When Gerhard von Kügelgen, member of three acedemies, painted this portrait in 1808, Goethe was nearly sixty years old. He was in the course of completing his Theory of Colors, which he always regarded as his most important work. In the past few years, he had been made Privy Councilor, had married his long-time mistress Christiane Vulpius, with whom he had three children, had withstood an occupation of his house by “spoon guards,” Napoleon’s least-disciplined soldiers. Turbulent times indeed.

This portrait is probably the closest one to the time he wrote The Castle on the Mountain.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: