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Augustus II, Elector of Saxony, Friedrich

Polish, 1696 - 1763

Augustus II, Friedrich Elector of Saxony; Augustus II, Friedrich King of Poland


As the only legitimate son of Friedrich Augustus I of Saxony, Friedrich Augustus II became Elector of Saxony upon his father's death in 1733, and was soon thereafter chosen to assume the crown as Augustus III, King of Poland. More interested in pleasure and entertainment than governing, Friedrich Augustus left the administration of Saxony and Poland in the hands of extremely powerful advisors, whose increasing influence marred the final years of his reign. Under their leadership, Poland was lead into a series of socially and economically disastrous wars. His reign saw one of the greatest periods of disorder within that nation.

Although an unskilled administrator, Friedrich Augustus II was nonetheless an ardent supporter of the arts, continuing many of his father's policies with regard to culture. He completed the remodeling of the Saxon Palace commenced by his father, and the remodeling of the Royal Palace in Warsaw in the 1740s was the greatest contribution to that city's architecture in his reign. Artists were commissioned to provide views of Dresden and Pirna, depicting the scheme of architectural development of both cities. He expanded the Dresden collections, focusing particularly on paintings and prints, and the Meissen porcelain factory flourished as a result of his patronage. His commissions developed the Rococo style introduced to Poland by his father, which, alongside the late Baroque style, predominated the period of his reign.

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