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The Electoral Wardrobe

The new permanent exhibition in the Renaissance Wing

Residenzschloss Dresden, 1st floor

Original costumes held in the Rüstkammer that were worn by the electors of Saxony in the period from about 1550 to 1650 illustrate the luxurious princely fashions of the Renaissance and early Baroque, such as are otherwise seen only on portraits of the great rulers of that era.

Owing to their certain provenance, the outstanding craftsmanship and artistic quality of the textiles, their value as an ensemble, their dynastic importance, their international character, their period and their impressive state of preservation, the stately garments preserved in Dresden are ranked as a significant element of European cultural heritage under the category “Renaissance and early Baroque fashion and textile art”.

  • Dress of Electress Magdalena Sibylla of Saxony, around 1610–1620, Rüstkammer © Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, photo: Jürgen Karpinski
 - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.
  • Dress of Electress Magdalena Sibylla of Saxony, around 1610–1620, Rüstkammer © Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, photo: Jürgen Karpinski
 - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.


In four rooms a fascinatingly splendid show of luxurious fabrics, embroidery, lace and passementerie in gold, silver and silk will be a feast for the eyes. Many years of thorough conservation and restoration have made it possible to create a sumptuous display of the princely garments in all their glory: the entire collection of 27 costumes belonging to the former rulers – 6 complete costume ensembles, 11 sets of matching doublet and breeches, 4 ladies’ dresses and 6 in dividual outer garments.

  • Prunkkleid des Kurfürsten Moritz von Sachsen, um 1545–1550, Oberstoffe: italienisch, Schneiderarbeit: vermutlich Dresden, Rüstkammer, © Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Jürgen Karpinski
 - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.
  • Prunkkleid des Kurfürsten Moritz von Sachsen, um 1545–1550, Oberstoffe: italienisch, Schneiderarbeit: vermutlich Dresden, Rüstkammer, © Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Jürgen Karpinski
 - Bild öffnet sich in einer Vergrößerungsansicht.


These items of clothing are unrivalled among international museums, and owing to their original condition they are of paramount significance for understanding European fashion and textile art during the Renaissance and early Baroque periods.

After 75 years they will finally be on display once again when the new Electoral Wardrobe opens in Dresden Palace in 2017. This unique treasure of European fashion and textile history will then be open to the public and researchers alike.

Dress of Electress

The stunning dress of Electress Magdalena Sibylla (1586–1659) ...more

Landscape Costume

The ‘Landscape Costume’ of elector Johann Georg I of Saxony (1585–1656) ...more