Willemer, Marianne von

BORN 20 Nov 1784, Linz, Oberösterreich (?) - DIED 6 Dec 1860, Frankfurt am Main, Hessen
BIRTH NAME Jung, Marianne
GRAVE LOCATION Frankfurt am Main, Hessen: Hauptfriedhof (Gewann D, 261)

Marianne von Willemer was the daughter of the actress Elisabeth Pirngruber. She was probably born in Linz and her father is unknown. Her mother married in 1788 and after her husband died she settled in Frankfurt am Main with her daughter.

From 1798 onwards she worked as a ballet dancer and in 1800 Goethe's mother as well as Clemens Brentano saw her in "Harlekin aus dem Ei". In the same year she was adopted by the banker Johann Jakob Willemer, twice a widower. Her mother returned to Linz. It was probably two years later that she and Willemer became lovers. They lived together for years and finally married in 1814.

In that same year Willemer had introduced her to Goethe who visited Wiesbaden. After Goethe returned to Weimar he corresponded with Marianne. Willemer invited Goethe to visit the area again and in 1815 Goethe visited Willemer. He stayed there for several weeks and he and Marianne wrote love poems to each other and possibly they were lovers. After he returned home he published "West-östlichen Divan" without disclosing that he had included work by Marianne. Only shortly before she died she disclosed this information to Hermann Grimm.

After Goethe left they kept up their correspondence until his death in 1832. She travelled to Italy several times before her husband died in 1838. Left alone she started teaching singing and piano. She was involved in the sale of the art collection of the Boisser;ee brothers to King Ludwig I of Bavaria. She died in 1860 and was buried in the grave of the Andreae family at the Hauptfriedhof in Frankfurt am Main.

Related persons
• knew Boisserée, Sulpice
• knew Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von

4/8/1814Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is visited by Johann Jacob von Willemer and his stepdaughter Marianne in Wiesbaden. Goethe knew him for a long time and Willemer's stepdaughter Marianne Jung was with him. Within a short time Willemer would marry Marianne, allthough he had formally adopted her. A secret love affair between Goethe and Marianne would develop afterwards. [Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von]


The grave of Marianne von Willemer at the Hauptfriedhof, Frankfurt am Main.
Picture by Androom (30 Apr 2013)


The grave of Marianne von Willemer at the Hauptfriedhof, Frankfurt am Main.
Picture by Androom (30 Apr 2013)


• Moos, Günter, Wegweiser durch den Frankfurter Hauptfriedhof, 1994
Wikipedia (DE)

Willermoz, Jean-Baptiste

Published: 17 May 2013
Last update: 09 Nov 2023