Family tree of Duke Ulrich of Mecklenburg

Cornelius Krommeney (died 1599), 1593, oil on canvas, 105.5 x 96.5 cm

The family tree is one of the exhibits in Güstrow Palace with the greatest national importance. It was painted by the Dutchman Cornelius Krommeney in 1593 with such a fine brush that it is still a joy to observe the detail of the painting today: the collection of heraldic shields, the figures, the gently curving lines of the branches that connect the individual family members with one another across five generations.

When Ulrich (1527-1603) enforced his involvement in the territorial lordship during the battle for succession with his brother John Albert I. (1525-1576), and Güstrow fell to him as residence, he had to prove his entitlement to rule: permanently, for his contemporaries and later generations.

A popular way of doing this was through genealogical scenes.

Evidence of 16 noble ancestors had to be provided in order to establish a status among the highest rulers and be able to hope for a beneficial political marriage, or to be accepted into an order of knights or chapter. The Duke appointed the humanist David Chyträus (1530-1600), Professor at Rostock University, to research his line of ancestors. Ulrich’s ancestors came from the houses of Mecklenburg, Brandenburg, Saxony, Pomerania, Schleswig-Holstein and Denmark.


Text: R. E.

The exhibit refers to:

Mecklenburg until 1945

Look here for the original exhibit:

Schloss Güstrow

Schloss Güstrow

Franz-Parr-Platz 1
18273 Güstrow