The Images

1768: Becker (a) [top]

Becker (1768a)

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Becker (1768a)

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Artist: Johann Gottlieb [or: Heinrich] Becker[1] (Königsberg).

Description: Pastel (45 x 36 cm).

Location: Extant (privately owned; Libau?).

Derivations: Becker(b), (1768) Becker(c) (1768).

Digital Image: (1) Mainz; (2) Clasen [1924].

Literature: Hamann [Briefwechsel, 2: 419], Clasen [1924, 12-13, Plate 2], Anderson [1932, 309], Stavenhagen [1949, frontispiece], Essers [1974, 42-44].

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

3. Studie zu den Bildern von Becker. Um 1768. Musiklehrer Alfons von Schoen in Libau (Kurland). Größe: 45 x 36 cm. Tafel 2.

The Königsberg bookseller Kanter commissioned a series of portraits to decorate his bookstore from the local artist J. G. Becker, who prepared three portraits of Kant: this pastel, as a study, plus the two oils below. The pastel appears to have been completed in late August 1768, as we learn from Hamann’s letter to Herder (28 August 1768)[Briefwechsel, 2: 419]:[2]

Kanter will move into his shop this week. He’s gone to a lot of trouble to please the public. I think the decor deserves our praise. He has had over a dozen old busts carved and has brought from Berlin a splendid portrait of the King, which is to stand between Pindar, Caesar, Tacitus and Plutarch. In the writing room there will be painted portraits: he brought Moses and Ramler from Berlin, and from here he collected Scheffner, Willamov, Hippel, Lindner, etc. Kant is also sitting already and you will surely enjoy seeing next year your household gods [lares und penates].

There appears to be no good reason not to date all three portraits to roughly the same time, nor to assume that Kant would have sat at different times for Becker – and there are good reasons to reject such an assumption (as Clasen points out, there are far too many similarities across all three images to allow for separate sittings). Becker (c) is securely dated to August 1768 since it was completed to adorn Kanter’s new bookshop, which opened at the end of August, and while Minden [1868, 26] claimed that it was painted “several years later” than Becker (b), he does not support this claim with any evidence.

Clasen writes [1924, 12]:[3]

Along with these two paintings by Becker a third has been found, of smaller format and drawn in pastel. Its provenance denotes it as certainly an original, since it comes from the belongings of Kant's brother, the pastor at Alt-Rahden in Courland. Kant himself had given it to him. After the brother's death, the wife brought it to the parsonage in Durben where it, according to eyewitnesses, hung until 1854. It was later transferred to the son-in-law pastor von Schoen, and then to his son, the music teacher Alfons von Schoen in Libau.

Clasen offers a brief summary of how he understood the relationship between the three Becker images [1924, 13]:[4]

As Hamann confirms, Becker painted Kant in August 1768, initially as a pastel sketch for a painting commissioned by Kant, which he later wanted to execute at home. Becker “flattered” Kant – nothing unusual among lesser portrait painters, just as it is today with photographers – by making Kant’s appearance fuller, fresher, more youthful. Kant, who liked the sketch, ordered a painting and also took the sketch as a gift for his brother. At the same time, the painter had to deliver a picture for Kanter’s bookstore. Here it was important to present Kant, in this circle of important men, precisely as a scholar, so he gave his face a sharper emphasis through an intellectual leanness. The difference between the two paintings is best understood as follows: In Becker I [Becker(b)] the painter shows the “elegant magister,” who played such a role in the social world, while in Becker II [Becker(c)] the erudite philosopher had to be emphasized, especially since Kant was coming a bit early to this great honor. One may assume, however, that the corrections in Becker II were made in the sense of a stronger fidelity to nature, because this picture was intended for the general public, which had an interest only in seeing Kant “unflattered.” In addition, the Becker II painting is more closely related to the Keyserling drawing, which already shows the sharp protrusion of individual parts of the face, e.g., the cheekbones, to an even greater degree, and the sharpness of the facial features is also a characteristic feature of Kant’s portrait in later paintings.

