The Wittelsbachs in Sárvár, the last residence of King Ludwig III of Bavaria (1845 Munich - 1921 Nádasdy Castle)



Auction on March 15, 4 p.m.
(subject to change)

Viewing Days from 8 until 14 March
Mo to Fr from 10 am until 5 pm
Sa and Su from 10 am until 3 pm 


Images of a bygone era

On a carriage ride through a green landscape surrounding Nádasdy Castle. After 1875 the estate is developed into a model estate by the Wittelsbach family. It covers about 9,000 hectares of land and employs 1,000 people and their families. The property includes cattle, pigs and 40 horse mares for half-breeding. Dairy farming plays an important role. Thus, the cheese produced in Sárvár was exported as far as Switzerland.



Barrel vaults, early baroque stucco, opulent paintings and a magnificent tiled stove

The State Hall is the most beautiful room in the castle. The depictions on the ceiling show seven battles against the Turks, the paintings on the side walls depict scenes from the Old Testament.



Picnic and pomp

The castle estate is a great place to stay. Members of the Wittelsbach family appreciate the puritanical lifestyle close to nature - without having to forego representative splendor.



Small town, big history

The heart and landmark of Sárvár is Nádasdy Castle. Otherwise, the coexistence of classicist and rather sober facades characterizes the current face of the livable city in western Hungary.



Sárvár was not an isolated place for the Wittelsbach family

Rather, people here lived close to nature and were open to the customs and traditions of the local population



Small orchestras played on festive occasions

Music filled the halls of the castle and its surroundings.



History is reflected in the buildings

And Sárvár has a lot to offer. The town was the center of Hungarian humanism. The first books in Hungarian language were published here.



Editorial by Katrin Stoll

At the latest since "Raiders of the Lost Ark", we know how adventurous the examination of history can be. The "Treasure of Sárvár", which NEUMEISTER will auction on March 15, 2021, also offers exciting material for Hollywood.

In today's relatively well "researched" times, it is a rare stroke of luck that art objects of such great historical importance, and in addition of secured provenance, end up in an auction - and this has a history: More than ten years ago, I heard for the first time about art objects from Wittelsbach family property, which were hidden behind the mighty walls of Nádasdy Castle in the western Hungarian town of Sárvár and are now said to have resurfaced. I visited the small castle with the great history several times in the following years. The actual treasure inspired me as much as the aura of the place, which is so closely interwoven with the history of the last Bavarian King Ludwig III and his family.

The history of Nádasdy Castle goes back to the early Middle Ages, when it was inherited by the Wittelsbach family in 1875, who then turned it into a model agricultural estate. After the end of the royal rule in Bavaria in 1918, the castle remained in the possession of the Wittelsbach family, for whom it served as an exile in troubled times. For Ludwig III, Sárvár became the preferred place of residence, mainly used as a hunting lodge. The otherwise quiet place came into the light of the world public on October 18, 1921, when the last Bavarian king died there during a stay. Subsequently, Sárvár was a retreat for the Wittelsbach family until Russian troops moved in in 1945. Fleeing from the Red Army, the family had to leave numerous art objects behind in the castle. Much of it was walled up and did not reappear until 1952. After Hungary's accession to the EU in 2004, the rightful heirs began restitution negotiations with the Hungarian state. Now the treasure of Sárvár is free and NEUMEISTER has the great honor to present it in a special auction on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the death of Ludwig III. The unique conglomerate comprises around 80 lots, including silver, porcelain and paintings from the possessions of the Wittelsbach dynasty. Particular highlights are the portraits, some of which were previously unknown, painted by Joseph Stieler, the court painter of King Ludwig I of Bavaria. 

In recent years, NEUMEISTER has repeatedly had the pleasure of presenting works of art with Wittelsbach provenance. Examples of this are the special auctions "The Bavarian Royal Service", "From Wittelsbach and Habsburg estates" and now the works of art from the Hungarian exile. Such projects cannot be realized without benevolent support. Above all, I would like to thank the House of Wittelsbach for the once again very good cooperation and the trust that has been placed in NEUMEISTER for many years. I would also like to thank Consul General and Doyen Gábor Tordai-Lejkó, the inventory administration of the Wittelsbach Equalization Fund, the Bavarian Main State Archives, Dept. III Geheimes Hausarchiv, as well as all the art historians who have intensively studied the objects from Sárvár in preparation for the special auction. 

This magazine presents the treasure of Sárvár in all its splendor. A complete description of all objects can be found in the online catalog at Texts by renowned authors place persons and events in chronological order on the following pages and deal with outstanding art objects in greater detail. Artistically staged photographs, some of which have been published for the first time, from Wittelsbach family property also convey a wonderful impression of life at Sárvár Castle 100 years ago. Let us invite you on an exciting journey through time.

Prince Luitpold of Bavaria about Sárvár Castle

Sárvár Castle in Hungary played an important role for my family. It came into our family via Queen Marie Therese - of the House of Habsburg-Modena-Este - in 1875. King Ludwig III and Queen Marie Therese developed the originally somewhat run-down estate into a model agricultural and forestry business with its own product refinement - such as its own dairy/cheese factory - and renovated the castle. Many paintings from the queen's hand of the castle and the region show with what joy the royal couple appreciated Sárvár.

After the revolution in Germany, Ludwig III visited Sárvár for the last time in 1921 for a hunting stay; already burdened by serious illness, he died there. After his death Sárvár went to his second son Prince Franz. Like Ludwig III, he was an enthusiastic horse breeder and farmer.

At the beginning of the "Third Reich" he moved with his family completely to Sárvár, because there they were reasonably safe from the Nazi dictatorship.

The children attended school there. My father, Prince Ludwig, studied forestry in Sopron. Everyone spoke perfect Hungarian. During the long period under Wittelsbach ownership, corresponding furnishings, family pictures and household effects such as family silver, were also moved to Sárvár - now the main residence of this branch of the family.

In the last weeks of the war, Prince Franz returned to Bavaria with forged diplomatic papers. Part of the horse breeding and furnishings were sent back by rail and by good luck escaped the bombing. Prince Ludwig remained in Sárvár until shortly before the arrival of the Red Army and then set off with a wagon train of 16 teams back to Bavaria. Since they drove only at night and over secondary roads of Styria, they came home without losses.

Before leaving, Prince Ludwig had valuable paintings and some of the art and silver objects walled up in a cellar room of Sárvár Castle, as the transport seemed too unsafe. Thus these things survived the invasion of the Red Army. It was only years later that these treasures were discovered and since then they have been exhibited, partly as the "Bavarian Collection", in the museum of Sárvár Castle.

Prince Franz's family could not visit Hungary in the early days of Hungarian communism. Prince Ludwig was able to visit Sárvár again for the first time in 1983. On this occasion, he made an impressive gift to Hungary: He donated half of his purebred Furioso stud - more than 60 breeding horses - to Hungary in order to give a broader base to this old breed, which he continued to breed in Leutstetten. During his visit, Prince Ludwig was able to see the entire castle. He remembered all the trees in the botanical garden of the castle and we could see the objects left by him.

Since the provenances of the Bavarian family pieces, portraits with coats of arms, family silver, Nymphenburg porcelain were completely clear, negotiations were held about their return. This ended in a court decision in favor of Prince Ludwig and his brother Rasso, the heirs of Prince Franz. In the negotiations, which dragged on for another 15 years, it was determined how a future-oriented solution for Sárvár, the Royal House and not least for the deepening of the old connection of Hungary with Bavaria could look like.

With a great deal of understanding and tact, Consul General Gábor Tordai-Lejkó mediated between the Hungarian State Chancellery, the Minister of Culture, the City of Sárvár and our family. The State of Hungary acquired important objects related to Hungary for the Museum of Sárvár, our family got back the objects more related to Bavaria for free disposal.

In the future we will gladly support Sárvár and Hungary in museum and historical projects and we are thankful that the place where our family found refuge in the difficult time continues to maintain the common history.

Gábor Tordai-Lejkó about Sárvár Castle (Consul General of Hungary in Bavaria, Doyen of the Consular Corps of Bavaria)

As Consul General of Hungary in Bavaria, it is an honor for me to present the art treasures of the House of Wittelsbach offered for auction. They have a strong Hungarian connection, so that one can say: They are symbols of the close friendship between Hungary and Bavaria, which goes back more than 1,000 years.

"The Bavarian treasures", as they are called in Hungary, have an adventurous history. They recently returned to the possession of the Royal Family of Bavaria under the active mediation of the Consulate General of Hungary in Bavaria. This concluded a decades-long dispute with a flexible solution satisfactory to both sides. The treasures come from Nádasdy Castle in Sárvár (western Hungary), which was owned by the Wittelsbach family until the end of World War II, when they were forced to leave Hungary after the arrival of Soviet troops. The hidden and walled-in art treasures were found later, in 1952. A part of these pieces remained in Hungary and is exhibited as a highly valued sight in Sárvár Castle. The other part, offered here for auction, was recently brought to Bavaria.

Ludwig III, the last King of Bavaria, had to flee his homeland after the proclamation of the Republic in 1918. He died in 1921, 100 years ago, on Hungarian soil, in Sárvár.

The Wittelsbach family had close relations with Hungary since the 14th century. Thanks to marriages between ruling families, the Kingdom of Hungary had a Bavarian king on the throne several times. For example, Otto III, Duke of Lower Bavaria, ruled as Béla V, King of Hungary, from 1305 to 1307. Empress Elisabeth, known as Sisi, was Queen of Hungary from 1867 to 1898.

Not only the House of Wittelsbach, but also other magnate families had active relations with Hungary. An emblematic personality is Gisela of Bavaria (* 985 at Abbach Castle near Regensburg; † 1060 in Passau), daughter of the Bavarian Duke Henry the Quarrelsome and sister of Emperor Henry II. She was the wife of the first Hungarian king, Stephen I. Gisela acquired great merits in the Christianization of the Hungarians. The cult of Blessed Gisela is continuous in Hungary and is alive at present. Another Hungarian saint and symbol of active charity, Elizabeth of Hungary (1207 to 1231) - or Elizabeth of Thuringia, as she is known in Germany - was a Hungarian princess and German landgravine. Her father was the Hungarian King Andrew II, her mother was Gertrud von Andechs, scion of the Bavarian noble house of Andechs- Merania. However, the relations between the Hungarian and Bavarian aristocracy are far from being a thing of the past.

The emblematic and widely known personality of the Bavarian aristocracy, Princess Gloria of Thurn and Taxis, also has Hungarian roots: Her mother came from one of the most important Hungarian magnate families, the Széchenyis. All the above-mentioned Bavarian personalities are either part of Hungarian history or highly respected and popular among Hungarians. They are important parts of the close relations between our countries, which touch on numerous subjects. A leading role is played by trade relations, which date back to the Middle Ages, when Hungarian steppe oxen were sought-after items in Bavaria. The economic contacts were always of a reciprocal nature: In modern times, numerous Bavarian craftsmen traveled to Hungary to pursue their economic activities there. In 2019, the trade volume between Hungary and Bavaria amounted to 14.76 billion euros. The Free State is not only a significant trading partner of Hungary, it is also one of the most important investors:

Thus, 53,000 Hungarian workers are employed by Bavarian companies on Hungarian soil. In turn, the 100,000 Hungarians currently living in Bavaria make an important contribution to the success of the Bavarian economy as employees. Contacts are also wonderfully diverse and lively in the fields of politics, culture, higher education, education, religion and civil society.


