© Rüstkammer, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Jürgen Lösel


Exhibition "Lace for the Elector. The Renaissance pageantry Dress of August of Saxony"".

At a glance

Yellow and black are not only the colours of Dynamo Dresden - they were already the official house colours of the Saxon electors in the 16th century. This is shown in full brilliance by an original ceremonial dress that will now be on public display in Dresden for the first time in over 80 years. It is a magnificent costume of Elector August (1526-1586), which is the focus of the current special exhibition of the Rüstkammer.

The presentation is made possible thanks to the restoration of the state dress by the Abegg Foundation in Riggisberg, Switzerland. From 2017 to 2019, this institution, which is internationally renowned in the field of textile research, carried out the extensive conservation and restoration work. The costs were generously covered by the Abegg Foundation. From 2002 to 2008, the ceremonial gown of Elector Moritz, which is also in the Armoury, had already been extensively examined, restored and published.

Together with the bridegroom's gown of Elector August from 1548 and the gown of Elector Moritz, the yellow and black ceremonial gown is one of the few almost completely preserved princely gowns of the late Renaissance. The costume consists of a bodice, a doublet and short, bulging trousers. A precious gold fabric unexpectedly emerges through the slits of the striped trousers with pubic cap. The ensemble, sewn from bright yellow silk atlas, was originally finished with black silk fillet lace across the entire surface.
Permanent exposure to light in the exhibitions of the Rüstkammer before 1945, removal from storage and transport during the Second World War as well as earlier restorations impaired the substance and beauty of the ceremonial dress. Especially the black lace and the gold fabric of the trouser waist have suffered. The research and restoration of the ensemble were therefore complex and time-consuming. Several textile restorers from the Abegg Foundation succeeded in meticulously safeguarding the magnificent ensemble, which thus regained its former festive effect.

The exhibition focuses on the elaborate research and restoration process, thus paying tribute to the restorers' challenging work on this costume. In addition, contemporary portraits, jewellery and ceremonial weapons are on display, bringing the lives of the fashion-conscious electoral couple August and Anna to life.
The museum's educational programme also includes the permanent exhibition "Electoral Wardrobe" with its costume treasures. The exhibition is accompanied by the new museum guide "Rüstkammer Dresden - Kurfürstliche Garderobe" in German and English (ISBN 978-3-422-98128-7, €19.00, Deutscher Kunstverlag Berlin) and the leporello "Mode Macht Kunst" for teenagers and young adults by Claudia Blei-Hoch and Anke Albrecht in German (available free of charge in the exhibition).

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Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Taschenberg 2
01067 Dresden

Tel.: 035149142000

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