Essers [1974, 43]:[5]

Along with the two paintings is a smaller pastel that Kant had given to his brother, the pastor in Alt-Rahden in Courland. It fully agrees in composition and execution with the two paintings. A white grid-work indicates it to be a sketch. The pastel may have served as a study for both of the paintings.

The person responsible for the two paintings in Kant’s possession cannot be properly clarified. It is unlikely that Kant himself commissioned the work, given his attitude and his modest income at the time. Perhaps the artist gifted them to him.


1768: Becker (b) [top]

Becker (1768b)

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Becker (1768b)

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Becker (1768b)-Anderson

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Becker (1768b)-Perm Gallery

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Artist: Johann Gottlieb [or: Heinrich] Becker (Königsberg).

Description: Oil painting (60 x 46 cm [Minden 1868, 25; Clasen 1924, 30] or 69 x 45 cm [Anderson 1936, 17]). Also referred to as Becker I [Clasen 1924] and Simon [Clasen 1924, 28; Vaihinger 1901c].

Location: Until recently (for the author: February 2023) this painting had been considered lost, and perhaps destroyed, during the chaos of World War II. In fact, however, it survived the war and simply fell from the public eye. In 1957 a private individual living in Perm (Russia) sold the painting to the Perm Russian State Art Gallery, where it has more recently been on display and now on their website [see], although without attribution of the painter or its provenance[1] (image #4). Prior to this, the painting (image #3) was on display in the Kant-Zimmer in Königsberg – first in the city library housed in the Albertinum, then in the city historical museum (in the old Kneiphof town hall), where we can see it in the photograph hanging on the east wall of the room (see photos, below-right).

Kant-Zimmer, City Museum

Kant-Zimmer
City Museum

Kant-Zimmer, City Library

Kant-Zimmer
Albertinum

To better compare these different images of Becker(b), click on this GIF to rotate between the Clasen (1924), Anderson (1936), and Perm (recent) images (there are two images of the painting in Perm, in black-and-white and then color), as well as GIFs alternating between Anderson/Perm and Clasen/Anderson.[2] All these images are of the same painting. Some deviations between the images can be found, which are presumably a result of different camera optics or angle of view – for instance, Kant’s forehead appears wider in the Perm image, whereas the Clasen and Anderson images are identical in this regard. There are tell-tale features in the canvas itself, however, that make the identity obvious, for instance, a set of small bumps in the canvas to the right of Kant’s left eye are easily seen in the non-GIF photos of Anderson and Perm.

This portrait originally belonged to Kant, although he must have kept it out of sight.[3] Minden [1868, 25-26] claims that Becker(b) is the original oil painting and that Becker(c) was painted several years later (Minden does not offer his evidence for this; both Vaihinger [1899b] and Vorländer [1911, 59] repeat Minden). Reicke/Wichert [1881, 511] had previously considered this question, arguing that Becker(c) could not be a copy (because Hamann’s letter spoke of Kant sitting for it), nor that Becker(b) was the older of the two, since it was unlikely that Kant would have had himself painted prior to the celebrity of his being painted for Kanter’s bookstore.

Upon Kant’s death, the painting was bought in the estate auction by the same Herr Meier (or ‘Meyer’) who bought Kant’s house on Prinzessinstrasse. Minden [1868, 25] notes that the painting is currently (1868) in the possession of Mr. Settnick in Königsberg. Reicke/Wichert claim [1881] that the lending-librarian [Louis] Settnick bought the painting for 8 Thaler in the 1850’s from Meyer’s widow, and by 1881 it was in the possession of Settnick’s son-in-law, Richard Kinze, who at that time was living in London. Diestel [1898a] claims that Settnick was Meyer’s son-in-law, who then gave it to his own son-in-law, Richard Kinze, also noting that Kinze had letters proving its provenance. Vaihinger claims, on the basis of a 17 November 1898 letter written by one of Meyer’s daughter (Johanna Gombert), that Meyer’s widow had given the painting to Settnick, who was her son’s wife’s brother (thus: not her son-in-law), and after Settnick’s death, it passed to his son-in-law, the pensioner Richard Kinze in Dresden. This transfer was also confirmed by a letter of A. W. Meyer, Jr. (13 August 1885) to Mr. Kinze [Vaihinger 1901c, 111]. It was only with the discovery and publicity of the anonymous Dresden painting that Kinze approached Professor Diestel with the hope of selling his painting. Despite the exhorbitant asking price of 1800 Marks, Walter Simon agreed to purchase it for the city of Königsberg (1899?), after which it was eventually put on display in the Kant-Zimmer in Königsberg.[4]

