This late 19th-century watercolour by Austrian artist Emanuel Stöckler (1819-1893) depicts The King’s Bedchamber at The Palace of Versailles, France. It was previously sold at Sotheby’s.
The opulent decor of The King’s Bedchamber gleams with ornamentation. A monumental canopy hangs above the bed while the walls are adorned with exquisite old masters. A magnificent gilt railing keeps visitors at arm's length.
Under Louis XIV, the boisterous Sun King, the lavish private apartment at Versailles changed appearance on numerous occasions. Here, we see a view from around 1870, captured by the Prince of decadent interiors, Emanuel Stöckler.
It’s fascinating to imagine the artist sat within these palatial surroundings, sketching over several weeks or months. To gain an invite was quite an achievement and it’s possibly a commission for a noble family. Stöckler worked for various members of the aristocracy including Gheorghe Bibescu, the Prince of Wallachia, and Tsarina, Maria Alexandrovna. Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria also admired his work - gifting one of Stöckler’s watercolours to Queen Victoria in 1851.
His abundant skill earned him a comfortable living and in the early part of his career, he was working from a studio in Venice. Several illustrious interiors were rendered by his hand, including at the Doge's Palace, the Chiesa di San Miniato in Florence, the Pitti Palace Gallery and, in 1870, the Grande Galerie at the Louvre.
In 1997, this piece sold at Sotheby’s for £5,500.
Signed in the lower right and held within a later frame. Glazed.
Medium: Watercolour heightened with gum arabic on paper
Overall size: 30” x 24½” / 76cm x 63cm
Year of creation: c. 1870
Condition: Artwork presents well. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction maximum: £10,787
Emanuel Stöckler trained at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, under Thomas Ender and Joseph Mössmer. He exhibited at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna and was a member of the Vienna Künstlerhaus. His works are held in numerous public collections including at the Vienna Museum and in the Royal Collection, referred to above.
Learn more about Emanuel Stöckler in our directory.