Klopstock, Friedrich Gottlieb

WRITER, POET (GERMANY)
BORN 2 Jul 1724, Quedlinburg - DIED 14 Mar 1803, Hamburg
GRAVE LOCATION Hamburg-Altona: Friedhof an der Christianskirche, Klopstockplatz, Ottensen

Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock was educated at the humanistic school in Schulpforta from 1739 until 1745. Before he left school to study in Jena (1745) and Leipzig (1746) he had already conceived his work "Messiah". In Leipzig he met Cramer, Schlegel and Rabener and he published the first three cantos of "Messiah" in their periodical "Bremischer Beiträge". He never finished his studies.

"The Messiah" led to controversy in literary circles because of its stern Christianity. King Frederick V of Denmark offered him a pension for life to complete it in Kopenhagen and between 1751 and 1770 he mainly lived there. In 1773 the last five cantos were published. His later work would be less succesful, but his fame would last during his life.

In 1754 he had married Magareta Moller, but she died in childbirth in 1758. In 1791 he married a niece of her, Johanna Elisabeth von Winthem.

After king Frederick died he lived in Hamburg, his presence there being a main factor to put Hamburg on the map as a literary city. When he died, thousands joined the funeral procession. He was buried at a small churchyard in Ottensen. Ottensen, now part of Hamburg, was in those days a beautiful spot in the country near the Elbe. Initially his followers would travel to his grave, but ten years later his fame was already in decline.

Sources
Literary Encyclopedia | Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock
• Leisner, Barbara & Norbert Fischer, Der Friedhofsführer, Spaziergänge zu bekannten und unbekannten Gräbern in Hamburg und Umgebung, Christians Verlag, Hamburg, 1994
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
• Aubert, Joachim, Handbuch der Grabstätten berühmten Deutscher, Österreicher und Schweizer, Deutscher Kunstverlag, München, 1973

Images

The grave of Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock at the cemetery of the Christianskirche in Ottensen, Hamburg.
Picture by Androom (27 Jan 2006)

 

The grave of Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock at the cemetery of the Christianskirche in Ottensen, Hamburg.
Picture by Androom (27 Jan 2006)

 


Klotz, Joseph

Published: 1 Apr 2006
Last update: 1 Apr 2006