Monday, April 16, 2007

Question from Kelly - Sybilla of Cleves

I am looking for any information at all about Sybilla of Cleves.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunatley, it doesn't seem like there is alot of information about Sybilla. I know that she was the oldest sibiling (she was two years older than Anne), that she was the duchess of Saxony, and that she had a happy marriage. This site has a little information, but it is mostly about Anne's and Sybilla's portraits.

Anonymous said...

Sybille (Sybilla) of Cleves, Duchess of Saxony, was married to Johann Friedrich I, Elector of Saxony (John the Magnanimous). Her sister was Anne of Cleves who married Henry VIII of England. As soon as Martin Luther died the uneasy peace between Rome and Wittenberg evaporated. Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, moved to crush the Lutheran-Protestant Smalcaldic Union. Johann Friedrich’s cousin, Maurice, betrayed the Union at the Battle of Mühlberg in 1547 by joining the Roman Catholics and turned the battle in Charles’ favor. Johann Friedrich was taken prisoner. Sybille took command of Wittenberg’s defenses and held back the emperor. Neither the elector nor the duchess wavered or compromised their Lutheran Confession for political gains or to saved their lives or those of their loved ones. Sybille was later reunited with her husband. Wittenberg and most of the Saxon territories went to the treacherous Maurice as war spoil, Johann Friedrich retained Waimar and planted there the institution that would become Jena University.
Despite her delicate appearance Sybille was a formitable dutchess. It is believed that Lucas Cranach the Elder used her as a model for his painting of Judith.