Bild eines Palasts
© Nationalmuseum - Palast der Großfürsten von Litauen, Foto: Mindaugas Kaminskas

The Saxon Electors – the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. Court Culture and Art under the Reign of Augustus II and Augustus III

At the occasion of the 100th anniversary of modern Lithuanian independence (1918-2018), the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (SKD) in co-operation with the National Museum - Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania are dedicating a special exhibition in Vilnius to Lithuanian-Saxon cultural heritage.

  • DATES 06/07/2018—15/10/2018

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The exhibition "The Saxon Electors - the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. Court Culture and Art under the Reign of August II and August III" will beheld from 6 July to 14 October at the Palace of the Grand Dukes under the joint auspices of the President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė and the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. It is sponsored by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Lithuania and the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Germany. An opening reception took place on 6 July in the presence of the Prime Minister of Lithuania, Saulius Skvernelis; the German government was represented by the Minister of State for Culture, Monika Grütters. The Lithuanian national television channel LRT will broadcast the event live.

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Lithuania celebrated its 100 years of modern independence on 16 February. The Baltic state has seized the opportunity to cast a glance in 2018 at the history it shares with Saxony. Located at the heart of the city of Vilnius, the Palace of the Grand Dukes has been open to the public since 2013 following a comprehensive reconstruction. This signals an important step in strengthening the country's historical memory. The SKD will be present there with approximately 150 exhibits from a total of eight of their museums, helping to map out the history and cultural heritage of Lithuania as well as the historically grown link to Saxony.

Luftaufnahme eines Palasts
© Nationalmuseum - Palast der Großfürsten von Litauen, Foto: Vytautas Abramauskas
Palast der Großfürsten von Litauen, Luftaufnahme, Vilnius 2017

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The exhibition extends over a space of approximately 500 m². Arranged in five themed sections, the show unfolds chronologically from the origins of Saxon-Lithuanian relations in the eleventh century all the way to the first years of the twentieth century. The focus is on courtly representation, courtly culture as well as treasures of art coming predominantly from the time of the rule of August II and August III, between 1697 and 1763. As electors of Saxony, kings of Poland and grand dukes of Lithuania, they united these states over two generations under one crown. On show will be portraits of the monarchs and their wives, parade garments and weapons from the armoury as well as exclusive items from the diamond set held at the Grünes Gewölbe. Furthermore, coronation insignia can be viewed which sealed the connection between Poland, Lithuania and Saxony.

Impressionen

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In the time of their regency, Vilnius became a late baroque centre of art and culture. Visitors will be able to see the splendour that unfurled here, and so a further thematic focus is the life of the Lithuanian aristocracy, illustrated through selected paintings and precious objects such as porcelain, medals and coins. In the concluding section, the connection is made to the declaration of independence in 1918. Here, a presentation on several important historical figures shines a light on the links between Saxony, Poland and Lithuania that existed in the nineteenth century all the way to the early twentieth century.

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Further Exhibitions

Further Exhibitions

Grünes Gewölbe

im Residenzschloss

Electoral Wardrobe

im Residenzschloss

Aufwendig besticktes und verziertes Kleid im Seitenprofil.

On the Way to Electoral Power

im Residenzschloss

aufwendig mit Edelsteinen verzierte Kopfbedeckung, darauf Engel und Heilige
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