Wallace, in a brief account of Kant’s images, writes [1882, 94]:

Advertisement of the Photographic reproductions of the Becker painting

Advertisement

A portrait of Kant in his 44th year was painted for the publisher Kanter, in 1768, by an artist named Becker. A good photographic copy of this last was issued in 1881 by Gräfe & Unzer, the present representatives of the Kanter firm. Another portrait by Becker exists in the possession of a German in London, and is probably of the same date.

The portrait in London mentioned by Wallace was Becker(b), and Wallace was likely drawing his information from an 1881 copy of the Altpreußische Monatsschrift, where an editorial note claims that Richard Kinze, the then-owner of the painting, was living in London [Reicke/Wichert 1881, 511] – this note was followed by an ad (shown here) from Gräfe & Unzer for the photographic reproductions of Becker(c).

Derived from: Becker(a) (1768) – see this for questions of dating.

Derivations: Frisch (1768), Schleuen (1773).

Digital Image: (1) Clasen [1924]; (2) Kant-Studien, vol. 6 [1901]; (3) Anderson [1936] (courtesy of Inna Rezchikova; this photograph is available in high resolution at the Archiv für Kunst und Geschichte [AKG]), (4) Perm (Russia) State Art Gallery [website].

Literature: Borowski [1804, 95], Minden [1868, 25-26], Reicke/Wichert [1881, 511],[5] Wallace [1882, 94], Fromm [1898a, 157-58], Diestel [1898a, 105],[6] Vaihinger [1899b,[7] 1901c], Anderson [1932, 309],[8] Anderson [1936, 17],[9] Vorländer [1911, 59], Clasen [1924, 10-11, 13, Plate 2], Demmler [1924a, 209], Essers [1974, 42-43], Malter/Staffa [1983, 42-43],[10] Stark [1994, 101n65].[11]

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

2. painting by Becker, I. Around 1768. Königsberg i. Pr. Kantzimmer, size: 60 x 46 cm. Tafel 2

Minden gave this description [1868, 25]:[12]

Kant’s portrait by Becker, painted in oil (23 x 17 inches); currently in the possession of Mr. Settnick in Königsberg. This painting was Kant’s property and Mr. Meier (who bought Kant’s house in Prinzessinstrasse after his death) purchased it at the auction. The picture is of particular interest since it is the earliest, and in addition to Kant’s clothing – which Jachmann describes exactly – it brings out the noble forms of the young Magister’s facial features that later portraits scarcely hint at; besides the wrinkles of age, these show a certain sensuality and a wear from deep thinking. The ideal posture, the energy and youthful freshness of Becker’s picture is vividly reminiscent of Goethe’s earliest portrait that already reveals the later significance of the poet-prince.

Essers [1974, 42-43]:[13]

The first painting comes from Kant’s estate and arrived in the Kant-Room in Königsberg in a roundabout way. The portrait is approximately life-size, with the upper part of the body placed diagonally to the picture surface, the head is turned more [43], so that he is gazing naturally out from the painting, approximately in three-quarter profile. The hands are raised to the center of the body, the right leaning on the left hand and holding an open book. The writing is illegible. While Kant appears youthful in Countess Keyserling’s drawing, here he is depicted as a mature man.


c.1770: Frisch [top]

Frisch copy of Herz copy of Becker

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Frisch copy of Herz copy of Becker

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Artist: Johann Christoph Frisch (1738-1815), an important Berlin portraitist (his portrait of Moses Mendelssohn is well-known). He was a student of Bernhard Rode (1725-1797), and later the director of the Berlin Academy of Art [Meusel, Teutsches Künstlerlexikon 1: 263-64; Biehahn 1961b, 18].

