Goethe Scenes

Sammlung Balthasar ElischerCopyright: Collection Balthasar Elischer
Copyright: Collection Balthasar Elischer

20. August 2009
The Muse´s Kiss

As the muses surrounded Apollo, the god of the fine arts, the poet and philosopher Goethe was known to have attracted a considerable number of ladies of all ages. Whether in person or as a figure of longing, his creativity was always given wings by one or more crinoline-skirted females. At a summer resort in Italy in 1787, the universal genius encountered Angelika Kauffmann, once described by Herder as “perhaps Europe’s most cultivated woman.” She held an illustrious artists’ salon in Rome where nobility and bohemian came together. Balthasar Elischer’s Budapest Collection tells of the poet prince’s languor and aspirations. The barrister was a member of the large German-Hungarian gentry, who venerated Goethe and his times and amassed all sorts of devotional objects during their travels. Today, the prosaic items are preserved in the “Goethe Room” of the Hungarian Academy of the Sciences for posterity.

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