Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Lion Family Tree

These extraordinary documents from ~1580 are 3 versions of the same family tree. The lineage appears to start in the 7th century (see the 3rd image) and moves upwards to the horizontal line of siblings of Julius, Prince of Wolfenbüttel (1528-1589) from Lower Saxony, Germany. Above there is a depiction of the (mad) Roman Emperor Rudolf II (2nd image).

As best I can make out from translations, this tree appears to relate to the Lüneburger line of the Welfenhauses and outlines evidence for the legitimacy of the contemporary royal family of Prince Julius. The central lion figure (5th image) is a representation of Heinrich der Löwe (1129-1195) {'Henry the Lion', funnily enough}, a powerful Saxony royal.

The artistic work was produced by Georg Scharffenberg at the printery of Conrad Horn.

The website for these family trees is hosted by the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel and has only been online since April. The flash zoom is really needed to see the detail clearly. The large images above are spliced screencaps. [click 'Prachtstammbaum' to get to the flash versions of each scroll] {translation of commentary} There is further background and links to image details and related documents from the sidebar menu.


gl. said...

my jaw! it drops!

(gl. from scarlet star studios)

phoenix said...

This is fantastic!

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