I would like to thank my negotiating partners from the House of Wittelsbach for their excellent cooperation. I am pleased that the mutually satisfactory agreement on the "Bavarian treasures" between the Hungarian state and the House of Wittelsbach marks the beginning of a new era. Accordingly, we are counting on an even closer cooperation 'with the House of Wittelsbach, which is part of the Hungarian history, something we are proud of. At the same time, I would also like to thank Mrs. Katrin Stoll, managing partner of the Munich art auction house NEUMEISTER, for her expertise and assistance, which she provided in the interest of the successful transaction.



Archduchess Marie Therese of Austria-Este, later Queen of Bavaria, photograph from her bridal days, ca. 1868

Archduchess Marie Therese Henriette Dorothea of Austria-Este was born in Brno on July 2, 1849. Her parents were Archduke Ferdinand Karl Viktor of Austria-Este (1821-1849), Prince of Modena, who was to die of typhoid fever in the very year of her birth, and Archduchess Elisabeth Franziska Maria (1831-1903) from the Hungarian line of the archducal house. In 1803 the Italian House of Este had died out in the male line with Ercole III Rinaldo (1727-1803), but through the marriage of Archduke Ferdinand Karl (1754- 1806) to the heiress daughter Maria Beatrix of Este-Modena (1750-1829) the line continued in the female line. The great-granddaughter from this union, Marie Therese, became heiress of the House of Este after the death of her uncle, the last reigning Duke of Modena, Archduke Francis V of Austria-Este (1819-1875), who lost his throne in 1859. However, Franz V's adoption of Franz Ferdinand (1863-1914), the successor to the Austro-Hungarian archduke throne, meant that she was largely disinherited, otherwise the rich Estonian family fortune would have gone to her. For her, essentially only the estates of Eiwanowitz near Brünn in Moravia and Sárvár in Hungary remained as inheritance. That is why Marie Therese had Hungarian citizenship, which she kept after her marriage. After the death of Franz V. Adelgunde (1823-1914) in 1914, she still took over Wildenwart Castle in Chiemgau, where the duchess, a daughter of King Ludwig I, had had the right of residence.

It was not until the end of the 19th century that genealogical research revealed that Archduchess Marie Therese was descended from Henriette Anne d'Angleterre (1644-1670), the daughter of King Charles I of England and Scotland (1600-1649), via the houses of Orléans, Savoy and Este. This made her the legitimate heir to the House of Stuart, which had become extinct in the male line in 1807. As a result of the so-called Glorious Revolution of 1688/89, rule over England and Scotland had passed to the Protestant royal couple Mary II. (1662-1694) and William III of Orange (1650-1702) and, from 1714, to the House of Hanover. The Stuart supporters did not recognize this, but last chances for a Stuart restoration had failed with the defeat of Culloden in 1746. Jacobite circles in Great Britain nevertheless revered Marie Therese of Bavaria as the legitimate queen of England and Scotland. However, since the last male member of the House of Stuart, Cardinal Henry Stuart (1725- 1807), Bishop of Frascati, had already largely reconciled himself with King George III of Great Britain (1760-1820) - according to his legitimist claim, King Henry IX of England, Scotland and Ireland - this no longer had any practical significance. Her eldest son and heir to the claim, Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria (1869-1955), regarded the Stuart succession merely as a historical reminiscence without practical significance.

In 1867, at the funeral services for a mutual relative, Archduchess Marie Therese met the slightly older Bavarian Prince Ludwig in Vienna. Against the initial resistance of her guardian, Duke Franz V, who was himself married to a Bavarian princess, the young archduchess was able to push through her engagement to Prince Ludwig. The wedding took place in Vienna on February 20, 1868, and the young couple then moved into their apartment in the Wittelsbach Palace in Munich. The family life of the princely couple was governed by Christian principles, but Ludwig was a patriarch who demanded unconditional authority in the house. Marie Therese gave birth to 13 children: Prince Rupprecht was the eldest, followed by the princesses and princes Adelgunde, Maria, Karl, Franz, Mathilde, Wolfgang, Hildegard, Notburga, Wiltrud, Helmtrudis, Dietlinde and Gundelinde.


Princess Marie Therese took over some of the duties of a queen long before she ascended the throne. Since 1873, when King Ludwig II of Bavaria (1845-1886) made her Grand Mistress of the Order of Theresa and thus First Lady of the Court, while maintaining the honorary precedence of his mother, his renunciation of marriage plans became increasingly apparent. The mental illness of his brother Prince Otto (1848-1916) was also about to break through. Thus the possible succession for Prince Ludwig and his line had moved into the realm of the probable. Since 1890, Marie Therese had been a protector of the Bavarian Red Cross Women's Association. The Maria Theresia secondary school in Munich's Au, founded in 1899, and the Städtische Töchterschule in Augsburg were named after her.


The Archduchess Marie Therese, who grew up in large circumstances, was personally unassuming, although she had brought a comparatively large fortune into the marriage. Her life was marked by her deep Catholic faith, which she also passed on to her children. In addition to her extensive family, she devoted herself especially to botany. She wrote articles for the "Zeitschrift der bayerischen botanischen Gesellschaft" as well as the "Gartenmagazin" and made the illustrations herself. She indulged her horticultural inclinations by creating a flower garden near the Wittelsbacher Palais in Munich and an alpine garden in Leutstetten. She also occupied herself with vegetation during her climbing tours in the Alps. Her son Rupprecht brought her plants from his travels. Flowers formed a favorite motif of her painting activities. The protectorate over the Munich Artists' Association thus corresponded to her interests. She was also interested in zoology and kept a poultry farm. She had received a good musical education and had a preference for home music, for playing the piano and for singing.


Marie Therese was the first Catholic queen of Bavaria and deeply rooted in her faith, which shaped her life. During the First World War, she intensified her social and charitable work. She worked with the Minister of the Interior to care for the war-disabled, was committed to the construction of a new women's clinic and the establishment of a midwifery school in Munich. She restlessly visited military hospitals all over Bavaria, supported by her daughters. She set up a "war sewing room" in the Nibelungen halls of the Residenz. For this purpose, she gathered ladies to make underwear and bandages for the soldiers in the field, but also to organize "gifts of love." She considered her personal commitment, as well as that of her daughters, in the care of the wounded and welfare as a model for Bavarian women.


In the midst of the war, Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922) instituted the feast of Patrona Bavariae in 1916 at the request of the royal couple. After 50 years of marriage, Marie Therese and Ludwig III celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in the misery of the last year of the war, on February 20, 1918. Emperor Karl of Austria (1887-1922) and the German Emperor Wilhelm II (1859-1941) came to Munich for this celebration. To mark the occasion, King Ludwig III and his wife donated nearly ten million marks to social causes and set up various foundations.


The revolution drove the royal couple out of Munich in November 1918. The strain of the unprepared journey to Wildenwart, Hintersee, Anif near Salzburg and back to Wildenwart had further deteriorated the queen's weak health. Queen Marie Therese of Bavaria, who had been suffering from an inoperable tumor in her abdomen for some time, succumbed to this illness on February 3, 1919. Initially, her body was provisionally buried in the Wildenwart Palace Chapel.


Youth picture of the later King Ludwig III of Bavaria, picture by the court photographer Joseph Albert, ca. 1868

Prince Ludwig Leopold Joseph Maria Aloys Alfred of Bavaria was born in Munich on January 7, 1845 - eight months before his cousin, the future King Ludwig II. His parents were the third-born son of King Ludwig I, Prince Luitpold of Bavaria (1821-1912), and Archduchess Auguste Ferdinande of Austria-Tuscany (1825-1864). The young prince completed the education typical of a Wittelsbach of his generation, studying various subjects at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich and becoming an officer. He was much more interested in the sciences than in his military career. Prince Ludwig concentrated on civilian matters, especially since he had been suffering from the consequences of a Prussian bullet in his leg since the battle of Helmstadt in the west of Würzburg on July 25, 1866. Nevertheless, he nominally advanced to the rank of colonel general and field marshal general of the Bavarian Army. Prince Ludwig was successful in the field of agriculture and in representing its interests, both by influencing politics and by supporting the cooperative system. In 1868, he assumed the honorary presidency of the Bavarian Agricultural Association. The founding of the Bavarian Canal Association to promote the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal also corresponded to his interests. In 1875, Prince Ludwig was able to acquire the Leutstetten estate in the Würm Valley south of Lake Starnberg. Here he built up an economically successful model estate whose mainstay was dairy farming. He also set up a horse breeding operation there.


Prince Ludwig certainly suffered from his "crown prince fate," which denied him a truly independent position until he was 68 years old. At best, he could make political statements in the Imperial Council, but he was not allowed to criticize the government of his father, Prince Regent Luitpold. Probably the most important political event of the Prince Regent era was the electoral reform of 1906. Following the example of the Reichstag, universal, equal, secret and direct suffrage was introduced for all men, whereas in Prussia the three-class suffrage still applied until 1918. Prince Ludwig had spoken out in favor of this reform law in the Reich Council Chamber. The direct election of deputies ensured the success of the Bavarian Center in the coming state elections, and in 1912 it once again won an absolute majority. Prince Ludwig's influence was behind Prince Regent Luitpold's appointment of Georg Friedrich Freiherr von Hertling (1843-1919), chairman of the Center faction in the Reichstag, as "Minister of State of the Royal House and the Exterior" in February 1912. For the first time, the centrist majority in the state parliament and the government now coincided, and the cabinet was able to rely on the confidence of parliament. This development meant a decisive step for Bavaria on the way to a parliamentary system. However, Prince Ludwig was unable to articulate his views publicly. As king, Ludwig III was then unwilling to change his stance, especially since he adhered closely to the directives of his government, such as the emperor and the imperial leadership.

With the death of Prince Regent Luitpold on December 12, 1912, an era came to an end. The dominant political problem in Bavaria was the long duration of the regency without a truly reigning monarch. Once again the question of the king arose, the tragic events of 1886 were now more than a quarter of a century in the past. Luitpold had twice refused to accept the title of king. Prince Ludwig initially also took over the reign of Bavaria as Prince Regent. The nominal government of the ailing King Otto in Fürstenried Palace formed a pure fiction. It was not until November 1913 that Minister Hertling succeeded in solving the problem of the king by means of a constitutional amendment, which provided for the termination of the regency after ten years in the event of the permanent incapacity of the legitimate king to rule. The change of throne thus formally took place without the consent of Parliament. Prince Regent Ludwig declared the throne done on November 5, 1913, and assumed the title of king as Ludwig III. The celebrations culminated with a pontifical mass in the Liebfrauendom cathedral and the state homage in the throne room of the Residenz on November 13.

Like his father, Prince Ludwig was regarded as a representative of the Catholic, conservative and Greater German tendency; both were married to Habsburg women. He even exposed himself to such an extent that, with the king's permission, he put himself forward as a candidate in the Reichstag elections of 1871, albeit without joining the Bavarian Patriotic Party. This can at the same time be appreciated as his commitment to popular representation. Later, Ludwig was considered the soul of the conservative Court Party, which dominated the Chamber of Imperial Councillors. As a staunch advocate of federalism, however, he had to stand on the ground of the existing imperial constitution from 1871 onward. His displeasure with the increasing unitarianism in the Wilhelmine era broke through at the coronation festivities for Tsar Nicholas II (1868-1918) in June 1896, in which he participated as a member of the German delegation. At a banquet of the German colony in Moscow, he protested sharply against calling the German federal princes vassals of the emperor. This earned him much praise in Bavaria, but he later had to apologize to Wilhelm II.

