Statue of Goethe as a Student in Leipzig



    Pen and Ink Sketch - Erwin Weber - 1975


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1740-1832) was one of the greatest German writers and thinkers. His literary achievements range from a simple love poem to profound philosophical verse and expressing scientific theories. In his long life, he was a lawyer, botanist, politician, civil servant, physicist, painter, and theater manager. Goethe was born in Frankfurt on the Main River in 1749, was alive during the earthquake in Lisbon that killed 20,000 people, experienced the occupation of the Frankfurt by the French during the Seven-Years War, and the coronation of Franz Joseph II in 1764. He studied at Leipzig University (1765-1768), lived in Wetzlar, Strasbourg, and finally in Weimar from 1775 until his death in 1832. During his stay in Weimar he went to Italy to study painting of the Classics. Goethe lived through almost every period of German literature, including the Baroque, Rokoko, Enlightenment, Classical, and Romantic Periods. From 1795 until Schiller's death in 1805, Goethe and Schiller worked together during the Classical Period of German Literature. Goethe died in 1832. His coffin in the old cemetery in Weimar is next that of Friedrich Schiller.

The pen and ink sketch, dated 1975, shows the statue of young Goethe as a student at the University of Leipzig. It is located in front of the Old Stock Exchange Building designed in Early Baroque (1678-1687) by J.G. Starcke from Dresden and constructed by Christian Richter. In 1943, the building burned down and was reconstructed in the original design after the war. It is located behind the City Hall on the Nasch market.