reforms that remained largely intact, as well as by the promotion of the sciences and by his efforts to promote Bavarian folk culture. The portrait reveals the new role of the monarch, whose influence was considerably limited by the reforms. It shows Maximilian wearing the Crown Insignia with sword, sceptre and crown on the presentation cushion. He rests his right hand on the declaration of the oath, which in turn lies underneath the Constitution itself. In the background on the left several statues are placed between columns. Probably the two figures to the front are Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian with his wife. Ludwig the Bavarian as the ancestor of the Wittelsbach family was frequently used to emphasise the claim to power and the long tradition of their house.
Dr. Teresa Neumeyer