King Ludwig III had to declare a state of war for Bavaria on August 1, 1914, because this prerogative was also part of the Bavarian reserve rights. The ostentatiously displayed loyalty to the Reich was intended to demonstrate the dynasty's agreement with public opinion and to forestall the danger of a stronger centralization of the Reich after the conclusion of peace. At the same time, the king lost the supreme command of the Bavarian Army, but retained it over the immobile replacement troops at home. Soon after the outbreak of war, he formulated far-reaching territorial war aims, which he intended to enforce after the hoped-for victory. His main concern was that the federalist imperial constitution would be further eroded by the Prussian expansion of power, which was believed to be inevitable. Thinking in the royal house remained dominated by Bavaria's sovereignty and the desire to continue the traditions of the empire that had fallen in 1806. The demand for the annexation of Alsace to Bavaria can be explained by old Wittelsbach possessions and the neighborhood to the Bavarian Palatinate.

Welcome of the couple Prince and Princess Ludwig in Sárvár in May 1905 by the Chief Magistrate and Comitatshusaren

During the World War, the king frequently visited his troops, which were largely commanded by his son Crown Prince Rupprecht and his brother Prince Leopold (1846-1930). However, he had little in-depth military expertise and trusted the confident announcements of the Supreme Army Command. He put aside the realistic assessment of the war situation in the letters of his son Rupprecht. For him, the peace agreement was supposed to be compensation for the human and material sacrifices of the war.

During the years of King Louis III's reign, there were already lines of development that could culminate in a revolution. However, the opportunities for transforming the Bavarian monarchy from a constitutional to a parliamentary form of government should not be overlooked. Early on, demands were made for constitutional changes concerning the introduction of proportional representation and a reform of the chamber of imperial councils. The king adhered almost anxiously to the provisions of the Bavarian constitution and avoided any transgression of powers vis-à-vis his government and the Landtag. At least, "in recognition of the patriotic attitude of the entire working class since the outbreak of the war," he achieved a rapprochement with Social Democracy beginning in the fall of 1915. Ludwig III took care of the increasingly precarious food situation, supported the establishment of people's kitchens and ensured that cheaper food was made available to the needy; milk from Leutstetten was distributed to baby homes. Admittedly, this could not fundamentally solve the emergency situation.

It was not until the end of October 1918 that the government was prepared to concede proportional representation for the Chamber of Deputies and the right of both chambers to participate in the formation of the government. On November 2, the government and the Diet agreed on the introduction of proportional and women's suffrage, the expansion of the Reichsrat chamber in a professional sense, the extension of proportional representation to district council, district council and municipal elections, the review of professional and birth privileges, and the accountability of ministers and Bundesrat envoys to the Second Chamber. The king immediately approved parliamentarization by decree of November 2 and asked the chairman in the Council of Ministers, Otto Ritter von Dandl (1868-1942), to reshape the ministry along these lines. Representatives of the three major factions, including the Social Democrats, were to be appointed as ministers. Despite many correct insights among members of the Royal House, the constitutional reforms were not implemented until under the pressure of the war and too late for a stabilizing effect for the monarchical form of government.

Only the consequences of the Munich peace rally of November 7, 1918, the march of Kurt Eisner and his followers through Munich with the subsequent proclamation of the Republic, came as a surprise to the king and his government. By 7 p.m., the Residenz Guard had disbanded, and the Minister of War was without reliable troops in Munich. Ludwig III considered various options, such as going to supposedly loyal troops, but he could not make a decision. On the advice of the government, the royal couple and their relatives set out for Wildenwart Castle in Chiemgau in the evening hours of November 7 to wait until calm was restored in Munich. Nothing was prepared for a night drive, after all, the royal couple, three of their daughters, Hereditary Prince Albrecht (1905-1996) and a few companions were brought to Wildenwart in three carriages.

It was not until November 8 that the royal couple's onward journey to Berchtesgaden, unsettled by news and rumors from Munich about approaching revolutionaries and soldiers' councils, can be described as an escape. At first, they moved into the remote hunting lodge at Hintersee. The Dandl government and the commanding generals in Bavaria left the field to Eisner and his followers without resistance. The republic, proclaimed without legitimacy, was able to endure because the civil service proved loyal to the state of Bavaria, independent of the state leadership. King Ludwig III sanctioned the development of the continuing Bavarian state by not abdicating the throne, but by dissolving the oath of allegiance with the Anifer Declaration of November 13, 1918. The royal couple then returned to Wildenwart from Anif in Salzburg on November 18. The unrest that broke out after Kurt Eisner's assassination on February 21, 1919, also threatened the royal house. Fear of persecution drove Ludwig III into exile in the Tyrol on February 23 and on to Liechtenstein and Switzerland. He did not return to Wildenwart until April 1920.

The financial situation of King Ludwig III and his family was highly uncertain after the revolution; they could no longer dispose of a regular income. The continuation of the civil list, whose administration had been taken over by the Ministry of Finance, was discontinued. Apart from Leutstetten, Ludwig III was left only with his wife's private property, Wildenwart Palace, and the estates of Eiwanowitz and Sárvár, although it was highly uncertain whether the properties in the Habsburg successor states could be secured.


Nádasdy Castle, Sárvár

Sárvár is located on the Raba River in western Hungary about halfway between Lake Neusiedl and Lake Balaton, to the east of the town of Steinamanger (Szombathely). In the middle of the 16th century, the fort-like Renaissance castle of Nádasdy, which had withstood Turkish attacks, was built here over an older complex, later rebuilt several times. In the early 19th century it came into the possession of the Habsburg collateral line of Austria-Este. After the death of her uncle Duke Francis V of Modena in 1875, Marie Therese of Bavaria inherited the castle estate. It comprised about 9,000 hectares of land, about half forest and half fields, organized into 17 Meierhöfe. About 1,000 people with their families were employed here. The property included numerous cattle, pigs and 40 horse mares for half-breeding.

Princess Marie Therese often stayed in Sárvár, as can be seen from her extensive correspondence with family members. Prince Ludwig, similar to Leutstetten, took care of the management of the estate, promoted horse breeding, but also dairy farming. The cheese produced here was even exported to Switzerland. Numerous photographs document the family stays as well as life on the estate. King Ludwig III visited Sárvár as late as June 1918, following a meeting with Emperor Karl in Vienna. At the insistent request of her husband, Queen Marie Therese had finally appointed him and not her sons Rupprecht and Franz as heirs to her estates of Eivanowitz and Sárvár.

Princess Wiltrud of Bavaria with Legyel on the paddock

After the November Revolution in Munich, however, a stay in Sárvár was not an option for the royal family, as in March 1919 councils had also taken power in Hungary following the Soviet Russian model. Only with the restoration of order by the imperial administrator Admiral Nikolaus von Horthy (1868-1957) were the pre-war property relations secured. At the end of September 1921, King Ludwig III visited his estate once again, where he was received with royal honors. He inspected the estate and went hunting. However, his health had been badly affected for some time; he had contracted dysentery during a visit to the Bulgarian front towards the end of the war. On October 18, 1921, he died in Sárvár of gastric hemorrhage and heart failure, after the Bishop of Steinamanger Johann Graf von Mikes (1911- 1936) had administered the last rites to him. Crown Prince Rupprecht arrived on the eve of death to bid farewell to his father, as did his siblings. The transfer of the king's body from Sárvár to Bavaria was delayed by political developments in Hungary, where just then Emperor and King Charles was making his second attempt at restoration. As a result of these circumstances, the railroad transport of the body of the Bavarian king from Hungary to Austria could not begin until October 29. While the imperial administrator Horthy had his own king deported, he sent after the dead king of Bavaria a royal crown made of fir rice and flowers. The body of Ludwig III was first brought to Wildenwart by a special train via Vienna and Salzburg. Together with the coffin of Queen Marie Therese, it was transferred to Munich on November 4 and buried in the Frauenkirche on November 5 after a large funeral procession.



Dining room, Nádasdy Castle, Sárvár

Crown Prince Rupprecht and Prince Franz now inherited the Leutstetten, Eiwanowitz and Sárvár estates from their parents' private estates. Czechoslovakia had initially placed Eiwanowitz under forced administration and wanted to expropriate it as Habsburg property. A land reform - 60% had been expropriated without compensation - and the sale of the castle had reduced it to forest property. The development in Hungary was better. Prince Franz (1875-1957) now went there to personally take over the administration of the estate in Sárvár, where he stayed constantly from 1933 on. At his side was Princess Isabella of Croy (1890-1982), whom he had married in 1912. A special concern of his was horse breeding and the promotion of the Hungarian half-breed Furioso-North Star. He also saw to it that the palace was furnished with family-owned works of art. Crown Prince Rupprecht visited his brother again and again for hunting trips.



Because of the unpleasant mood at home after the National Socialist seizure of power, Crown Prince Rupprecht spent the turn of the year 1934/35 with his brother Franz in Hungary. On the advice of those around him, he returned to Sárvár in August 1939 in order to be out of the country in the event of a feared outbreak of war. The determining factor for this was the consideration that, in the event of a lost war, the crown prince would be one of the few personalities who could play a leading and decisive role vis-à-vis the enemy powers because they had not become involved in National Socialism. Another reason was the uncovering of the monarchist resistance circle around Dr. Adolf Freiherr von Harnier (1903-1945) by the Gestapo a few days earlier. The Gestapo tried to implicate the Crown Prince in the "conspiracy" of the Harnier Circle. In order to dispel the latent suspicion of his involvement, he returned to Bavaria at short notice and left for Italy at the end of the year.

Prince and Princess Ludwig, the future royal couple, with daughters and Hungarian guests in Sárvár

Prince Franz of Bavaria continued to farm his Hungarian estate, assisted by his sons, Princes Ludwig (1913-2008), who had come after his discharge from the Wehrmacht for "political unreliability," and Rasso (1926-2011). Before the imminent invasion of the Red Army in 1945, Prince Franz fled with his family to Bavaria, where they took shelter in Leutstetten. Prince Ludwig also made his way from Sárvár to Leutstetten in March with Hungarian estate personnel on horse-drawn carts and with breeding cattle in a three-week trek. Before that some valuables, silver and paintings had been walled in. According to Prince Rasso, a demolition of the castle by the Waffen-SS could be prevented, but it was expropriated by the Soviets. A small Hungarian exile colony was now established in Leutstetten, and horse breeding was successfully continued by Prince Ludwig of Bavaria.

In the Leutstetten horse the Sárvár horses live on. The continuing connection of the Wittelsbach family with Hungary was expressed especially in the support for the Hungarian refugees in 1956 and for the European-Hungarian High School in Kastl Monastery (1958-2006).

In the historical thinking in Hungary the Wittelsbachers are not only present in Empress and Queen Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary (1837-1898), a born duchess in Bavaria, but the culture of remembrance reaches far back into the past. The first Christian king of Hungary, Stephen the Saint (969-1038), married the Bavarian princess Gisela (984/85-1060), who is venerated as a blessed saint, around 996. In local tradition, the place of his baptism and marriage is considered to be Scheyern, where the most important house monastery of the Wittelsbach dynasty was founded and Queen Gisela was included in the early history of the family, the Counts of Scheyern. Thus, the Bavarian-Vittelsbach-Hungarian relations span over a millennium.

