Bypass Repeated Content

The first Baroque residence on the Upper Rhine

Rastatt Residential Palace

Sibylla Augusta and Anna Maria Franziska von Sachsen-Lauenburg, painting circa 1690. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer
COVETED PRINCESSES

THE DOUBLE PORTRAIT

The only known portrait of Sibylla Augusta together with her sister hangs in the margravine's bedroom 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. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Sibylla Augusta dressed in her finest.

THE DOUBLE PORTRAIT

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.

COVETED PARTIES

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. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, credit unknown

Sibylla Augusta's new husband: Ludwig Wilhelm.

THE COURTSHIP OF 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. Image: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg, Arnim Weischer

Anna Maria Franziska von Sachsen-Lauenburg.

ANNA MARIA FRANZISKA – THE JEALOUS SISTER

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.