Bavaria, Charles Theodore, 1777-1799, Conventionsthaler 1786, PCGS AU58
For the electoral line Palatinate-Sulzbach
Karl Philipp Theodor ( *1724; † 1799)
He had been Count Palatine and Elector Palatine as well as Duke of Jülich-Berg since 31 December 1742 as Charles IV.
From 30 December 1777 he was also Elector of Bavaria as Charles II and the penultimate Palatine-Bavarian Elector.
His reign had enormous significance for the cultural, economic and infrastructural development of southern Germany in the second half of the 18th century.
In the spirit of the Enlightenment, he carried out numerous reforms and acted as a patron of the arts. Famous contemporaries with whom Karl Philipp Theodor surrounded himself included the French philosopher and writer Voltaire, who performed several plays at his court.
The Elector was regarded as an extremely enlightened sovereign, praised for his intellectual curiosity and tolerance, his education and his taste in art. He promoted science and art far beyond the usual measure. For example, he had Johann Stamitz reform the court orchestra as "instrumental music director".
It became an elite ensemble that brought together outstanding instrumentalists and excellent singers from all over Europe. The Elector's court orchestra thus became a pioneer of European classical music and was known worldwide as the "Mannheim School".
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart gave several concerts here at court from 1777 and was music teacher to the princely children.
In 1763, Karl Theodor founded the Mannheim Academy of Sciences, which included the classes of history and natural sciences, and in Düsseldorf the Collegium Anatomico-Chirurgicum. In 1780, the Societas Meteorologica Palatina followed as the third class of the Academy; this was the first internationally active meteorological society.
He revolutionised the art scene, among other things. He revolutionised the art scene, for example, at Mannheim Palace, where he established a cabinet of copperplate engravings and drawings, which later became the Munich State Collection of Prints and Drawings. In 1769 the Mannheim Academy of Drawing opened with its famous Hall of Antiquities.
Today, Elector Karl Theodor is one of the most outstanding German patrons of the general sciences as well as the music and art scene worldwide.