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German History in Documents and Images
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The Sanctity of Marriage (1750)
This engraving shows a noble couple posed before an elaborately ornamented Christian altar against the backdrop of Baroque-era gardens. Two hands extending from clouds in the heavens offer the wedding rings to the bride and groom. Whereas nobles in pre-Revolutionary France were known for their decadence and loose morals, eighteenth-century German aristocrats had a better reputation and were thus in a position to model marital virtues for the common reader. Copperplate engraving by an unknown artist published in the 1750 edition of Franz Philipp Florinus, Oeconomus prudens et legalis. Oder Der kluge und rechtsverständige Haus-Vater [Oeconomus prudens et legalis. Or the Generally Prudent and Judicious Housemaster].