faith and power second saxon state exhibition
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Torgau will be the site of the Second Saxon State Exhibition, to take place in the summer of 2004.

Under the title "Faith and Power. Saxony in the Europe of the Reformation Era,” the exposition will commemorate the most important epochs in the history of Saxony.

Saxony played a central role in the Europe of the sixteenth century. It was during this period that the Saxon dukes and electors endeavoured to strengthen their position with regard to Emperor Charles V, partially in alliance with his politics, partially in opposition to them.

Furthermore, it was under these sovereigns’ protection that Martin Luther was able to advance his religious reforms. This development led to the Church’s schism and finally to formal recognition of the two Christian faiths in the 1555 Religious Peace of Augsburg.

A symbol of the close relationship between religious faith and political power in Saxony is the Torgau Palace Chapel, consecrated in 1544, the first Protestant ecclesiastical building in history.

Architecture, painting and music flourished at the court of the Saxon electorate: Lucas Cranach, Albrecht Dürer and Titian painted portraits of the electors and dukes, and one of the most brilliant works of German Renaissance architecture — the Grand Staircase — was built in Torgau.

On the occasion of the Second Saxon State Exhibition, this masterwork of Saxon architecture will be open to visitors for the first time in nearly thirty years.

It is hard to imagine a better setting for the Second Saxon State Exhibition than Hartenfels Palace and the historical old town of Torgau, where a comprehensive overview of the history and art of Renaissance Saxony is to be presented for the first time.

Torgau is part of this history. Even today, the narrow lanes of the old town and the courtyard of Hartenfels Palace still exude the character of the Saxon electorate’s Renaissance residency.

Lucas Cranach d.J., Elias und die Baalspriester

Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
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