Sibylla Augusta and Anna Maria Franziska von Sachsen-Lauenburg, painting circa 1690


The only known portrait of Sibylla Augusta together with her sister hangs in the antechamber of the margravine's apartment at Rastatt Palace. Both princesses of Sachsen-Lauenburg were to be married in 1690, but there was little love lost between them.

Detail view of Sibylla Augusta in a lavish, off-the-shoulder dress, painting circa 1690

Sibylla Augusta dressed in her finest.


Sibylla Augusta, born January 21, 1675, and her sister Anna Maria Franziska von Sachsen-Lauenburg, born June 13th, 1672, grew up in the Bohemian town of Schlackenwerth (now Ostrov). This is likely where the painting by an unknown artist originated. It shows the two girls in luxurious clothing posed with a flower bouquet in front of a garden. Presumably, the picture was painted in preparation for the upcoming marriage negotiations.


With the death of their father, Julius Franz von Sachsen-Lauenburg, in 1689, the sisters became orphans. The Duchy of Sachsen-Lauenburg, an imperial fiefdom, was not theirs to keep, but they did inherit the Bohemian possessions. The family was wealthy and it is no surprise that the first marriage candidates materialized quickly. The issue of whom came into question for the ladies was eagerly discussed. Emperor Leopold I was their custodian; their marriages were in his hands.

Portrait of Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm in armor

Sibylla Augusta's new husband: Ludwig Wilhelm.


A highly eligible bachelor was quickly found: Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm von Baden-Baden. The emperor offered one of the wealthy princesses to his successful general as a form of compensation. At first, the elder sister was suggested to him. However, when Ludwig Wilhelm traveled to Schlackenwerth (now Ostrov) for two weeks in 1690, it became clear: his heart belonged to the barely 15-year-old Sibylla Augusta. Two months later, they were married at the Bohemian Raudnitz Palace.

Detail of Anna Maria Franziska with flowers, painting circa 1690

Anna Maria Franziska von Sachsen-Lauenburg.


Anna Maria Franziska proved jealous and inflexible in the division of their properties. She would also only accept a husband—though there were plenty of suitors—who was a ruling German prince. Therefore, Prince Eugen von Savoyen, Ludwig Wilhelm's cousin and the emperor's favorite, didn't stand a chance. After much back and forth, she married Philipp Wilhelm von der Pfalz. After his early death, she married a second time: an unhappy marriage to Gian Gastone de' Medici, the later Grand Duke of Tuscany.