Rococo, circa 1740
carved with exuberant foliate and shell motifs hung with garland of flowers and centred at the top by an endearing, fierce dragon, the mirror panes in two sections
By repute Zwinger in Dresden; collection of Eberhard Wolframm, Rome
In the early 18th century king Friedrich August 'der Starke' I (1670-1733) of Saxony, chose Dresden to be his glamorous cultural metropolis. At part of this program in 1709 the "Zwinger" -the name relates to its original position between the inner and outer fortification walls- was started. It consisted of an ensemble of beautiful buildings and gardens. One of the main artists to be commissioned by August to decorate the various rooms and galleries was the famous sculptor Balthasar Permoser (1651-1732), whose style was to remain dominant in Saxony and Brandenburg for the coming decades. During the 18th and 19th century the Zwinger was several times heavily damaged and restored. In 1945 it was completely destroyed after which it took 20-years to rebuild it again. The present pair of mirrors, if indeed originating from Zwinger, were undoubtedly made after Permoser's death. Apart from South German Rococo influences they also reflect features from the works of (especially) Johann August Nahl and of Johann Christiaan and Michael Hoppenhaupt II, at that time the leading designers for mirrors and console tables. The mayor part of the work by these artists was executed for king Friedrich (the Great) August II of Prussia for his Potsdam palaces. It is not recorded that they made work for the Zwinger.
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