Georg David Matthieu: portrait of land marshal Vollrath Levin of Maltzan

around 1770, oil on wood, height: 147 cm, width: 117 cm

Baron Vollrath Levin is sitting to the side of a bureau and holding an open book in front of him. Lewin was hereditary land marshal of Grubenhagen and leader of the Mecklenburg knights. He waived elaborate attire when dealing with the ducal family. In 1755 he was one of the signatories of the state inheritance agreement (“Landesgrundgesetzlicher Erbvergleich”).

Duke Frederick arranged for Georg David Matthieu to paint almost life-size portraits on silhouetted wooden panels of members of the ducal family, servants and the court dwarf.

The focus was on the elaborately depicted clothes, furniture and accessories. The robes worn by the ladies and gentlemen were festive attire. They acted as a representative form of staging. People are probably fascinated by the illusionism of the panels as they fill the palace with its residents even in their absence. As many residents had apartments in Schwerin the panels with images could act as representatives. Their origin can be found in English fireplace portraits.


Text: G. G.

The exhibit refers to:

Mecklenburg until 1945

Look here for the original exhibit:

Staatliches Museum Schwerin

Staatliches Museum Schwerin

Alter Garten 3
19055 Schwerin