Maximilian I Joseph (König von Bayern)

male / German
king, art collector
Schwetzingen 1756-05-27
Munich 1825-10-13
Family relationships
this field records any family relationship to one or more other artist(s).
Son of Friedrich Michael (1724–1767), Duke of Pfalz-Birkenfeld-Bischweiler (a sideline of the Wittelsbach family) and Maria Franziska Dorothea von Pfalz-Sulzbach (1724–1794) . After the death of his father in 1767 he was raised by his uncle Duke Christian IV. Pfalz-Zweibrücken, as his mother was disowned because of her licentious life-styl. Maximilian was married twice: 1. 30 September 1785 in Darmstadt with princess Auguste Wilhelmine von Hessen-Darmstadt (1765–1796) and 2. on 9 March 1797 with princess Karoline Friederike Wilhelmine von Baden (1776–1841)
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Biographical information
Active in
  • Straatsburg 1767 - 1778
    at the court of his uncle Christian
  • Ribeauvillé (Alsace) 1778 - 1789
    He inherited the county of Rappoltstein with Rappertweiler/Ribeauvillé (Alsace)
  • Mannheim 1789 - 1797
    Maximilian and his family fled for the French Revolution to Mannheim, where they lived in very modest circumstances, as the head of the Wittelsbach family, Elector Karl Theodor refused them entry in Munich and didn't gave them an allowance; although Maximilian inherited the Dukedom Pfalz-Zweibrücken in 1795 from his dead older brother Karl. II. August, he could not take possession of his inheritance, as the French occupied the dukedom.
  • Ansbach 1797 - 1799
    In 1797 he had to flee once more for the French, now to Ansbach in Brandenburg in Prussia
  • München 1799 - 1825
    After the sudden death of Elector Karl Theodor following a heart-attack, Maximilian became the new Elector Maximilian IV.Joseph. His first duty was to reform and strengthen the army. Despite the lost all his possessions left of the Rhine to the armies of Napoleon, Maximilian was able to form a strong alliance with the Emperor after the Battle of Austerlitz/Peace of Pressburg between 1805-1813: on 1 January 1806 Bavaria became a kingdom, while the Wittelsbach formed an alliance with the Bonaparte family, when Maximilians daughter Auguste Amalia Ludovika married on 13. January 1806 with Eugène de Beauharnais. By cleverly changing sides to the Allies on 8 October 1813 (ten days before the decisive Battle of Leipzig) he became one of the victorious. By his secret diplomacy he could save his possessions during the Vienna Congress. As a constitutional king he lived in Munich, indulging in his love of architecture (still very visible in Munich today) and art . From his two marriages he had 13 children, among whom his successor, King Ludwig I
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Creation date: 2018-08-13; Last modified date: 2021-07-29


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