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Zacharias Longuelune

(1669 Paris – 1748 Dresden)

Costume Design. Pen and black ink, grey wash and watercolour, framing line in pen and brown and black ink. 23.2 x 16 cm.

The architect, painter and draughtsman, Zacharias Longuelune, studied under Antoine Lepautre in Paris. From 1696 he worked as an architect at the court of Friedrich Wilhelm I in Berlin. Following a journey to Italy in 1710 Longuelune decided in 1715 to enter the service of Friedrich August I in Dresden, where he made a name for himself as an architect, decorator and festival designer at the court of the Elector of Saxony. In 1728 he was appointed senior master builder, in which capacity he produced numerous designs for royal buildings in Dresden and Warsaw, including the Riverside Palace at Pillnitz Castle, the Catholic Court Church and Brühl Palace, most of which were never built.

The present work is in all probability a costume design for the magnificent wedding festivities of the Elector’s Heir, August III of Saxony, in 1719. The imaginative exotic costume testifies to the Baroque splendour and extravagance of the Saxon court at the time. A stylistically very similar drawing is kept in the Department of Prints and Drawings of Veste Coburg. See Ausgewählte Handzeichnungen von 100 Künstlern aus fünf Jahrhunderten, published by H. Maedebach, Coburg 1970, p. 49, fig. 72.

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