By H. Watanabe-O'Kelly
This is often the 1st cultural heritage of Baroque Dresden, the capital of Saxony and crucial Protestant territory within the Empire from the mid-sixteenth to the early eighteenth century. Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly exhibits how the artwork patronage of the Electors matches into the highbrow weather of the age and investigates its political and spiritual context. Lutheran church song and structure, the impression of Italy, the cupboard of curiosities and the tradition of accumulating, alchemy, mining and early know-how, legit image-making and court docket theatre are the various wealth of colorful topics handled through the interval 1553 to 1733.
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Additional info for Court Culture in Dresden: From Renaissance to Baroque
Almost immediately after wresting the Electorship from his Ernestine cousin, Moritz began this process. The first stage in his programme was the transformation of the medieval fortress in Dresden into a Renaissance palace, much larger than its predecessor and covered with striking and elaborate sgraffito depictions of scenes from the Old Testament, classical mythology and ancient history (Figure 12). This was a decorative technique hitherto unknown in Saxony. 1 Moritz travelled to Italy in 1549, and visited Venice, Mantua, Ferrara and Milan.
But from the time of his Italian journey in 1549 these political manoeuvrings went hand in hand with cultural interests. In Mantua Moritz probably visited Giulio Romano’s Sala dei Giganti in the Palazzo del Tè, completed in 1535. This may have influenced the design for the twelve larger than life-size frescoes of giants in the Riesensaal or Hall of the Giants completed in 1553 in the Palace in Dresden3 (Figure 13). These frescoes were executed by the brothers Benedetto (1525–1572), Gabriele (1523–1569) and Guerino Tola from The Italian Ideal 39 Figure 13.
This was the year in which Johann Friedrich II, the rival Ernestine claimant for the Electorship and son of The Lutheran Legacy 15 the Johann Friedrich defeated at the Battle of Mühlberg, was outlawed on the accession of Maximilian II as Holy Roman Emperor. 16 August had a special sword made to commemorate this event and had himself depicted shouldering it in a portrait by Zacharias Wehme, his court painter, in 1586. The portrait, now in the Armoury in Dresden (Inv. Nr. H 208), shows him in full armour.