Oil on canvas
Unframed: 127 x 101.6 cm (50 x 40 in.)
Contemporary Collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art 1965.450
© Artists Right Society (ARS), New York
Lindner appears in the second row of the Beatles’ St. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) album cover.
Richard Lindner’s often colorful figures in hard-edge style build a bridge between the classic modern European art and aspects of American popular culture. With the historical figure of Louis II, Lindner refers to a memory of his childhood in Germany that is the subject in several of his later paintings. Ludwig II of Bavaria (sometimes rendered as Louis II in English) was King of Bavaria from 1864 until shortly before his death. He is sometimes called the Swan King (or Märchenkönig in German) and is considered to have been mentally ill, though the medical diagnosis remains controversial. Adding to the controversy are his eccentric character and the mysterious circumstances under which he died. In Lindner’s painting Ludwig II appears as an enigmatic, yet powerful figure whose legacy is strongly connected with the history of art.
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