Title: Slavobrána a slavnostní ohňostroj v Brně u příležitosti sňatku Josefa I. s Amálií Vilemínou v roce 1699
The festive arch and fireworks in Brno celebrating the wedding of Joseph I to Wilhelmine Amalia in 1699
Source document: Opuscula historiae artium. 2019, vol. 68, iss. 1, pp. 56-67
ISSN1211-7390 (print)2336-4467 (online)
License: Not specified license
Ephemeral decorations such as festive and triumphal arches or funerary architecture were an indelible part of the art and culture of the age of the baroque. This paper focuses on a print by engraver Johann Christoph Laidig († 1717) of Brno depicting a festive arch and fireworks device erected to celebrate the wedding of Emperor Joseph I to Duchess Wilhelmine Amalia in Brno on 24 February 1699. The paper looks first at the preparations for this celebration and goes on to describe and interpret the emblems that formed the dominant feature of the decorations applied to the festive arch. These emblems, always in pairs, were primarily an expression of the predestined nature of the couple's union and of the newlyweds' personal, moral, and dynastic affinity. This paper primarily seeks to critically reflect on the significance of the emblematic decorations on the festive arch within the context of art history, but also from a sociopolitical perspective, as the imperial wedding was looked on above all as a guarantee of peace, a happy future, and the eternal glory and rule of the Habsburg dynasty. The paper also includes a transcription of the German edition of the festive fireworks' programme translated into Czech.