Description: Oil painting on canvas (59 x 49 cm). On the back of the frame: “I. Kant”.

Location: Berlin, Deutsche Staatsbibliothek. Gift (1842) of the librarian Dr. Gottlieb Friedländer (1805-1878), a grandson of David Friedländer, who presumably purchased it from Herz’s estate [Biehahn 1961b, 18].

Derived from: Becker(b) (1768).

Digital Image: (1) Biehahn [1961b], (2) Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz [online] – a larger image is available. Also available through akg-images [online].

Literature: Vaihinger [1901c, 112n],[1] Demmler [1924a, 209],[2] Biehahn [1958], Biehahn [1961a, 127],[3] Biehahn [1961b, 18-19],[4] Essers [1974, 43].[5]

History and Discussion: Marcus Herz [bio] brought a painting with him back to Berlin in 1770 after finishing with his studies in Königsberg. We know this from Kant’s letter to Nicolai (25 Oct 1773), discussed below at Schleuen, where Kant surmises that the Schleuen engraving was “probably made from a copy of my portrait, which Herr Hertz took to Berlin” [AA 10: 142]. This comment is ambiguous in the English translation – did Herz bring a copy to Berlin, or did he bring the original Becker(b) painting, from which a copy was then made? – but the German is clear that “the copy” [die Copey … welche] was brought to Berlin, rather than the original painting. Herz writes of Kant’s picture [Bildnis, Bild] hanging in his study, in two letters to Kant[6] (written in 1771 and 1785), and we are left to assume that this is the same painting that Herz brought with him to Berlin in 1770.

Vaihinger [1901c, 112n] thought Herz’ painting was lost, but fifty years later Biehahn [1958] discovered a copy of Becker(b) in the German State Library and assumed this was Herz’s missing painting, which seemed quite plausible since the painting’s donor was Gottlieb Friedländer, a grandson of David Friedländer who had been a friend of Herz who acquired some of Herz’ art collection in 1803 (when Herz died). A problem quickly arose, however, when Biehahn became aware of the contents of a letter that accompanied that painting and that identified the painter as Johann Christoph Frisch [1961a, 127; 1961b, 18-19]. The problem, presumably, is that it would have been highly unlikely for Frisch, a Berliner, to have been in Königsberg to paint the copy that Herz then brought to Berlin in 1770.

This leaves us with a few alternatives: Perhaps (1) Herz brought Becker(b) with him to Berlin, where Friedländer paid for Frisch to paint a copy that he gave to Herz (this would make sense of Herz writing to Kant about his gratitude to both Kant and Friedländer for the painting on his wall [AA 10: 127] – although this gratitude might be referring not to the painting but to Herz being able to audit Kant’s lectures, for which Friedländer had provided financial support), and Becker(b) was eventually returned to Königsberg, where it was auctioned in Kant’s estate, and so on (and if Becker(b) was returned to Königsberg only upon Kant’s death, that would explain it never being mentioned by any of Kant’s guests – although this would also be true if Kant simply had kept it in the attic or a cupboard). Or perhaps (2) an additional copy of Becker(b) was made in Königsberg that Herz brought with him to Berlin, and that remains lost, and that Frisch made his copy from this now lost copy – this is what Biehahn concluded after discovering Frisch’s identity as the painter of the copy at the library. Both of these alternatives help clarify the situation with the Schleuen engraving, which looks like a closer match to Becker(b) (or to the lost copy) than to the Frisch copy.


1773: Schleuen [top]

Schleuen engraving from Becker

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Schleuen engraving from Becker

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Artist: Johann Friedrich Schleuen (1739-1784).[1]

Description: Copperplate engraving; framed oval medallion resting on a pedestal with the inscription: “Immanuel / Kant”. Directly under the engraving, to the right: “Schleuen sc.” (sheet: 15.6 x 9.6 cm)

Location: Frontispiece of the Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek (1773), vol. 20, #1. This was the first image of Kant to be published. The engraving was later used as a frontispiece to a reprint of Kant’s Der einzig mögliche Beweisgrund zu einer Demonstration des Daseyns Gottes (Königsberg: Johann Jakob Kanter, 1783), with a new printing in 1794.

