The Flight to Italy: Diary and Selected Letters

By Johann Wolfgang Goethe; T. J. Reed | Go to book overview

EXPLANATORY NOTES

THE TRAVEL DIARY
4Lanthieri: an Austrian lady married to an Italian, a member of the Weimar circle at Carlsbad. G.'s Italian plan was clearly not a total secret. Cf. p. 24.

Supplement a: G.'s supplementary notes, developing points jotted down in the main diary, are to be found at the end of each section (see p. 13).

5113 miles: here and elsewhere I have translated G.'s Prussian mile (= 4.6 English miles).

Fritz: Charlotte von Stein's 14-year-old son. For Charlotte, see 'G.'s Circle', pp. 156-7.

7Rubens: Peter Paul Rubens ( 1577-1640), Flemish painter and diplomat, active in Italy, Spain, and England; an international figure not only in art. The sketches G. refers to for the Palais du Luxembourg are now in the Louvre.

Archenholz: Johann Wilhelm Archenholz, who had recently ( 1785) published a guide to England and Italy.

8Knebel: Carl Ludwig Knebel. See 'G.'s Circle', p. 158.

Kobel: Franz Kobell ( 1749-1822), a landscape painter who had just returned from a six-year residence in Italy.

physiognomic knowledge: G. contributed actively to the work of his friend Johann Caspar Lavater, a Zurich pastor and theologian, on the classification of human types by outward appearance, published as Physiognomic Fragments in Furtherance of the Knowledge and Love of Mankind ( 1775-8). Unscientific though this study was, G. clearly felt it had sharpened his eye for distinctive human traits.

Herder: Johann Gottfried Herder. See 'G.'s Circle', p. 157.

French traveller: Kaspar Riesbeck Letters of a French Traveller on Germany (German edn. 1783) was enthusiastic about Salzburg, but not about G.

threw herself off: in January 1785 Franziska von Ickstadt committed suicide at the age of 17 because of an unhappy love-affair. As the creator of the most celebrated of all suicides-for-love in his sensational novel The Sufferings of Young Werther, G. was more sensitive than most in this matter.

9Iphigenie: G. had completed a drama Iphigenie in Tauris in prose in 1779, and was rewriting it in verse as part of the completion of old projects that was the main literary activity of his time in Italy.

-141-

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