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The Marauders of the Winter Garten

For this paintings I wanted to capture the mischievous spirit of the Macaws that lived in the huge conservatory above the King's palace in Munich.

The capital was Ludwig's least favourite place to be - full of royal protocol and ministers who were opposed to his lavish expenses - so he decided to revamp and extend his little oasis above the palace. The winter gardens at the Residenz were vast and housed a menagerie of animals, birds, a tent and a pond with swans and a rowing boat. The exotic birds that were allowed to fly free used to terrorize the servants and visitors alike; much to Ludwig's II's amusement.

These two were painted onto a slice of gold leafed elm, with oil paints. The central branch has been sanded out from the paintwork to reveal the raw wood underneath.