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Christiane Vulpius

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Christiane Vulpius


Christiane Vulpius, drawn by Goethe
BornJohanna Christiana Sophie Vulpius
(1765-06-01)1 June 1765
Weimar, Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Died 6 June 1816(1816-06-06) (aged 51)
Weimar, Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, German Confederation
Burial place Jacobsfriedhof, Weimar
Spouse(s) Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
(m. 1806;her death 1816)
Children 1
Relatives Christian August Vulpius (brother)

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

Mistress (lover) Female who is in an extra-marital sexual relationship

A mistress is a relatively long-term female lover and companion who is not married to her partner, especially when her partner is married to someone else.



Christiane Vulpius was a simple village woman of Weimar. In 1788, when Christiane was a young woman, Goethe addressed to her the Römische Elegien, an epithalamium. They lived together quasi-maritally from 1788 until their marriage in 1806, and afterward until 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]

Weimar Place in Thuringia, Germany

Weimar is a city in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany. It is located in Central Germany between Erfurt in the west and Jena in the east, approximately 80 kilometres southwest of Leipzig, 170 kilometres north of Nuremberg and 170 kilometres west of Dresden. Together with the neighbour-cities Erfurt and Jena it forms the central metropolitan area of Thuringia with approximately 500,000 inhabitants, whereas the city itself counts a population of 65,000. Weimar is well known because of its large cultural heritage and its importance in German history.

<i>Roman Elegies</i> cycle of poems

The Roman Elegies is a cycle of twenty-four poems by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

An epithalamium is a poem written specifically for the bride on the way to her marital chamber. This form continued in popularity through the history of the classical world; the Roman poet Catullus wrote a famous epithalamium, which was translated from or at least inspired by a now-lost work of Sappho. According to Origen, Song of Songs might be an epithalamium on the marriage of Solomon with Pharaoh’s daughter.

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

Jacobsfriedhof Cemetery in Weimar, Thuringia, Germany

The Jacobsfriedhof, also known as the Jakobskirchhof, is the oldest extant burial ground in Weimar, Thuringia, Germany, on land round the Jakobskirche. The first burials took place here as early as the 12th century. The burial ground is located in the Jacobsvorstadt, which in the Middle Ages provided accommodation outside the city walls for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela.

Christian August Vulpius German writer

Christian August Vulpius was a German novelist and dramatist. His sister married the noted German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Children and grandchildren

Christiane Vulpius and Goethe had a son, Julius August Walther von Goethe (25 December 1789 – 28 October 1830), who became chamberlain to the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar, and died while on a visit to Rome. 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. Julius 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, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach German noble

Karl August, sometimes anglicised as Charles Augustus, was the sovereign Duke of Saxe-Weimar and of Saxe-Eisenach from 1758, Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach from its creation in 1809, and grand duke from 1815 until his death. He is noted for the intellectual brilliance of his court.

Rome Capital city and comune in Italy

Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.


  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.

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