Ancestral portrait gallery in Schwerin Palace

The current ancestral portrait gallery was built when the palace was modified in the 19th century. It contains 31 full and half-length portraits of sovereigns among gilded cast zinc columns. On the way into the throne room visitors were presented with a complete line of succession, from 1348 onwards, of all ruling Dukes of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and those maintaining the continuance of the clan. A genealogical tree engraved on a bronze panel traces the line of ancestors further back to Niklot, the Slavic ruler of the Obotrites, the founder of the dynasty who fell in 1160.

Over time his rule was legitimised through the doctrine of divine right, which found justification and confirmation in historical continuity. Thanks to the years of research performed by Christian Friedrich Lisch, the court archivist, it was possible to draw on 19 original images of Mecklenburg dukes and their consorts when setting up the gallery. The remaining paintings were produced by the court painter Theodor Fischer between 1852 and 1856 as copies or ideal portraits based on older artworks, which Lisch also found.


Text: R. We.

The exhibit refers to:

Mecklenburg until 1945

Look here for the original exhibit:

Schloss Schwerin