Christiane Vulpius

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Christiane Vulpius, drawn by Goethe

Johanna Christiana Sophie Vulpius (Weimar, 1 June 1765 – Weimar, 6 June 1816) was the mistress and wife of Johann Wolfgang Goethe.

Biography[edit]

In 1788, when Christiane was a young woman of Weimar, Goethe addressed to her the Römische Elegien, an epithalamium. They lived together quasi-maritally from 1788 till their marriage in 1806, and afterward till her death in 1816, to the scandal of the ladies of Weimar and the vexation of Bettina von Arnim-Brentano. Friedrich Schiller's wife Charlotte von Lengefeld wrote of Goethe after Christiane's death, "The poor man wept bitterly. It grieves me that he should shed tears for such objects."[1]

Christiane, who is buried in the Jacobsfriedhof in Weimar, was the sister of Christian August Vulpius.

Children and grandchildren[edit]

Christine Vulpius and Goethe produced a son, Julius August Walther von Goethe (25 December 1789 – 28 October 1830). He was chamberlain to the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar. He married Ottilie von Pogwisch (31 October 1796 – 26 October 1872), a highly accomplished woman. She later cared for Goethe until he died in 1832. Karl August and Ottilie had three children: Walther Wolfgang, Freiherr von Goethe (9 April 1818 – 15 April 1885), known as a composer of operettas and songs; Wolfgang Maximilian, Freiherr von Goethe (18 September 1820 – 20 January 1883), a jurist and poet; and Alma von Goethe (29 October 1827 – 29 September 1844). Karl August died while on a visit to Rome.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Damm, Sigrid, Christiane und Goethe: Eine Recherche (Frankfurt: Insel, 1998), quoted in Karin Barton, "Goethe über alles," Eighteenth-Century Studies, Vol. 34, No. 4 (Summer, 2001), pp. 630-637.

References[edit]