Sárvár estate tour


  • BECKENBAUER, ALFONS, Ludwig III. von Bayern 1845–1921. Ein König auf der Suche nach seinem Volke, Regensburg 1987.
  • GLASER, HUBERT, Ludwig III. König von Bayern. Skizzen aus seiner Lebensgeschichte, in: Ludwig III. König von Bayern. Ausstellungskatalog zum 150. Geburtstag in Wildenwart, hg. v. Max Oppel, Prien am Chiemsee 1995, S. 11–58.
  • KRAUSS-MEYL, SYLVIA, Porträt der bayerischen Königin Marie Therese. Verfasst von ihrer Tochter Gundelinde, in: Wittelsbacher-Studien. Festgabe für Herzog Franz von Bayern zum 80. Geburtstag, hg. v. Alois Schmid und Hermann Rumschöttel (Schriftenreihe zur bayerischen Landesgeschichte 166), München 2013, S. 929–950.
  • LEUTHEUSSER, ULRIKE UND HERMANN RUMSCHÖTTEL (HG.), König Ludwig III. und das Ende der Monarchie in Bayern (edition monacensia), München 2014.
  • MÄRZ, STEFAN, Das Haus Wittelsbach im Ersten Weltkrieg. Chance und Zusammenbruch monarchischer Herrschaft, Regensburg 2013.
  • SCHAD, MARTHA, Bayerns Königinnen, Regensburg, 4. Au???? age 2006.
  • WEISS, DIETER J., Kronprinz Rupprecht von Bayern (1869–1955). Eine politische Biografie Regensburg 2007



Horses were omnipresent on the castle estate. Nóniusz, Arabians and English Thoroughbreds formed the breeding basis for the "Sárvárer" ("Leutstettener") horses at the Sárvar Stud. These are characterized as particularly robust and enduring horses.

Horses were omnipresent on the castle estate. Nóniusz, Arabians and English Thoroughbreds formed the breeding basis for the "Sárvárer" ("Leutstettener") at the Sárvar Stud. These are characterized as particularly robust and persevering horses.

In 1875, the Sárvár stud farm became the property of Marie Therese, later Queen of Bavaria. The change of ownership brought about changes in the breeding operation: from then on, only English thoroughbreds and Hungarian half-breeds of the Furioso-North Star breed can be found among the studs of the Sárvár mare herd. The Sárvár horses are kept in Hungary as a line within the Furioso-North Star breed. In the spring of 1945, Prince Ludwig of Bavaria evacuated a broodmare herd to Bavaria and housed them on his property in Leutstetten. In 1980, again 50 horses (broodmares and two stallions) were returned to the Pusztaberény stud near Balatonfenyves in Hungary.

These offspring of the Sárvár horses, embodying the original Furioso type, were to support the Furioso breeding there. On the painting from 1924, which will be auctioned, the mare Lám is shown with her colt. According to the inscription on the back, she was descended from the stallion Nóniusz VIII and was covered by the stallion Furioso XXXI.

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Sárvár is mentioned in Roman sources as a settlement. The name (Sár= mud/clay and vár=castle) is possibly derived from a clay castle that Árpáden built a few hundred meters from the present site.

The construction of the present castle is started. First documentary mention in 1288. 

A siege by the Turks is unsuccessfully broken off. The castle could never be taken by enemies.

The moated castle is built in Renaissance style, later remodeled in Baroque style. Famous lords of the castle are Tamás III. Nádasdy (1498-1562), one of the most important Hungarian humanists of his time, and Ferenc II. Nádasdy (1555 - 1604), who was nicknamed "The Black Knight" because of his cruel treatment of enemies. His wife is also legendary: the "Blood Countess" is said to have lured young girls to the castle and killed them. In 1611 she was condemned as a serial killer and walled up in a dungeon.

Ferenc III. Nádasdy (1622 - 71) has the castle rebuilt in the early Baroque style by 1650. In 1671 it is confiscated by the Habsburgs. Later Ádám Szily acquires the estate. In this period the banquet hall is also decorated.

Archduke Ferdinand Karl of Austria-Este (1754 - 1806) and his son Franz IV of Modena (1779 - 1846) acquire the castle and carry out extensive reconstruction works, also the moat is drained.

Marie Therese of Bavaria inherits the palace, which will remain in the possession of the Wittelsbach family until 1945. King Ludwig III and Marie Therese renovate the property and develop it into a model agricultural and forestry estate.

The revolution drives the royal couple out of Munich. This is followed by stays in varying places of exile. Apart from Leutstetten, Ludwig III's only remaining possessions are his wife's private estate, Wildenwart Castle in Chiemgau, and the estates of Eiwanowitz and Sárvár. Prince Franz personally takes over the administration of the estate in Sárvár and especially takes care of the horse breeding. From 1933 onwards he stays permanently with his family in Sárvár Castle, which he also furnishes with works of art from family property.

Queen Marie Therese of Bavaria dies on February 3. 

Ludwig III. (1845 - 1921), the last Bavarian king, dies in Sárvár on October 18. Crown Prince Rupprecht and Prince Franz inherit the estates Leutstetten, Eiwanowitz and Sárvár from the private property of their parents.

The family escapes from the Red Army under adventurous circumstances. Before that, valuable art objects are walled up in the castle. Sárvár Castle is nationalized.

After the opening of the Ferenc Nádasdy Museum the walled-in chests are found and the secret of the objects is revealed. Some of the valuable art objects as well as everyday and decorative objects of the Bavarian royal family are presented at exhibitions in the museum since then.

During the search for oil, thermal water is discovered in test drillings. Sárvár becomes a health resort. 

... Sárvár presents itself as a lively West Hungarian small town. The biggest tourist attraction is Nádasdy Castle, which is used as a cultural center. The castle museum displays works of art and everyday objects from several centuries, including precious furniture, glasses, cutlery, porcelain - and a beer mug of Tsar Nicholas II. Also worth seeing is the hussar exhibition with weapons, armor and uniforms.





Dr. Rainer Schuster talks about the four Stieler-portraits



Joseph Stieler
1781 Mainz - 1858 Munich

(1776 Karlsruhe - 1841 Munich). Signed and dated 1823 lower left. Oil on canvas. 72 x 59 cm. Restored. Framed.

Expert opinion by Dr. Ulrike von Hase-Schmundt, Munich, December 2020.
Provenance: from the royal house. - Brought to Sárvár in 1924.




Joseph Stieler
1781 Mainz - 1858 Munich

(1756 Mannheim - 1825 Munich). Oil on canvas. 73 x 60.5 cm. Relined. Restored. Framed.

Expert opinion by Ulrike von Hase-Schmundt, Munich, December 2020.
Provenance: from the royal house. - Brought to Sárvár in 1924.



The royal Bavarian court painter Joseph Stieler (1781-1858) probably most frequently portrayed members of the Bavarian royal family from the House of Wittelsbach. Admittedly, it was his job as court painter to do so.

But his relationship with the royal and also the ducal family went far beyond what a mere job description dictated. Half of Europe was crazy about the gifted painter from Mainz. The nobility and the wealthy, the rich and the beautiful, in short, the best society from Warsaw to Paris, from Frankfurt, Milan or Vienna were clamoring to be immortalized by him on canvas. His paintings of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Alexander von Humboldt and Ludwig van Beethoven have entered the collective memory of the Germans.

Stieler had, fittingly for the Vienna World's Fair in the spring of 1820, portrayed the composer, a superstar of his time. King Max I Joseph of Bavaria then appointed him his royal Bavarian court painter and brought him to Munich full-time. They had known each other for some time.


Trouble with the Italian customs authorities marked the beginning of Stieler's relationship with the House of Wittelsbach. In 1809, the young painter set off for Italy. For illustrative purposes, today one would say for his own PR, he carried his self-portrait painted in Warsaw, see above, and probably also the portrait of Franz and Antonie von Brentano's daughter, Ludovika. The self-portrait is intended to show the customer how realistically and aesthetically pleasing he is able to create his art. Stieler presents himself and thus makes a purchase recommendation.

Apparently, this approach had a profitable effect, because when his paintings were confiscated by customs at the Italian border, he pulled out all the stops to get them back. He himself notes: "As chance would have it, the incident became known to Prince Eugene at the court there (...) and they demanded to see the confiscated painting. The Viceroy was then so pleased that she hired me to paint the whole family. "1 Stieler's great lucky contact for his future! The Italian Viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais, an adopted son of Napoleon Bonaparte, is married to the Bavarian royal daughter Princess Auguste Amalie, a daughter of King Max I Joseph of Bavaria and stepdaughter of Queen Caroline of Bavaria. The portraits of the royal couple now presented at NEUMEISTER date from the years when Stieler was already a duly appointed court painter in Munich.

King Max I Joseph sitting at his desk

Auguste Amalie has portraits of her children made by Stieler and sends them to Munich. The royal grandparents are bursting with pride and happiness - and are delighted with the portraitist. But it will take another three years before the artistically demanding Wittelsbach family calls him to the Munich court. The Beauharnais themselves commissioned further portraits of their family members from Stieler in the following years. This valuable collection of paintings was inherited by his son Maximilian von Leuchtenberg, who had them transferred from Munich to St. Petersburg shortly before his death in 1852.

Between 1812 and 1816, King Max I Joseph gave Stieler various commissions to paint the Bavarian princes and princesses. It was during this period that the painting depicting King Max I Joseph sitting at his desk was created. It is a portrait that makes a political statement, because the king is not seen as a monarch in splendid regalia with the insignia of power, as is usually the case, but in civilian clothes, in the habitus of a citizen. Very unusual for that time. A citizen king! After all, today almost forgotten, Bavaria was the first country to give itself a constitution by the will of the king.

Significantly, Queen Caroline chose this "private" portrait for her bedroom. When she chooses Tegernsee Castle as her widow's residence after the death of Max I Joseph in 1825, she takes it there with her. And so this famous painting hangs today in the banquet hall of Tegernsee Castle. Just like several other family portraits from Stieler's hand, "which delight the ducal family to this day". This was expressed by HRH Duke Max in Bavaria in conversation: "Internationally, I consider the Goethe portrait in the Neue Pinakothek to be his most famous painting. And in our family, of course, he is extraordinarily important. (...) The engagement portrait of Duke Max with the Bavarian Princess Ludovika, which hangs here in Tegernsee, is my favorite painting. I find this picture a wonderful painting. "2





From today's perspective, one can probably assume that it was first and foremost the wives of the Wittelsbach royal family who particularly appreciated Stieler's work. They want likenesses of their children and grandchildren. Private life usually has to take a back seat to public life in the regent's family, but Queen Caroline breaks with this rule. She has "private" pictures put up in public spaces. For example, she commissions two portraits of her six daughters from Stieler. A pair of twins and a younger sister can be seen on each. These pictures are placed in prominent positions to the right and left of her throne.3

In the fall of 1814, Queen Caroline travels with her husband and Crown Prince Ludwig to the Congress of Vienna. The Beauharnais family fled Italy for Munich after Napoleon's fall, and from now on they are called von Leuchtenberg. Apparently the children of the families are in good contact. The princesses write almost daily to Vienna, they miss their mother unspeakably. The correspondence between the queen and her daughters shows that Stieler's work is closely observed. For example, the girls had no lessons on Thursday afternoons. Then they take a trip with their teacher to Stieler's studio, which is located in the Munich Residenz. Princess Elise, later Queen of Prussia, writes that they saw a painting of the Leuchtenberg children being created there. And remarks that they are more beautiful than in natura ...

Ludwig van Beethoven

After his return from Vienna, King Max I Joseph sent the painter to the Habsburg court in 1816 to paint the imperial family there as well. The fact that Stieler made good use of his time in Vienna and also painted other celebrities is shown not least by the famous portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven. After this success, he was appointed Royal Bavarian Court Painter at the end of 1820 and called back to Munich.




