Friday, July 28, 2017

Goethe in Rheingau

Almost 213 years ago, on September 2, 1814, Goethe visited the Rheingau region. I learned this from a lovely exhibition catalogue I bought at the Goethe-Museum in Frankfurt on Tuesday: Goethes Zeitschrift Ueber Kunst und Alterthum: von den Rhein- und Mayn Gegenden zur Weltliteratur. The first chapter concerns "Im Rheingau Herbstages," with Goethe's visit at the country estate of the Brentano family in Winkel on the Rhine. And 213 years later, I visited the Brentano house with friends from the outing in Mannheim. Unfortunately, we had not checked to see if the house was open.It was not, and is very much in needs of patrons to rehabilitate it. We went next to the nearby Vollrads castle, which Goethe visited on September 2. It was very much open for a visit, at least the grounds. Here is what Goethe wrote about his visit to Vollrads:

Ohngefähr in der Mitte von Winkel biegt man aus nach der Höhe zu, um Vollrath zu  besuchen. Erst geht der Weg zwischen Weinbergen, denn erreicht man eine Wiesenfläche, sie is hier unerwartet, feucht und mit Weiden umgeben. Am Fuß des Gebirges, auf einem Hügel liegt das Schloß, rechts und links fruchtbare Felder und Weinberge, einen Bergwald von Buchen und Eichen im Rücken.

Schloß Johannisberg
 I will not repeat the entire account here (see KuA), suffice it to say that Goethe Girl was able to purchase a bottle of the Goethe wine at Schloß Vollrads. We also made a stop at Schloß Johannisberg. The next time I have a glass of Johannisberg Riesling, I will know from where it originates.

Near the Brentano house in Winkel

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Friends of his youth

Goethe Girl has made a quick (!) trip from Vancouver to Frankfurt. The purpose was a reunion with friends of mine from university days in Marburg back in the Stone Age. We meet very five years for a reunion, which takes place in the town of the organizer. This year we are in Mannheim. After my arrival at Frankfurt International Airport, I headed into the city and went to the Goethe-Museum for a very short visit, before heading on to Mannheim. The works below include two paintings that represent works with which Goethe was familiar and which he discussed in his autobiography, Poetry and Truth (Dichtung und Wahrheit).  The other paintings are of people who were of influence  in his youth. The dates indicate the way they might have looked when Goethe knew them.The paintings of Oeser, Stolberg, and Gellert are by Anton Graff. The painting of Carl August is by Johann Ernst Heinsius. According to the museum label, Carl August decided in 1780 to chop off the customary Prussian pigtail in favor of a "Schwedenkopf." (Click on pictures to enlarge.)

Adam Friedrich Oeser (1776)
Christian F. Gellert (1769)
Friedrich Leopold Graf zu Stolberg (1785)
Carl August, Duke of Weimar (1781)

Justus Junckner, Visit to an Artist's Studio (1854)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sointula days

At the other end of Malcolm island, reached after travel on a logging road, is Mitchell Bay. Back in the Sixties, some folks from the U.S. settled this part of the island, living, as we now say, "off the grid." (It is amazing how interminable the road to Mitchell Bay is when you are driving in second gear.) In the meantime, some beautiful houses have been built, as exemplified by that of Thelma and Murray, who invited me to go out in their boat to look for whales. (Click on pictures to enlarge.)

The best part of the excursion was the sight of a huge pod of dolphins. They came close to the boat, swam and dived under it, but mostly they were in search of herring. They travel fast. I could not help thinking at the time how mysterious they seemed and that they would find a prominent place in Greek mythology. It just so happened that yesterday a correspondent of this blog wrote to me about the frequent appearance of dolphins in Greek mythology. He mentioned a depiction of them, dated 1600 B.C., on the walls of a bathroom in the palace at Knossos. The picture here shows these marvelous water creatures.

Whales were seen as well. Afterward, Thelma showed me her beautiful quilts.

Goethe Girl is also working while here, as will be revealed in further posts.

Departing Mitchell Bay to view whales

White-sided dolphins too fast to photograph

Goethe Girl enjoys the ride

The ocean

Thelma's quilt reminded me of Goethe's color wheels

Thelma herself

Photograph credit (Knossos): Te Ara

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Gone fishing

I am back in Sointula for my summer sojourn. It has been a busy first week, with a day trip to northwest Vancouver Island. The painting of the logger (detail only) was taken at the Scarlet Ibis Pub in Holberg on the way to Grant Bay, where the beach pictures were taken. Goethe Girl can be seen standing in front of a wonderful outcropping of basalt. Click on photos to enlarge.

Going on 10 p.m. it is 12.3 Celsius. More news to follow.