|Photo of Herrenchiemsee Palace by Bbb; CC BY-SA 1.0, no changes.
Ludwig II of Bavaria is often known as The Fairy Tale King (Märchenkönig) due to his intense and often all-consuming passion for commissioning architectural projects and creative endeavors, such as the picturessque Neuschwanstein castle or his frequent patronage to composer Richard Wagner. One of these projects was the creation of a new palace, known as New Herrenchiemsee Palace, which was erected on an island purchased by Ludwig II for the intent of turning it into a new royal residence. New Herrenchiemsee Palace would be the last of Ludwig II's creative endeavors; Ludwig II only stayed at the palace for a few days towards the end of its construction, and the palace itself was incomplete at the time of his death.
New Herrenchiemsee Palace is unique not only due to its location and its infamous cost (its incomplete construction cost was higher than the cost for building Linderhof and Neuschwanstein Castle combined) but for its theme: Herrenchiemsee was designed as an homage to Versailles, with a strong emphasis on Ludwig II's interest in Louis XIV. The homage extends to the exteriors, interiors, and even the gardens of this secluded, enchanting royal space.
As part of the preperation for his Louis XIV-homage, Ludwig II hired artist Jobst Riegel to visit Versailles and paint a series of watercolors that would be used to help plan the new castle.Riegel painted a total of 22 watercolors of Versailles and its stunning gardens.
Here is a small selection of the Riegel watercolors which inspired Ludwig II in his mission to create a secluded homage to the Sun King.
|A view of the Latona Basin fountain at Versailles by Jobst Riegel, 1875-1876. [credit: Photo (C) Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Christophe Fouin]
|The bedchamber of Louis XIV by Jobst Riegel, 1875-1876. [credit: Photo (C) Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Christophe Fouin]
The full 22-set of watercolors can be viewed here.