A stroke of fate in the Bavarian royal family forged an even closer bond between painter and regent. The youngest princess, Caroline, known in the family only as "Ni," dies in 1821 at the age of only eleven. It is a terrible loss that Queen Caroline and Max I Joseph can hardly cope with. Auguste Amalie von Leuchtenberg notes in her diary how badly her father is shaken by this tragedy. Queen Caroline had aged in minutes and was no longer recognizable. When she, Auguste Amalie, hurried to her deathbed, "she threw herself into my arms and we wept very much" 4.

Stieler, the royal court painter, creates comforting portraits for the queen. For all his hierarchical distance, he apparently becomes a confidant for her. It is also Stieler who draws Max I Joseph on his deathbed. The two pictures found their way into the queen dowager's so-called cabinet of the dead, a room with paintings of deceased family members, which she furnished in Tegernsee Castle when she chose it as her summer widow's residence. The royal family had acquired the former Benedictine monastery as their summer residence in 1817. Even during Max I Joseph's lifetime, his extended family arrived, including the highest European nobility, such as the Czar of Russia and the Emperor of Austria. They take a cure in Bad Kreuth or spend their summer holidays in the castle. Later, children and grandchildren would frequently visit the queen dowager here. Princess Ludovika, later mother of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, the ubiquitous Sisi to this day, marries her cousin Duke Max in the Tegernsee church. Stieler paints the engagement picture.

The latter was also one of the guests at Tegernsee Castle in the early days.5 In 1829, King Ludwig I decreed, "Let him build himself a summer house here." The Stieler house still stands today on Tegernsee Point. The royal family's collaboration with the court painter lasted for decades and lasted for generations.


If Stieler was commissioned by King Max I Joseph to paint family portraits, he became the painter of the royal vision under King Ludwig I: he was to create a "Gallery of Beauty".

It is a vote of confidence in harmonious agreement between their two views of art. As crown prince, Ludwig undertakes similar classical art study trips - especially to Italy - as Stieler. Ludwig I will even travel to Weimar in person to meet the poet prince Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in order to persuade him to sit as a model for his court painter.

He needed the painter's loyalty for his "Gallery of Beauty" project. Ludwig I could have realized it with different artists, could also have decided against it in the middle of it, because the enterprise was without question also a risk at that time. Only the king had the authority to create such a gallery of portraits of women across all hierarchies and estates. The royal project is torpedoed by moralists from the very beginning. Rumors and gossip about the supposedly royal "sweethearts" abounded in many variations, but Stieler made no comment on the matter. Only in the case of the biggest scandal, that of the dancer Lola Montez, which ultimately cost Ludwig I the throne, does Stieler seem to oppose his king. In 1846, Ludwig I had to ask him several times to paint a portrait of Lola. At the same time, he also commissioned Wilhelm von Kaulbach to do so. The latter satirized her in "Lola's State Portrait".6 Stieler finally portrayed her in the costume of a Spanish dancer. But King Ludwig I is also disgusted by this motif and has her painted again in a black velvet dress. The king was also unhappy with the result of Stieler's work. He is said to have said to his court painter, "Stieler, your brush is getting old!" Stieler's alleged retort: "But beautiful enough for an old brush. "6


Sisi's siblings

Throughout the years of Stieler's collaboration with Ludwig I, of course, family members continued to be portrayed. For the double wedding of Princess Hildegard with Albrecht Archduke of Austria-Teschen and her brother, the later Prince Regent Luitpold, and his Auguste, an Archduchess of Austria-Tuscany, the bridal portrait is created, which is now presented in the NEUMEISTER house. The other bridal portrait, that of Adelgunde, is still ordered with the blessing of Queen Caroline. The queen dies in 1841, but is still aware of the engagement of her granddaughter to Franz, Archduke of Austria-Este.

Prince Carl commissioned one last large painting, "Sisi's Siblings," for Sisi's marriage to Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria in 1854. It seems like his legacy. Once again, a painting is created that demonstrates the future of the Wittelsbach house with the prominent children. But the group portrait with Sisi against a backdrop of the Alps radiates little of the vivid, fascinating beauty that Stieler succeeded in creating in his younger years. Stieler knows that another time is dawning. He is familiar with photography, which has just been reinvented, and he knows about the new generation of artists in Munich. He no longer felt up to the new challenges of the time. King Max II retired him at his own request. "His king", Ludwig I, asks him several times to paint for him again.


But Stieler is no longer able to do so; apparently a nervous disease also paralyzes him during his last years. In 1858, ten years before King Ludwig I, Stieler died. He is buried at the Old Southern Cemetery in Munich. In his work, he gave people an enchantingly beautiful face and the Bavarian royal family a grand entrance.

  • [Translate to English:] 1 Zitiert nach Hase, Ulrike von: Joseph Stieler 1781–1858. Sein Leben und sein Werk. Kritisches Verzeichnis der Werke, München 1971, S. 16
  • 2 Still, Sonja: Joseph Stieler. Der königlich-bayrische Hofmaler, München 2020, S. 116
  • 3 Sepp, Christian: Ludovika. Sisis Mutter und ihr Jahrhundert, München 2019, S. 91 und S. 99
  • 4 ebd. S. 108 f.
  • 5 Auskunft von Christian Sepp am 14.12.2020, der aktuell an einer Edition von Briefen Königin Carolines arbeitet.
  • 6 Goepfert, Günter: Karl Stieler. Leben und Werk des Hochlanddichters. Pfaffenhofen 1985, S. 7. Er zitiert Gräfin Josephine zu Leiningen-Westerburg. Bilder entnommen aus Still, Sonja: Joseph Stieler. Der königlich-bayrische Hofmaler, München 2020

JOSEPH STIELER 1781 – 1858

Born in Mainz as the son of the electoral mint master and court engraver Christian Stieler, he received drawing lessons from his father at an early age. But his father died when Stieler was not yet eight years old. Joseph copes with his grief by painting and tries to support the family with drawings and small portraits. At the age of 14, he flees from the French occupation of Mainz to Aschaffenburg. There Carl Reichsfreiherr von Dalberg supported him. Stieler received instruction from Christoph Fesel, court painter to the prince-bishops of Würzburg. He then moved to Vienna and studied under Heinrich Füger, the director of the Imperial and Royal Academy.

In the following years, Stieler traveled throughout Europe. From Warsaw via Vienna, Munich and Switzerland to Paris, where he received instruction from the famous portrait painter François Gérard. At the end of his training he suffers from a serious eye disease that will affect him for the rest of his life. After his recovery, he went to Frankfurt and then traveled to Italy to study. The all-important stay in Milan was followed by many more journeys, but then mostly on behalf of the Wittelsbach dynasty. He created an immense oeuvre with more than 350 paintings.






"Maria Antonia. I. Wife / of Max Emanuel, Daughter of Emperor Leopold I." This is a later inscription on the reverse of the portrait of a princess depicted in youthful beauty. In her left hand she holds a medallion with the portrait of a young ruler. Comparisons with the surviving portraits of Maria Antonia, the only surviving daughter of Emperor Leopold I, who in 1685 married the young Bavarian Elector Maximilian II. Emanuel in 1685, it quickly becomes clear that this cannot be the same Electress. It was an archduchess whose marriage was arranged solely for political calculations and dynastic reasons, and who - pregnant with the longed-for heir to the throne, Joseph Ferdinand - retreated to Vienna in disappointment and died there two months after giving birth on Christmas Eve 1692.


French School (Martin Maingaud, worked for Elector Max Emanuel in Brussels and Munich from 1692-1706, ?), end of the 17th century

(1676 Cracow - 1730 Venice). Later identification of the sitter as "Maria Antonia. I. Gemahlin / Max Emanuels, Tochter Kaiser Leopold I." verso.
Oil on canvas. 96 x 71 cm. Relined. Restored. Minor damage to frame.

Adhesive label fideicommissum Duke Clement Francis de Paula of Bavaria with number 117, inventory label "KOEN. BAIER. GEMAELDE SAMMLUNG 1822" with inventory number 7948 and inventory label "Königl. Bayer. Staats-Gemälde-Sammlung 1855" with inventory number 3978 on the canvas and stretcher verso.


But who is the portrait of the attractive princess gracefully holding the portrait of her husband? Perhaps one of the sisters of the Bavarian Elector - both advantageously married to the courts in Florence and Versailles? The miniature portrait holds the key: despite all abstraction in the depiction of the physiognomy, the young Elector Maximilian II. Emanuel of Bavaria, with a prominent nose, exceptionally dark wig, on his chest the jewel of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

Therese Kunigunde! We have before us one of the early portraits of that Polish royal daughter, who is mostly known to us - after several pregnancies - as a rather matronly princess with a roundish face and a maternally stern, slightly smiling expression. By the way, a portrait of the young Therese Kunigunde with a very comparable physiognomy can be found in the Polish castle Wilánov, made by an unknown artist of French origin.

Therese Kunigunde (1676 Cracow-1730 Venice) was born as the daughter of the Polish King Jan III Sobieski and his wife Maria Kazimiera (Marie Casimire Louise de la Grange d'Arquien). She received a very good education, was decidedly polyglot, of moderating temperament and reserved demeanor. The Bavarian Elector Max Emanuel, widowed at an early age, had been acquainted with Jan III Sobieski since 1683, when the latter achieved military fame as commander of the Allied reserve armies before Vienna. What could be more natural for Therese Kunigunde's mother than to enter into marriage negotiations with the Bavarian Elector as early as 1693? The House of Bavaria was considered important in the empire, and the Elector Joseph Ferdinand had good prospects of inheriting the childless King Charles II of Spain. Emperor Leopold I and the Spanish king were also expressly in favor of this union.

Only the intended bridegroom was coy, for he had dynastic reservations. The Wittelsbach family was an ancient dynasty that had ruled Bavaria since 1180. In Poland, on the other hand, an elective king ruled "by the grace of the nobility." Max Emanuel feared a decline of his house in the ranking of imperial princes. Therese Kunigunde's extremely lavish dowry of 500,000 imperial talers finally convinced him of the advantages of this union. The only downer: a repayment clause in case of childlessness of the future marriage ...

The marriage contract was dated May 19, 1694, and on October 22 of that year the contract signed by Max Emanuel - together with a portrait of the groom - was handed over in Warsaw. The bride and groom, on the other hand, did not meet until December 30, 1695, in Wesel; Max Emanuel had traveled to meet his bride on her "homecoming" from Brussels. On January 2, 1696, the wedding took place in person. The Elector accompanied his young bride across the ice-covered Rhine to the Spanish Netherlands, which he had ruled as Governor General since 1692.

The bride and groom - although married for purely political and dynastic reasons - soon took a liking to each other: "How he delights me! And he is in a very good mood ..." or "I am dying of longing for my Elector": these are passages from letters written by Therese Kunigunde to her brother as late as 16951. Max Emanuel, on the other hand, already praised his young wife's sure judgment and analytical mind in a letter to his mother-in-law shortly after the wedding.2 They seem to have been happy first days, if only ... Yes, if only Therese Kunigunde had not been so self-confident, had not snubbed her court, which was occupied by Max Emanuel, by her behavior, had not consciously used her mother tongue, and had not been all too happy to withdraw with her closest confidants. Quite unspeakable and without precedent: the Electress did not wish to be accompanied by her ladies-in-waiting on her outings! Typical scenes in a young marriage, one would think. But in many respects they finally agreed on a common denominator. Ten children were born of the marriage, including the later Elector and Emperor Karl Albrecht (Charles VII).

