Description of the Eight Pageants Held during the Games on the Occasion of the Christening of Princess Elisabeth of Hesse, 1596


In 1596 Landgrave Moritz of Hesse (1572–1632) celebrated the christening of his daughter, Elisabeth von Hessen-Kassel (1596–1625), with four days of lavish games, tournaments, and fireworks. This manuscript was compiled and executed by an unknown hand. It details the costumes of eight inventions (pageants) accompanying the central Ringelrennen (game of skills as a late variant of the medieval tournament games), which took place on August 27, 1596. Each pageant presents an allegorical or mythological motif, using an abundance of 165 finely detailed fantastic costumes. The eight pageants presented are: I. Jason and Perseus; II. On vices; III. The four seasons; IV. The deeds of a true prince; V. The sun and moon; VI. The judgment of Paris; VII. On the seven liberal arts (artes liberales); and VIII. On the four continents. The section on the continents features fanciful personifications of America, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

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Title in Original Language

Beschreibung der historischen und allegorischen Personen der acht Inventionen zum Ringelrennen in den Aufzügen gehalten 1596 anläßlich der Taufe der Prinzessin Elisabeth von Hessen

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Physical Description

73 sheets, paper : illustrations ; 22.8 x 36.7 centimeters


  • BSB Shelfmark: Cod.icon. 340

Last updated: November 15, 2013