Christiane Vulpius

Christiane Vulpius
Christiane Vulpius, drawn by Goethe
Johanna Christiana Sophie Vulpius

(1765-06-01)1 June 1765
Died6 June 1816(1816-06-06) (aged 51)
Weimar, Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, German Confederation
Burial placeJacobsfriedhof, Weimar
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
(m. 1806; her death 1816)
RelativesChristian August Vulpius (brother)

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


Christiane Vulpius was a 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]

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

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).


  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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