After the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701), Therese Kunigunde was appointed regent of Bavaria by her exiled husband. After a trip to Italy, the Electress was barred from returning to Bavaria by the Austrian occupiers, and her four eldest sons were taken into Austrian custody. It was not until 1715 that the family, which had been separated for years, was reunited in Schloss Lichtenberg am Lech. As a widow, Therese Kunigunde retired to Venice after Max Emanuel's death in 1726, where she died in 1730.

Due to the princess's youthfulness, the present painting should have been created at the time of her marriage to Elector Max Emanuel. The fact that she is holding a miniature portrait of him in her hand points to a time when the two were spatially separated - a central theme of their marriage. The reason for the absence can be assumed to be one of Max Emanuel's military engagements on the side of the Allies in the fight against the French troops (e.g. the reconquest of Namur in 1695). In 1699 Martin Maingaud created a stylistically related portrait of Therese Kunigunde as Venus (Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Inv.-Nr. 2478), which depicts the Electress with a very comparable, but somewhat more mature physiognomy.


Another portrait of this special auction was created in the workshop of the artist Georges Desmarées (1697 Gimo - 1776 Munich). It shows Duke Ferdinand Maria Innocent of Bavaria (1699 Brussels - 1738 Munich). He was one of the sons of Elector Max Emanuel of Bavaria and Therese Kunigunde. He spent part of his childhood far from home and separated from his parents from 1706 in Klagenfurt, where he was educated under imperial supervision. In 1715 he was reunited with his parents and family, and in 1717, together with his brother, the Elector Prince Karl Albrecht, he took part in the siege and conquest of Belgrade by Prince Eugene of Savoy. Ferdinand Maria Innozenz was considered an able and brave soldier and thus not unlike his father. It was claimed by contemporaries that he was the most suitable of his brothers for military service. In the imperial army, Ferdinand Maria Innocent rose to the rank of field marshal.



Georges Desmarées
1697 Gimo (Schweden) - 1776 München
(circle of)

(1699 Brussels - 1738 Munich). Oil on canvas. 118.5 x 82.5 cm. Relined. Restored. Framed.

Adhesive label fideicommissum Duke Clement Francis de Paula of Bavaria (son of the sitter) with number 98 and inventory label "Königl. Bayer. Staats-Gemälde-Sammlung 1855" with inventory number 3961 on the stretcher.


The marriage to Maria Anna Karoline of Palatinate-Neuburg was to prove fundamentally very important for his second-born son Clemens Franz de Paula and the House of Wittelsbach: The large Bohemian property inherited from their grandfather, the last Duke of Saxe-Lauenburg, who died in 1689, passed to Clemens Franz de Paula in 1751, who used it to found the Clementinische Fideikommiss - an inalienable estate that always ensured the second-born prince of the reigning elector or king a living worthy of his status. It was not until 1930, after the death of Prince Leopold of Bavaria, that this was dissolved and divided among the princes of the House of Wittelsbach.



Joseph Hickel
(1754 - Vienna - 1806).

Oil on canvas. 150 x 123 cm. Relined. Restored. Damage to frame.

We would like to thank Dr. Georg Lechner, Vienna, for his kind support during cataloguing.



Joseph Hickel
1736 Leipa (Bohemia) - 1807 Vienna
(attributed to)

(1750 Modena - 1829 Vienna). Oil on canvas. 150 x 123 cm. Doubled. Restored. Damaged. Damage to frame.

We would like to thank Dr. Georg Lechner, Vienna, for his kind support during cataloguing



If Maria Theresa, Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, had had modern communication technology, her children would most likely have relied on her answering machine. The high lady was very communicative ... The "super-mum" in Vienna, always well-informed from all sides, loved to give her children loving advice and serious instructions by letter in a detailed manner. Even their spouses were not spared from her need to communicate. Writing letters: an enormous time-consuming and, in today's eyes, highly uneconomical effort. Nevertheless, the worried mother did not neglect her duties as regent, on the contrary. Archduke Ferdinand Karl and his wife Maria Beatrice were also frequent addressees of the (mother-in-law's) interest.

Archduke Ferdinand Karl of Habsburg-Lorraine was born in Vienna in 1754, the 14th child of Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis I Stephen. He was Governor General of Lombardy and founder of the House of Austria-Este. As one of Maria Theresa's youngest children, he had a relatively carefree childhood. The "Institutionis archiducalis Ferdinandae opus pictum in tres tomos divisum", written and illustrated in 1769 for the growing archduke, is evidence of a planned and controlled education with regard to his future tasks. It consists of ten instructional plates of various subjects (Vienna, Austrian National Library, manuscript collection, Cod. min. 33 a). Also in 1769, Maria Theresa gave her son the following maxim for his future life: "Fine words and assurances do not convince, but only deeds. I observe you from close up and see slovenliness and effeminacy, little reverence, no obedience at all, but rather conceit and prejudice, to which you have less reason than anyone else in the family and which makes me fear for your future. See to it that I am convinced of the contrary, then you can count on my satisfaction and love. "3 And a little later Maria Theresa criticizes his carelessness regarding his studies, but the adolescent seems to have been resistant to motherly advice. He is described as frivolous, addicted to pleasure, weak-willed, and work-shy.

At the time when his mother was so clearly in judgment of him, Archduke Ferdinand Karl was already engaged: he was to marry the only daughter of the Duke of Modena, Maria Beatrice d'Este. The latter was considered a very desirable match, since the Duchy of Modena was rich and geographically convenient. Unlike her own son, Maria Theresa held her future daughter-in-law in high esteem. She regularly informed Maria Beatrice - already well before the marriage - about more than just family matters and referred to her in her correspondence as her "dear daughter.

The long prepared wedding took place on October 15, 1771 in Milan. The bridegroom's mother was once again not stingy with (well-meaning) advice: "I hope that the wife God has destined for you will please you, as you were already a little in love with her here [in Vienna]. Do not be ashamed of this weakness, it is the only one I wish for you ..." - followed by the request to appear more obliging, to distance oneself from the "dogged face, which I cannot stand and which does not suit you at all".4 In contrast, the mother-in-law's congratulations to the young bride in a separate letter are affectionate ...

On the occasion of the marriage, the only 15-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (he was only two years younger than the groom) composed his opera "Ascanio in Alba", which was premiered two days after the wedding at the Teatro Ducale in Milan. The wedding festivities lasted a full two weeks, with numerous opera performances, concerts, a parade, public festivals, and horse and chariot races. Ferdinand Karl was so taken with Mozart's opera that he wanted to take him into his service and asked Maria Theresa for permission. Immediately, the sobering reaction came from Vienna: "I don't know why and don't believe that you need a composer or such useless people. "5

The couple's residence was the Royal Villa in Monza from 1776. The marriage, concluded for political reasons, was to be a happy one. Ferdinand Karl and Maria Beatrice seem to have complemented each other harmoniously. While the archduke pursued his preferences, his wife, who certainly surpassed him in intelligence and cleverness, took over not only the education of the children (she even taught them herself at times), but also the organizational tasks of the "housewife." "Beatrix always loves and reads good books. Take her as an example and set aside an hour a day for it ...", Ferdinand Karl had to read from his mother, especially since he much preferred to spend his free time with his newly acquired dogs.6 It is indicative of Maria Beatrice's love of reading that she is depicted reading in the portrait that came up for auction.

The union produced nine children, including Maria Leopoldine, who was married to Elector Karl Theodor of Palatinate-Bavaria, who was 52 years her senior, and who began to lead an unconventional and unconstrained life after his death. Even on Karl Theodor's deathbed, the self-confident Habsburg was able to prevent the dying Elector from putting his long-cherished plan into action and trading the Electorate of Bavaria, which he held in low esteem, for the Austrian Netherlands. The bold archduchess thus saved territory and crown for the House of Wittelsbach. In 1780 Archduke Ferdinand Charles became governor of Lombardy. Reforms in all areas of life were steered from Vienna; the political influence of the governor himself was marginal. Napoleon's march on Milan forced the family's hasty departure on May 9, 1796. The following day, the Corsican entered Milan with his troops. Short stays in Trieste and Brno followed for the ducal family. The archduchess finally settled in Wiener Neustadt with some of the children, while Ferdinand Karl took up residence with his older sons in Belvedere Palace in Vienna. After the death of his father-in-law, Ercole III d'Este, in 1803, Ferdinand Karl inherited the claims to his duchies for his wife as well, but there was no legal enforcement.

On Christmas Day 1806, Archduke Ferdinand Karl died of dropsy at the age of 52; Maria Beatrice was to outlive him by 23 years. When her youngest daughter Maria Ludovica married Franz II on 6 January 1808, she advanced to become the mother-in-law of the Austrian emperor. As a result of the Congress of Vienna, she regained her duchy of Massa-Carrara, and occasionally her travels took her back to her homeland.

Archduke Franz V of Austria-Este (1819-1875), the grandson of Ferdinand Karl and Maria Beatrice, was to marry Princess Adelgunde of Bavaria in 1842. Her bridal portrait by the hand of Joseph Stieler is also offered in this auction.



In the course of the 19th century, a now centuries-old tradition continued: members of the families of the Habsburgs and the Wittelsbachers entered into marriage. One of the most famous love marriages - at least in the eyes of posterity - was to be the marriage of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I to Princess Elisabeth in Bavaria ("Sisi").

Elisabeth's aunt and mother-in-law, Princess Sophie of Bavaria, had already married "to Vienna" (Franz Karl Archduke of Austria); Elisabeth's daughter Gisela, in turn, was to marry the Bavarian Prince Leopold in 1873 and thus become the sister-in-law of King Ludwig III of Bavaria. The Bavarian princesses Adelgunde and Hildegard further strengthened these family ties. As part of our special auction, portraits of both princesses in the year of their marriage will be up for auction. Like the portraits of their grandfather and grandmother from 1823, they were created by the Bavarian court painter Joseph Stieler. This artist was associated with the family as a portrait painter through three generations and created portraits of the members of the royal family that were unique in their artistic quality. However, it is not the singular aesthetic value of the two princess portraits that will be discussed in the following, but rather an attempt to highlight the biographies concealed behind the portraits.




Joseph Stieler
1781 Mainz - 1858 Munich

Princess Adelgunde of Bavaria as bride. 1842

(1823 Würzburg - 1914 Munich). Oil on canvas. 72.5 x 58.5 cm. Relined. Restored. Framed.

Expert opinion by Dr. Ulrike von Hase-Schmundt, December 2020.
Provenance: brought to Sárvár in 1924.



The 19th century is considered to be the most important period in the development of the press; numerous daily newspapers, especially local papers, were newly founded.

And in their news, the latest "from the court" was always reported, be it only the departure of the high rulers for trips abroad or the happy return from such. Not differently than in the present it was already worth reporting at that time and obviously desired by the readership as information, with which quantity of luggage and which entourage one intended to travel ... Of course, more detailed articles were dedicated to important events in the life of the royal family - and excerpts from these provide insight into the biographies of the two princesses in the following. Adelgunde Auguste Charlotte Princess of Bavaria (1823 Würzburg-1914 Munich) was the sixth child of King Ludwig I of Bavaria and his wife Therese, née Princess of Saxe-Hildburghausen. In 1842 she was married to Hereditary Prince Franz of Modena, making her an aunt of Queen Marie Therese of Bavaria, the wife of King Ludwig III of Bavaria. Princess Adelgunde ( Duni ) was raised strictly Catholic. She seems to have been an exemplary pupil: "Little Princess Adelgunde (now Duchess Dowager of Modena) loved her dolls particularly tenderly. One day, as the same Professor H. told us, she was busy freshening one of the dolls, while the other lay wrapped on her knees, presumably to be taken to the cradle, when the Professor entered the princesses' room. However busy her play might seem, however busy the royal child might be, seeing her dear teacher, putting away the dolls, hurrying to meet him with open arms and friendly greetings, was the work of a moment, and the very next moment one saw the well-bred royal daughter serious and diligent with her books and notebooks, listening attentively to the lecture of her beloved teacher". (Catholic school newspaper [Bayerische Schulzeitung] - Monika. No. 28. Donauwörth 12.7.1876, p. 110).

