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Hermitage Old Palace

The margravine's audience room


Picture: The margravine's audience room

The finest ceiling painting in the Hermitage has been preserved in the margravine’s audience room.

The picture, featuring the story of Chelonis and Cleombrotos, also reflects Wilhelmine’s own fate: Chelonis follows her husband Cleombrotos, who has quarrelled with her father Leonidas, into exile – just as Wilhelmine married the Bayreuth margrave Friedrich at the wish of her father, and, as she saw it, thus accepted exile for the good of the state.

Even more conclusive proof that this is a reference to Wilhelmine is provided by the depiction of her dog Folichon at Chelonis’s feet.

Picture: Ceiling painting in the margravine's audience room

Wilhelmine was not however someone to give up in such a  situation. On the contrary, the margravine was determined to turn her Bayreuth court into an earthly paradise. This is evident in the next room, the Japanese Cabinet. The dramatic event depicted in the audience room is followed by oriental serenity.

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