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