TRIPPEL, Alexander
(b. 1744, Schaffhausen, d. 1793, Roma)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Marble, height 66 cm
Residenz, Bad Arolsen

Trippel's best-known work today, the bust of Goethe, came about after the sculptor met the poet in Rome in 1786. Prince Christian von Waldeck, then staying in Rome, commissioned Trippel to do a model of the bust. The portrait shows the 38-year-old Goethe in the style of a classical portrait bust. During the work, Trippel told the client: "The hair is long and hangs down very loosely, making from the front the shape of an Apollo head.". The marble execution of the Goethe portrait, dated on the back by Trippel to 1789, was passed by Prince Christian as a present to his brother Prince Frederick, ruler of Waldeck, who installed it in the stairwell of his palace in Arolsen.

19th-century composers - among others Franz Schubert - composed many songs based on Goethe's poems.

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