Proposal for Schloss Falkenstein (c. 1883).
A slight return to Ludwig II. Schloss Falkenstein would have been another beetling edifice in the manner of Schloss Neuschwanstein had it ever been built, and judging by this view it might have been even more grandiose. The painting is one of the proposals by stage designer Christian Jank whose plans had already been used for Neuschwanstein. Philippe Jullian makes some scathing remarks about the Gothic interior of the earlier castle but he may have had more patience for the Byzantine interiors planned for Falkenstein. I’m not sure how these would be reconciled with Jank’s exterior, however, the style being Gothic enough to satisfy Viollet-le-Duc. Ludwig’s untimely death in 1886 drew a line under his architectural schemes but Bavaria’s loss eventually became Walt Disney’s gain as Jank’s fantasias provided the inspiration for the castle in Sleeping Beauty (1959) and all of the Disney theme park castles. What Ludwig would have made of this we can only guess. I suspect he’d be entranced by the fantasy but appalled by the vulgarisation. He was an elitist, after all, and the castles were always for him alone, not hordes of T-shirted proles.