Having reached marriageable age, Princess Adelgunde had marriage candidates from France, Coburg and Nassau. However, the decision fell in favor of Hereditary Prince Franz of Modena, nephew of the widow of Bavarian Elector Karl Theodor, Maria Leopoldine. The wedding in 1842 was a brilliant social event. The hereditary prince succeeded his father in 1846 as Franz V. Duke of Modena, but had to relinquish his rule as early as 1859 in the course of Italian unification. With his death in 1875, the Modena-Este line became extinct.

The division of the inheritance after Duke Francis V was announced in several daily newspapers. "[...] The widow of Duke Franz, Duchess Adelgunde, daughter of King Ludwig I of Bavaria [= Marie Therese], receives 250,000 fl. cash in addition to the income promised to her in the marriage contract. The Duke's niece I. K. H. Princess Ludwig of Bavaria, receives the estates of her father, who died on Dec. 15, 1849." (Freisinger Tagblatt. December 4, 1875, p. 2) Among the mentioned estates, which the later Bavarian Queen Marie Therese inherited, was also the Nádasdy Castle in Sárvár, which was to become a place of destiny for the Wittelsbach family.

Duchess Adelgunde lived alternately in the Palais Modena in Vienna, in the Munich Residence and in Wildenwart Castle in Chiemgau. In 1886, her brother Prince Luitpold took over the regency in Bavaria. The two were inseparable; "Aunt Modena" supported her brother in family and social obligations, was considered one of the most important - and feared - figures in the conservative ecclesiastical court party, and embodied the influence of the Viennese court in Munich.

On March 19, 1903, the 80th birthday of Adelgunde, the "Rosenheimer Anzeiger" dedicated most benevolent remarks to the life and above all to the obviously exemplary character of the duchess until old age: "The noble, high jubilarian, the kind-hearted duchess, who lives alternately in Munich or at Wildenwart Castle near Prien-Aschau or at Berchtesgaden Castle. Berchtesgaden Castle, is linked by a deep friendship with her royal brother, "your Poltl", as the high lady likes to say in intimate circles, the much-loved Prince-Regent, whose fullest confidant and most loyal companion is the Duchess, "His Gundel", who is two years younger. [...] It is no flattery to claim that the Duchess Adelgunde of Modena is one of the noblest and most important princesses of whom the history of the Wittelsbach dynasty knows to tell. / A noble, free mind, vividly turned towards all human endeavors, a rich, noble education, a high, proud self-confidence, however, coupled with a rare depth of mind, distinguish the Duchess Adelgunde of Modena from most women on princely thrones. Her whole life gives a picture of indestructible beneficial effectiveness. To alleviate need, to bring help and comfort to the suffering, the weak and the poor, this is the life's work of the high woman, who is the "trusted, loving aunt" of the entire royal house, the model of feminine virtues for the whole country. [...] With her favorite brother she spends the rest of the earthly existence in the fullest sisterly fidelity and moreover the duchess is exclusively incumbent on the noble Samriter service / Her motto "Nobility sits in the mind, not in the flower" has obligated by the great exercise of mercy in all Bavaria and Austria to the intimate gratitude." Who would not wish to have such wreaths wreathed by contemporaries?


On April 15, 1844, Prince Luitpold of Bavaria, later Prince Regent, and Archduchess Auguste Ferdinande of Austria were married in Florence. And on May 1 of that year, the marriage of Princess Hildegard of Bavaria, Luitpold's sister, to Archduke Albrecht of Austria follows in Munich. Joint celebrations are held in Munich in honor of the two bridal couples. In its issue of May 1, 1844, "Der Bayerische Eilbote" publishes a poem on the occasion of the double wedding:


Joseph Stieler
1781 Mainz - 1858 Munich

(1825 Würzburg - 1864 Vienna). Oil on canvas. 70.5 x 59.5 cm. Relined. Restored. Framed.

Expert opinion by Dr. Ulrike von Hase-Schmundt, Munich, December 2020.
Provenance: estate of Adelgunde, Duchess of Modena (1914). - Brought to Sárvár in 1924.


„In der Schyren großem Ahnenreiche

Blüthenvoll und dichtbelaubt

Hebt die alte Wittelsbacher Eiche

Stolz empor ihr grünes Haupt.

Ihres Stammes Zweige sich verschlingen

In Europas Thronen Glanz,

Und die Donau und der Arno bringen

Einen frischen Myrthenkranz;

Und ein lauter Freudenjubel waltet

Im entzückten Bayerland,

Weil ein Doppelbund sich hat gestaltet,

Den der Liebe Fügung band.

Jauchze Bayern! Hildegard beglücket, –

Die an Geisteszierden reich –

Ihren Albert, der uns hoch entzücket,

Seinem großen Vater gleich;

Jenem teutschen Helden, der im Kriege

Frankreichs Horden widerstand;

Ehrend dankt für jene Siege

Ihm das teutsche Vaterland [...]“


These lines contain the most important elements of princely marriage policy even in the 19th century. In the happiest case for love, the union of two ancient princely houses is renewed and strengthened. The pedigree and charm of the bride is not to be neglected, glorious deeds in the family of the at least equal spouse are welcome ... The Bavarian Princess Hildegard apparently convinced not only her groom: it is reported that the future Emperor Franz Joseph I noted in his diary: "She pleased me well, she is pretty, has too thick cheeks, a very pretty figure, is quite aimable [. ...]" - a clear statement by the just 14-year-old archduke, who in 1854 was to marry Hildegard's cousin Elisabeth, the "Sisi" who was praised for her beauty but was no less complicated.


Joseph Stieler's portrait of Princess Hildegard, the portrait "with curls", was painted at the beginning of 1844, the year of her marriage to Albrecht Friedrich Rudolf Archduke of Austria (1817 Vienna-1895 Arco Castle / Italy). Hildegard Louise Charlotte Princess of Bavaria was the seventh child of King Ludwig I of Bavaria and his wife Therese, née Princess of Saxe-Hildburghausen. At the age of only 39, Archduchess Hildegard died of the consequences of pleurisy, which she had contracted during an exhausting journey to the deathbed of her brother, the Bavarian King Maximilian II. Once again the daily press of the time should be quoted:


"The world of women has lost one of its most beautiful ornaments. A highly sympathetic individuality, combined with simplicity, a sense of charity and incomparable virtues as a housewife and mother have always won the heart of the population for the sublime deceased [...]".

(Die Neue Zeit - Olmüzer Zeitung, April 6, 1864).


  • 1 Aus Briefen Therese Kunigundes an Alexander Sobieski, 17.2.1695 bzw. 20.6.1695. Zitiert nach: Kruedener, Claudia, Kurfürstin Therese Kunigunde von Bayern (1676–1730) und ihre Friedenspolitik in europäischen Dimensionen zwischen Papst und Kaiser. Regensburg 2020, S. 98, Anm. 495 und 496.
  • 2 Ebda., S. 103, Anm. 519. Brief Max Emanuels an seine Schwiegermutter Maria Casimira, 27.1.1696.
  • 3 Zitiert nach Weissensteiner, Friedrich, Die Söhne Maria Theresias. Wien 2004, S. 169.
  • 4 Zitiert nach Weissensteiner, op. cit., S. 173–175.
  • 5 Zitiert nach Weissensteiner, op.cit., S. 176.
  • 6 Zitiert nach Weissensteiner, op.cit., S. 187.



Jacopo Amigoni
1682 Naples - 1752 Madrid

Adhesive label fideicommissum Duke Clement Francis de Paula of Bavaria with number 7 on the stretcher. Oil on canvas. 138 x 110.5 cm. Relined. Restored. Minor damage to frame.

Provenance: Clementinum. - Given to Prince Francis of Bavaria from the depot of the Bavarian State Painting Collections in 1932.


Jacopo Amigoni (also known as "Santiago Amiconi" in Spanish) is one of the most important artists of the first half of the 18th century. He received his first training in the circle of Luca Giordano, Francesco Solimena and the "Roman School" as such influenced his artistic beginnings. In 1711 his name is mentioned for the first time in the "Fraglia" of painters in Venice. The works of the leading artists in Venice Antonio Bellucci, Sebastiano Ricci, Antonio Balestra and Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini as well as the famous (pastel) artist Rosalba Carriera impressed and influenced him during this period.



Since 1717 Jacopo Amigoni has been active in Bavaria and Upper Swabia, first in Nymphenburg Palace, since 1719 commissioned with work for Schleißheim Palace, and later active in the Benedictine Abbey of Ottobeuren. His further life took him via England (1729) and France back to his Italian homeland. In 1747 he left it for good to go to Madrid. The now royal court painter was also the first director of the newly founded Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando until his death.

Jacopo Amigoni's early works, created in Bavaria, already prove him to be one of the first "pure" representatives of Venetian Rococo and at the same time one of the creators of the Rococo style, which was appreciated throughout Europe. In southern Germany, his artistic signature was ennobled as "stile Amigoni".

Annalisa Scarpa recognizes on the basis of photographs in the present painting typical artistic features of Amigoni's creative period in Bavaria, his "anni bavaresi".


„hie kam der durchleuchtig un[d] hochgebor[n] first hertzog vilib[us] ertzhertzog czu esterreich un[d] hertzog czu burgundi: etc. bracht seine diener auff / mit namen den hochgebornen fyrsten margraff bernhart zu badaw selb XV wol vorwapnet czu schimpf [?] und ernst buten sich czu / schlahen wer da kem nach lautt der geschrift daruber bogriffenn was - / bald darnach kam der durchleichtig hochgeborne first un[d] herr hertzog erich von braunschweig selb XV den / vorgenanten firsten und herren zu beston nach seinem bogeren das geschach in der stat andorff die da leit / in braffant am sontag nach sant lauxtag do man czalt :“.

This designation on a strip of canvas later attached to the upper edge of the painting names the main participants in the event, historically tangible people. Some of the participants in the tournament are assigned their names in the representation. Despite the authentic effect of these names, the tournament mentioned cannot be proven in the sources and literature known to us. Tournament representations in painted form are very rare. It is assumed that these large-format paintings were made as a substitute for tapestries, which could only be produced at great expense in terms of time and money. Tournaments were usually depicted in so-called tournament books, also in illustrated chronicles or in the form of book illustrations - i.e. in small format.


The German name of the painting refers to Archduke Philip "the Handsome" (1478 Bruges - 1506 Burgos). The latter was the eldest son of Emperor Maximilian I, the "last knight", and his wife Mary of Burgundy. In politically troubled times, Philip's talent as a moderator was evident, but his advice went unheeded for the time being. In 1493, the States General asked Emperor Maximilian I to grant his 15-year-old son rule over the Netherlands. The corresponding homage ceremonies took place in the individual principalities in 1494. Familiar with the people and institutions since his youth, Philip succeeded in gaining the sympathy and trust of his subjects and sought peaceful relations with France. The Netherlands experienced a restoration of domestic tranquility and economic growth during his reign.

