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A Magnificent FaithArt and Identity in Lutheran Germany$
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Bridget Heal

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737575

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198737575.001.0001

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Art and Identity after the ‘Confessional Age’

Art and Identity after the ‘Confessional Age’

(p.244) 9 Art and Identity after the ‘Confessional Age’
A Magnificent Faith

Bridget Heal

Oxford University Press

The final chapter of the book focuses on the early eighteenth century, a period during which baroque visual culture was well established in both Electoral Saxony and Brandenburg-Prussia. It argues that even during this age of visual magnificence, when art seemed to be primarily about power and pleasure, religious images could still cause friction. The chapter focuses in particular on Electoral Saxony, where confessional relations were complicated by the conversion of Friedrich August to Catholicism in 1697. It examines conflicts over images in the borderland region of Upper Lusatia and in Dresden itself, where religious tensions were high because of the increasing visibility of the Catholic church and its agents, in particular the Jesuits. Ultimately, however, Dresden’s Lutherans responded to their new confessional environment not by rejecting but by embracing baroque magnificence, as the construction of the Frauenkirche between 1726 and 1743 demonstrates.

Keywords:   Upper Lusatia, Zittau, idolatry, Dresden, Elector Friedrich August I, Catholicism, Frauenkirche Dresden, George Bähr

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