Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von

WRITER (GERMANY)
BORN 28 Aug 1749, Frankfurt am Main: Hirschgraben - DIED 22 Mar 1832, Weimar
GRAVE LOCATION Weimar, Thüringen: Friedhof vor dem Frauentor (Fürstengruft)

Son of the imperial councillor Johann Caspar Goethe. From 1765 he studied law in Leipzig, but in bored him and he spent much of his time in society. His lived a wild life and afther three years he returned to Frankfurt with a hemorrhage of the lungs and a tumor on the neck. After he recovered, in 1770 he continued his law studies in Strasbourg.

In 1772 the son of a preacher named Johann Jerusalem committed suicide. This event was the inspiration for Goethe's "Die Leiten des jungen Werthers" (1774, translated as "Sorrows of Young Werther").

In Sep 1775 Duke Karl August invited him to Weimar, where he was offered a permanent situation as privy councillor at the court in 1779. This appointment resulted in a scandal, since Goethe was no nobleman. Goethe became the friend and companion of the Duke and was became the rising star of society in Weimar.

In 1786 he travelled to Italy for two years. This experience made him feel like reborn. In Rome he stayed with the painter Tischbein, with whom he also travelled in Italy.

Back in Germany he met Christiane Vulpius in 1788. she went to live with him and bore him five children. In 1789 Goethe became a member of the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts and in 1790 he travelled to Italy for the second time. In Venice he studied art, but this visit was a dissapointment for Goethe, whose love for Italy soon cooled down.

He became the director of the new theatre in Weimar and in that position he was more visible for the citizens. His famous friendship with Schiller started in 1796. They first met in 1794, but after they saw each other again in 1796 a close friendship ensued that only ended with Schiller's death in 1805. Schiller stimulated Goethe's creativity and the latter returned to poetry. Meanwhile, Schiller wrote his great works "Wallenstein" and "Maria Stuart".

After Schiller died Goethe completely lost his interest in literature for a while. The french army ransacked Weimar in 1806 and in these troubled days he finally married Christiane on 19 Oct 1806.

On 2 Oct 1808 he visited Napoleon, who resided in Erfurt at the time. Napoleon told Goethe he had read Werther about seven times and invited him to Paris. A few days later they met again in Weimar. After Napoleon's defeat in Russia he travelled through Weimar during the night of 15 Dec 1812 and he sent his greetings to Goethe.

Goethe was 81 years old when he completed the second part of his dramatic "Faust" on 22 Jul 1831. He had started working on "Faust" 57 years earlier. He died in March of the next year in Weimar.

Family
• Son: Goethe, Julius August Walter
• Wife: Vulpius, Christiane

Related persons
• knew Becker-Neumann, Christiane
• was a friend of Behrisch, Ernst Wolfgang
• was a friend of Bethmann-Unzelmann, Friederike Auguste
• was a friend of Boisserée, Sulpice
• corresponded with Byron, George Noel Gordon
• has a connection with Carus, Carl Gustav
• was written about by Chamberlain, Houston Stewart
• met Constant, Benjamin
• was written about by Eckermann, Johann Peter
• admired Gellert, Christian Fürchtegott
• was visited by Grillparzer, Franz
• was admired by Gundolf, Friedrich
• knew Herz, Henriette
• had as physician Hufeland, Christoph Wilhelm
• was opponent of Jagemann, Caroline
• was painted by Jagemann, Ferdinand Karl Christian
• had a relationship with Kanne, Anna Katharina
• was a friend of Kauffmann, Angelica
• was painted by Kauffmann, Angelica
• was a friend of Kestner-Buff, Charlotte
• was opponent of Kotzebue, August von
• cooperated with La Roche, Karl, Ritter von
• was a friend of Lavater, Johann Caspar
• influenced Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Felix
• admired Milder-Hauptmann, Anna
• met Napoleon I Bonaparte
• corresponded with Neureuther, Eugen Napoleon
• corresponded with Runge, Philip Otto
• was a friend of Schiller, Johann Christoph Friedrich von
• knew Schopenhauer, Adele
• admired Schröter, Corona
• met Schwab, Gustav
• was painted by Seidler, Louise
• was a friend of Stein, Charlotte von
• was painted by Stieler, Joseph
• knew Tieck, Johann Ludwig
• knew Varnhagen von Ense, Karl-August
• knew Varnhagen von Ense, Rahel
• supported Vulpius, Christian August
• knew Weber, Carl Maria von
• knew Willemer, Marianne von

Events
1945/5/12: The Coffins of Goethe and Schiller are returned to the Fürstengruft in Weimar
Gauleiter Fritz Sauckel had them transported to Jena and ordered to blow them up when the allied troops would arrive. This was avoided.

Sources
Biografisch Worterbuch zur Deutsche Geschichte, Francke Verlag, München, 1975
• Gorys, Erhard, Thüringen, Artemis Reis- en Cultuurgids, Kok Lyra, Kampen, 1996
• Blumenfeld, Carl, Goethe, Taschen, 1986
Goethe's Birth and Education

Images

Temporary replica of Goethe's garden house, only a few hundred meters away from the original in Weimar.
Picture by Androom (30 Apr 1999)

 

The coffins of Goethe and Schiller in the Fürstengruft at the Friedhof vor dem Frauentor in Weimar.
Picture by Androom (30 Apr 1999)

 

The statue of Goethe and Schiller in Weimar.
Picture by Androom (30 Apr 1999)

 

Goethe's garden house in Weimar.
Picture by Androom (05 Feb 2005)

 

The house where Goethe visited Lavater in Zürich at the Obere Zäune 11.
Picture by Androom (18 Aug 2005)

 

The statue of Goethe at the Burggarten, Vienna.
Picture by Androom (20 Aug 2007)

 

Statue of Goethe at the Villa Borghese Park, Rome.
Picture by Androom (25 Jan 2010)

 

Goethe statue at the Goetheplatz, Frankfurt am Main.
Picture by Androom (03 May 2013)

 


Goethe, Julius August Walter

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 11 Sep 2013