Joseph Karl Stieler’s Gallery of Beauties

O, that Stieler. Could he not make a purse from a sow’s ear? And why did he not paint me?

king ludwig’s facebook of tarts

gallery of beauties

Pick a tart, any tart.

We did not have People and Us and Entertainment Weekly. We did not have Twitter or Facebook. But we did have King Ludwig’s Wall. My uncle’s Schönheitengalerie was really the who’s who of 19th Century tabloid dish, with mistresses, royals and gorgeous tarts all peering out through coquettish smirks.

Not that I wished to be in their number. Heaven forbid! Still, one cannot help but be a little put out by the public parade of those, who, er, put out.

the enchantress, lola montez

King Ludwig was far from her only friend...

There was that Italian slut, Floozi…I mean Florenzi, who kept King Ludwig happy for forty years. Then there was the British chick, Digby, who had her way with most of the Bavarian Royal Family. But of all my uncle’s lovers, none was as dangerous and beguiling as Lola Montez, who was single-handedly responsible for dethroning the randy ruler, and causing complete mayhem (Occupy Munich!) throughout Bavaria.

There is but one consolation for yours truly with all this wall business, and that is my wretched mother-in-law, meddler in all affairs, is forever immortalized amongst those tarty tarts. Even though she was, um, my Uncle’s sister (and, yes, that would make her my aunt), the Archduchess Sophie was thought of as a hottie, back in the day. But that was before she tossed her feminine whiles to the wind in favor of the good old fashioned ass-whipping style she became known for.