Keller, Gottfried

BORN 19 Jul 1819, Zürich - DIED 16 Jul 1890, Zürich
GRAVE LOCATION Zürich: Friedhof Sihlfeld A (FG 81022)

Gottfired Keller was the son of a carpenter fom Glattfelden. After hi father died in 1824 the family lived in poverty. In his famous novel "Der grüne Heinrich" (1854-1855, "The Green Henry") his describes this period including his difficulties with teachers at school.

He became an apprentice to the painter Steiger in Zürich in 1834 and in 1837 under Rudolf Meyer. In 1840 he went to Munich to study at the Art Academy. In 1842 he returned to Zürich where he started writing. In 1846 his "Gedichte" was published. He did little else in Zürich until he went to Heidelberg in 1848 to continue his studies. There he was influenced by Ludwig Feuerbach.

From 1850 to 1856 he was in Berlin, where he published "Der grüne Heinrich". He also published a collection of short stories. After his return to Zürich he became First Official Secretary of the Canton of Zürich in 1861. This position left him time for his literary activities. In 1872 he published "Siebel Legenden" ("Seven Legends"). In 1876 he retired from his professional position and the rest of his life he dedicated to literature. He didn't marry and his sister Regula lived with him as his housekeeper.

Related persons
• was a friend of Böcklin, Arnold
• was influenced by Feuerbach, Ludwig Andreas
• was a friend of Heyse, Paul
• was a friend of Koller, Rudolf
• was a friend of Welti-Escher, Lydia


The grave of Gottfried Keller at the Sihlfeld Cemetery, Zürich.
Picture by Androom (18 Aug 2005)


Gottfried Keller - Wikipedia

Kelly, Grace

Published: 28 Apr 2018
Last update: 28 Apr 2018