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A Magnificent FaithArt and Identity in Lutheran Germany$
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Bridget Heal

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737575

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198737575.001.0001

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The Visual Culture of a Lutheran Court

The Visual Culture of a Lutheran Court

Dresden, 1650–1700

(p.191) 7 The Visual Culture of a Lutheran Court
A Magnificent Faith

Bridget Heal

Oxford University Press

Chapter 7 turns from the devotional to the magnificent image, exploring the role of religious art at the Dresden court of the Saxon elector. The chapter focuses on the second half of the seventeenth century, on the period of religious and political stability that followed the Peace of Westphalia (1648). It investigates Dresden’s cultural connections to Italy. By the seventeenth century Lutheran texts provided a theologically grounded aesthetic that acknowledged the spiritual value of beautiful images. During this age of princely collecting—of the Kunstkammer—piety and politics merged. The castle chapel in Dresden provides a wonderful example, examined in detail in this chapter: here a rich visual and liturgical culture served not only to promote proper Lutheran piety but also to demonstrate the magnificence of the prince, in this case Elector Johann Georg II (r. 1656–80).

Keywords:   Dresden, Elector Johann Georg II, court culture, baroque, princely collecting, music, Italian culture, castle chapel, liturgy

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