In 1495 (per procuram) or effectively in person in 1496, the Archduke married Joan of Castile-Aragon, while his sister Margaret was married to Don Juan of Castile-Aragon. Joan eventually became heiress to the kingdoms of Castile, Leon, Aragon and Granada. The Habsburgs henceforth headed Spain and southern Italy and the colonies. Philip's and Johanna's son Charles was to rule as Emperor Charles V over an empire in which, proverbially, "the sun never set." Their daughter Mary was to become Queen of Hungary.

The tournament, which according to the name took place on October 19, 1494, is connected with the above-mentioned homage celebrations of that year. On the occasion of Philip's entry into Antwerp, two tournaments were held. One tournament, at which Frederick the Wise of Saxony and Erich of Brunswick were also present, is depicted on a tapestry in the Musée des Beaux Arts in Valenciennes. "Our" tournament, however, is not traceable in the sources. The facial features of many a prominent participant or guest, who could actually be identified by the coats of arms, cannot be assigned. Possibly this circumstance is to be explained by the fact that the painting was made in a larger temporal distance to the event.

The various phases of a tournament are depicted: the arrival of the combatants at the tournament site, the selection of the opponent, the donning of armor, lance and sword, the competition as such and the care of competitors who have fallen to the ground. One of the few clearly identifiable figures, by the way, is Erich of Brunswick, who rides ahead on the right and is characterized by his distinctive crest.

In the literature it is assumed that the present painting was created after an older representation. Possibilities for comparison in art around 1500 are numerous: Tournaments are repeatedly depicted on prints of this period: The "Master MZ" active around 1500 created a copperplate engraving, which could have been known to the unknown artist of our painting or possibly the model for it. Lucas Cranach the Elder's woodcuts depicting tournaments (1506), Hans Burgkmair's illustrations in the "Freydal" (c. 1513) or Jost Amman's illustrations for Georg Rüxner's "ThurnierBuch" (first published in 1530) can also be used for comparison.

An interesting aspect of the use of painted tournament depictions in courtly settings has remained unaddressed in scholarly discussion of the present painting: Heinrich Göding the Elder (1531 Brunswick - 1606 Dresden), for example, created 29 tournament paintings for the Dresden "Stallgalerie" (the gallery of the Long Corridor of the Dresden Stallhof) in 1589/90, among others, depicting the "Scharfrennen" of the Saxon Elector August in the years 1543 to 1566. Combined with these paintings were 47 larger-than-life, full-figure representations of Saxon rulers. This decoration is thus to be interpreted in the sense of "ruler praise". Nine of Göding's tournament paintings have survived. It is possible that the present large-scale work was created for a similar context.

















KPM Berlin, circa 1831/1834

Porcelain. Rich and partly etched gold decoration on the foot, shoulder and mouth. gold plated metal base. Gilt metal base. Munich vase number 2 (without handles). Blue sceptre mark, red painting mark. Small scratch. Height 63 cm.

Cf. Wittwer, Samuel, Raffinesse & Eleganz. Königliche Porzellane des frühen 19. Jahrhunderts aus der Twinight Collection New York. Munich 2007, number 112.


One can understand the Wittelsbach-owned panorama vase with the street panorama - not actually a mere prospectus - as a travel invitation, as a seduction to the so-called Athens on the Spree, where one had everything: history and present, architecture and city order, bourgeoisie and court, scholars and powerful people. The city, its court and its bourgeoisie present and present themselves, show splendor, potency and potential. It is a glimpse into a golden age, even if it is called Biedermeier and is often considered narrow because censorship prevailed, patriotism lapsed into regionalism, and divided, fragmented Germany was not a world or commercial power. But greatness lay in the small. The vase, a good cubit high (in the measurement of the time), places its owner at the center of power and spirit: This is an enormous claim, an ideal message. Berlin, capital of Prussia, which since Frederick the Great had changed from military to enlightenment, and where even Voltaire lived for a time, became a cosmopolitan city. Certainly, it took quite a few steps to achieve this, but the vase documents the grandiose result of this metamorphosis.

Since 1820, anyone who wanted to get to know Berlin could buy the "Lindenrolle," an eight-meter-long strip panorama with all the facades of the buildings from the Berlin City Palace to the Brandenburg Gate. Sitting in a fauteuil, one could "walk" along the boulevard, let it roll past as if from a vehicle, and this print, which was available in color, was even sold with a capsule: The cinematic element had entered the service of tourism before the invention of film. The vase owned by the Wittelsbach family, on the other hand, does not move people along the facades but, when placed on a rotating pedestal or walked around, offers a panoramic view from one location. This panoramic view is due to the love of the panorama, which flourished in those decades as an element of entertainment and education, and for which there was even a separate building in Berlin, erected by a member of the Gropius family.

The panoramic view on the belly of the vase is projected onto the curved surface with perspective calculation. The viewer stands where he or she should not stand today, if the pleasure of the vase is not to be too short and one does not want to be run over, namely on the middle of the street Unter den Linden in Berlin. On the right and on the left the view aligns into the depth of the transverse axes, before and back it goes on the east situated city castle and into the depth of the street Unter den Linden up to the Brandenburg Gate standing westward.

The vase is special, although not a unique piece. A comparable vase of almost the same height from the years 1829/32 with likewise etched gold decoration is, for example, not mounted on a round foot, but on a square plinth. Such decorative vases are more often found with a smaller picture field and, moreover, with different decorations, which can consist of extensive gilding or - as here - in combination with colored areas. As decoration one can find tendrils, foliage, palmettes, i.e. the whole assortment of classicism. There is also evidence of a combination with a rich blue tone, as well as the blue mark of the scepter in combination with other marks. 

The balanced shape of the vase body, the elegance of the decoration, perfection of craftsmanship from gilding to porcelain painting seem remarkable. Most often, such vases are assembled from the foot and the body; after all, they were intended as souvenirs to be shipped, as gifts for the relatives of the court, as a state presentation. Since everything still had to be transported by carriage, and the first sections of the railroad rolling on rails were not built until the next few years, maximum breakage resistance was needed. So the possibility of separating the body from the foot was obvious. In boxes with wood wool or sawdust, such a vase could be sent to distant relatives. This is how we can imagine that the precious piece from Berlin was sent from the Royal Porcelain Manufactory to its destination in the south. 

If one imagines that this vase was unpacked and set up, the first thing that came to mind for the members of the Wittelsbach family from whose possession it came would be their relatives, such as Elisabeth of Bavaria, who lived in Berlin and had married the Prussian Prince Frederick William (IV). Both of them ran a salon in the Berlin Palace, which was held in the so-called Tea Salon - a room designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. All the celebrities came here, not only the Humboldts, but also artists like Christian Daniel Rauch, Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Christian Friedrich Tieck.

If you now stroll through the representation, it makes sense to start at the seat of power, at the castle, whose opulent facade is still visible without the dome that was later erected on the west side. The view passes a narrow house to the right of it, which belongs to the so-called Schlossfreiheit and consists of two full floors and a lower upper floor above. This is followed by the Kommandantur, the first house on this side of the bridge over the Kupfergraben. Then, with a large driveway, is the even higher Crown Prince's Palace, sculpturally decorated and with two sign houses, the Baroque city palace built in the 18th century, where Frederick William used to lodge. A century later, the first branch of the National Gallery was located here, a place of the most consistent public accessibility of modern art, whose director was Ludwig Justi and whose charisma inspired not least the founding and equipping of the Museum of Modern Art: After 1919, modern art established itself here-more modern than in Paris, for example; Max Beckmann's paintings and those of many other avant-garde artists hung here.

But if you return to the time when the vase was created, you continue to stroll along Unter den Linden. The Prinzessinnenpalais, which appears modest with four street-side window axes and stretches far into the depths, adjoins. The small, enticing Prinzessinnengarten follows, behind which two reddish brick towers, each with four pinnacles, beckon against the light sky. This is the Friedrichswerder Church, a neo-Gothic church building designed by Schinkel and erected since 1823. The church was completed in 1830; thus the vase painting can be dated. It was certainly not created before 1830, probably only from 1831, because everything points to a completed building; even the scaffolding has been removed. A dating of the vase from 1830 is thus certain. 

To the right of the little garden is the red dome of the church of St. Hedwig, architecturally reminiscent of the Roman Pantheon and to be understood as a northern Alpine successor building - round and domed. To the left of it, close to the boulevard of the "Linden", Christian Daniel Rauch's bronze monument of Prince Blücher, unveiled in 1826, rises, placing his foot on a cannon barrel and dominating the Prussian city with patriotic pride. An enclosing grille creates distance and a dignified sovereign space; all these monument enclosures, common at the time, fell victim to the metal donations of the two world wars and changed the perception of statues, which henceforth appeared abruptly in urban spaces.

By the way, the picture of the vase gives a picture of the society. Two ladies with big hats are standing on the street; an adolescent is holding his hat begging to them, which would be a motivic dare in porcelain painting, or is he pulling it in front of the established women? Further to the right are other members of Berlin's Biedermeier society, and of course the military must not be missing.


Important is the Royal Opera House, built by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff until 1743, which burned out in 1843 and stands today as a successor building. With the ground-level portal it invites. With the portico it shows officiality. Next, as we continue our walk westward, we see the Royal Library, a building with a baroque swinging facade, and then, under the reddish evening sky, the then still two-story palace of Prince Wilhelm before the reconstruction of this cityscape-defining building.

house. The old building still visible here gave way from 1834 to a new building for the prince and later king and emperor Wilhelm I, which was completed in 1837 and built by the architect Karl Ferdinand Langhans. Thus we have a terminus ante quem: the vase painting must have been created in 1834 at the latest, since demolition began in that year. Thus, the probable dating is between 1831 and 1834.

Then the trees aligned to the west; the street Unter den Linden leads into the distant point of the Brandenburg Gate. In front of it the promenade - populated by people, not by modern tourism. And what is also missing is Rauch's colossal bronze equestrian monument to Prussian King Frederick II. Instead, a military rides here on a brown horse; the city is in everyday life. The dog, on the other hand, proves to be a prop of veduta painting; it must not be missing, for it mediates between buildings and people in scale, it is a small, cute third, the artistic surprise stroke, as one has known it since Canaletto.

The old academy building on the right, the northern side of the street, as well as the horseshoe-shaped palace of Prince Heinrich, at that time already a university, and the Singakademie, which lies in the distance in perspective, follow. It follows, flanked by the two white marble statues of Bülow and Scharnhorst - again created by Rauch - unveiled in the early 1820s, the Neue oder Königswache, which had already been erected in 1818. (The sculpture, which was not realized until after 1842, is missing from the gable.) Andreas Schlüter's armory lies like an erratic block in front of the bridge, followed far away by the old Boumann Cathedral, overgrowth, and the pharmacy wing of the City Palace that follows on the right. Far to the east beckons the pointed tower in the old town, the Marienkirchturm.

Berlin society is present through numerous well-dressed citizens. This urban Berlin makes a claim: it wants to be an Athens on the Spree, a city full of statements about state politics. The palace as the seat of power is the starting point for the approaching state coach and the city. The armory and the commandant's office in the vicinity of the palace testify to the state's defensive capability, while the palace's free space bears witness to the wealthy bourgeoisie. The Crown Prince's and Princesses' Palaces echo the Hohenzollern power, followed by the Singakademie, university and academy on the northern side of the street and the opera house and library on the southern side: Hohenzollern residence, military power and intellectual institutions form an ideal state structure: thus, this vase gives nothing less than a state program based on the harmony of feudal power and bourgeoisie, of power and spirit, and proves with recent buildings to be a city full of harmonious development potential.