Room 10

Johann Gottfried Herder


Angelika Kauffmann: Johann Gottfried Herder, 1789/91


Herder was Goethe's mentor in Strasbourg; it was he who introduced the student Goethe to folk poetry and Homer, Ossian and Shakespeare. Later Goethe effected Herder's appointment to Weimar, where, as Generalsuperindendent (equivalent to a bishop), he held the highest spiritual office of the land. Goethe and Herder were the protagonists of the literary movement of Sturm und Drang.

The room commemorating the theologian, philosopher and writer, who was closer to the spirit of Romanticism than to that of Classicism, contains Herder's writing desk, pictures, a bust of Homer and keepsakes from the family estate.

Herder's bust was done by the Weimar court sculptor, M. G. Klauer, and his portrait, painted during a visit to Italy with the Dowager Duchess Anna Amalia, by A. Kauffmann. After his return to Weimar tension grew between him and Goethe, not least because of Herder's sympathetic views on the French Revolution. Herder died in 1803 in Weimar.


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