Wolff, Pius Alexander

BORN 3 May 1782, Augsburg, Bayern - DIED 28 Aug 1828, Weimar, Thüringen
GRAVE LOCATION Weimar, Thüringen: Historischer Friedhof (Alter Friedhof, Neuer Friedhof, Friedhof vor dem Frauentor), Poseckscher Garten (Eastern wall)

Pius Alexander Wolff was the son of the bookseller Franz Xaver Wolff. He was educated at a Jesuit school in Augsburg with the intention to become a priest. After his mother inherited a business, his parents decided to educated him as a merchant. He travelled a lot and learned English, Italian and Spanish. In 1797 he started working as an apprentice in a shop that sold cards and maps. In Berlin he liked to visit the theatre at the time that Iffland and Bethmann were leading actors.

In 1800 he travelled to Basel and Strasbourg and in Strasbourg he discovered that he liked acting. Back in Augsburg he started an acting group, much against the wishes of his father. When his father died in 1803 he left Augsburg and went to Weimar. He managed to convince Goethe to give him and his friend Karl Franz Grüner acting lessons and Goethe even wrote to his mother to comfort her. He was contracted for three years at the Hoftheater in Weimar. In 1804 he married the recently divorced actress Amalie Becker-Malcolmi.

His marriage was happy and his acting career profited from his experienced wife. They often appeared on the stage together. In 1807 they appeared in Leipzig and in 1808 he saw the actor Talma perform in Erfurt. Goethe invited Talma to Weimar and the friendship between Wolff and Talma ended only with Talma's death in 1826. Against Goethes wishes Wolff and his wife performed in Berlin in 1811 after being invited by Iffland, but he welcomed them back after their return. Wolff was also successful as a director.

In 1816 the Wolffs moved permanently to Berlin for an engagement at the Royal Theatre. But they didn't feel at home in Berlin and Wolff was plagued by health problems. He had to end his work as a director in 1823. He asked permission for a long break and this was granted. He met Talma one more time in Paris shortly before the latter died, much to the grief of Wolff. On his way back to Berlin in 1828 he had to rest in Weimar and there he died. He was buried in Weimar. Amalie returned to Berlin and died there in 1851.

• Wife: Wolff, Amalie (1804-1828)

Related persons
• worked for Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
• was a friend of Talma, François Joseph


The grave of Pius Alexander Wolff at the Friedhof vor dem Frauentor, Weimar.
Picture by Androom (01 Aug 2016)


Pius Alexander Wolff – Wikipedia

Wollstonecraft, Mary

Published: 25 Nov 2017
Last update: 20 Apr 2022