(Johann Georg 1st Elector of Saxony Wittenberg)

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(Johann Georg 1st Elector of Saxony Wittenberg)
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Johann Gaspar Höckner after Valentine Wagner
(Johann Georg 1st Elector of Saxony Wittenberg)
(Dresden), 1652
Copper engraving
Trimmed within platemark
A rare, decorative, early portrait of Johann Georg 1st (1611-56), Elector of Saxony. A smiling, elderly, benign figure, he is enclosed within a decorative oval of two vine shoots, one hand holding a palm branch, the other resting on a book inscribed Confessio. On either side are symbolic figures, his family tree branches above him, and a laudatory verse detailing his achievements and piety is below the design. A ruler of the Albertine Wettin dynasty, upon the death of Frederick the Gentle in 1464 the Wettin territories had been divided between his sons Ernest and Albert. In 1547, following Emperor Charles V's victory at the Battle of Mühlberg, Saxony Wittenberg and the Electoral dignity were transferred to the Albertine line, which persists until the present day (the current Margrave of Meissen).