© SKD, Foto: Jürgen Karpinski;


Exhibition “The Elector as a Gardener. Useful and curious facts from Saxon court gardening”

At a glance

An exhibition of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden at Schloss Hartenfels in Torgau in cooperation with the district of North Saxony.

In the 16th century, the castles of Saxony were surrounded by pleasure gardens, kitchen gardens and orchards. The Electors August (1526-1586) and Anna (1532-1585) were personally involved in their own gardens. In a lively exchange with other aristocratic houses of Europe, seeds, cherries, plants and fruit trees came from far away to Saxony.
The Elector was particularly enthusiastic about rare and exotic ornamental and useful plants, cultivated numerous herbs for her medicines and processed a wide range of garden fruits in her court kitchen. From these, she prepared juice, mush and cut-resistant fruit confectionery. Their candied mussels were in demand even at the Kaiserhof in Vienna.
Her husband August, the founder of the Electorate-Saxon Kunstkammer, discovered his passion for raising, refining and maintaining fruit trees in particular. In 1571 the practically inclined elector wrote a “Artificial fruit and garden booklet”, had large tree gardens set up in Stolpen and Annaburg and established a tree nursery in Dresden. Over the years, he has enriched his art chamber of tools and instruments with around 300 high-quality garden tools, a third of which have survived to this day.
The collection illustrates the great commitment of the ruling couple to the cultivation of the country – technical arts had to be promoted in order to lead the country to economic prosperity.
A selection of this collection, which is considered to be unique in the world, is shown in the small cabinet exhibition “The Elector as a Gardener. Useful and Curious from Saxon Court Gardening” from 4 May to 31 October at Hartenfels Castle. Special highlights include an elector’s core setter, a painted spade and a carved cherry kernel from the Green Vault.

The exhibition takes place on the occasion of the Landesgartenschau in Torgau (April 23 to October 9, 2022).

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Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
Taschenberg 2
01067 Dresden

Phone: +49 351 49142000
Website: www.skd.museum


Schloss Hartenfels
Schloßstraße 27
04860 Torgau

Phone: +49 (0) 3421 70140
Fax: +49 (0) 3421 701415
Website: www.schloss-hartenfels.de

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