Friederike Röpke

WORTHY?

While there was general agreement that the new library hall, which had been renovated in 1812, should contain busts of “Göttingen’s Heroes” serving as role-models and inspiration for the students, the question of who should be included was not so straightforward. On-going discussions erupted, when in 1814, students bequeathed the bust of the lawyer Christian […]

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INTELLECTUAL GIANT?

The colossal bust of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’ (1646-1716) served as a counterpart to an equally oversized Gauss bust in the historical hall of the University. Göttingen received this donation in 1792, after it had presumably been used as a model for a marble bust. Around the turn of the 19th century, when the interest for

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ANTIQUE/ANTIQUATED

When in 1812, the Pauliner Church was reconstructed and turned into a library hall, it was done so with far-reaching plans to set up portrait busts of scholars. In addition to selected plaster castings reminiscent of antique sculptures, the “Göttingen Pantheon” would be dedicated to the famous scholars of Göttingen. Thus, in 1814, busts of

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ATTACK

Works of art, especially representative portraits, are also used during social conflict. In June 2009 during the “nationwide education strike”, the institution of the university at large was put in the pillory: tuition fees, the Bologna process, the Excellence Initiative and inadequate democracy. On the 18th of June, a group of demonstrators entered the auditorium

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THE SILHOUETTE ALBUM CARL SCHUBERT

From 1778 to 1781, the Göttingen student Carl Friedrich Schubert created a personal memory album with about 200 silhouettes of important people in black ink. The first 33 pages depicted professors from the Göttingen faculties. What is remarkable about the album is that the portraits of teachers were each provided with ironic remarks on the

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THE TRUTH ABOUT THE SILHOUETTE?

Albrecht von Haller expressed himself in a rather restrained fashion when confronted with the exuberant description of his profile made by Lavater. In the “Göttingischen Anzeigen” from 1776 he noted: “…I don’t quite know how Mr. L is in a position to extract a multitude of characteristics which he has, by his own conviction, identified

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LAVATER AND HALLER: THE ARCHETYPE OF THE SCHOLAR

In his four-volume main work “Physiognomische Fragmente zur Beförderung der Menschenkenntnis und Menschenliebe” (“Physiognomic Fragments for the Promotion of Knowledge of Human Nature and Love of Humans”) (1775-1778) Johann Caspar Lavater was interested in the relationship between appearances and the inner being of humans, and further, he also tried to abstract from the individual case

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SILHOUETTES

The silhouettes also owed their popularity to their relatively simple production. Instruction books also made it possible for laypersons to engage in silhouetting. In addition, technical aids made manufacturing an almost mechanical process: a special silhouette chair helped to fix the head of the person portrayed so that the shadow was cast onto transparent paper

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05 CARTES DE VISITE

The idea to print photographic portraits on business cards was patented in Paris in 1854. When even Napoleon III (1808-1873) started circulating such cartes de visite of himself and his family, a “business card epidemic” began. Photography studios across Europe specialised in these handy small formats. In 1857, when Göttingen had 10,000 inhabitants, there were

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