Derived from: Becker(b) (1768) or a lost copy that Herz brought from Königsberg to Berlin (see the discussion at Frisch).

Derivations: Liebe (after 1773).

Digital Image: (1) the Allgemeinen Deutschen Bibliothek (1773); (2) Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam).

Literature: Kant [letters], Will [1788, 15-16], Borowski [1804, 95], Schubert [1842, 204], Minden [1868, 26], Vaihinger [1901c, 112n], Clasen [1924, 10].

History and Discussion: Borowski [1804] and Minden [1868] claim this engraving derives from Becker. Kant himself (in a 1773 letter to Nicolai) speculates that it was based on Frisch, and Schubert [1842] also claims this. But Schleuen appears to be more closely related to Becker(b) (or possibly Becker(c)) than it does to Frisch, especially since no lace is visible in Frisch, while Schleuen seems to be patterning the lace in Becker.

Kant (1773): In a letter of 25 October 1773 to Friedrich Nicolai, the publisher of the Allgemeinen Deutschen Bibliothek, Kant acknowledged receipt of the #1 issue of vol. 20 of the ADB, and thanked Nicolai for printing his portrait, noting that...

The picture is most probably made from a copy of my portrait, which Herr Hertz [Marcus Herz] took to Berlin, and therefore less of a likeness but very well engraved. [#77; AA 10: 142]

Das Bildnis ist allem Vermuthen nach von einer Copey meines Porträts, welche HE. Hertz nach Berlin nahm, gemacht und daher wenig getroffen, obzwar sehr wohl gestochen worden.

Kant (1773): In a letter to Marcus Herz (near the end of 1773):

I saw my portrait on the front of the [issue of the Allgemeine deutsche] Bibliothek. It is an honor that disturbs me a little, for, as you know, I earnestly avoid all appearance of surreptitiously seeking eulogies or ostentatiously creating a stir. The portrait is a good engraving though not a good likeness. But it pleases me to see that this sort of gesture stems from the amiable partisanship of my former students. [#79; AA 10:146]

Mein Bildnis habe vor der Bibliothek gesehen. Eine Ehre die mich ein wenig beunruhigt weil ich wie Sie wissen allen Schein erschlichener Lobsprüche und Zudringlichkeit um Aufsehen zu machen sehr meide. Es ist wohl gestochen obzwar nicht wohl getroffen. Indessen erfahre ich mit Vergnügen daß solches die Veranstaltung der liebenswürdigen Partheylichkeit meines ehemaligen Zuhörers ist.

Will [1788, 15-16]:

Immanuel Kant, Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at Königsberg, a man of 64 years, (born 1724) is without doubt one of the most astute and first philosophers of this century, and along with that a skillfully animated man in society and a refined mocker. His image at the front of the 20th issue of the Allgemeine deutschen Bibliothek, in which he still looks young, portrays this character and, I think, especially a searching philosophical gaze.

Herr Immanuel Kant, Professor der Logik und Metaphysik zu Königsberg, ein Mann von 64. Jahren, (geb. 1724) ist außer Zweifel einer der scharfsinnigsten und ersten Philosophen dieses Jahrhunderts, dabei in artiger munterer Mann in Gesellschaft und ein feiner Spötter. Sein Bildniß vor dem 20sten Theil der allgemeinen deutschen Bibliothek, in welchem er noch iung erscheint, giebt däucht mich, diesen Charakter und besonders einen [16] forschenden philosophischen Blick zu erkennen.

Borowski [1804, 95]:

A portrait of him, engraved by Schleuen from Becker’s drawing is presented in the 20th volume of the Allg. deutschen Bibliothek.

Ein Porträt von ihm, gestochen von Schleuen nach Beckers Zeichnung ist dem 20. Bande der Allg. deutschen Bibliothek vorgesetzt.

Schubert [1842, 204]:

A small copperplate engraving by Schleuen was made from a bad copy of this painting and appeared in the 20th volume of the Allgemeinen Deutschen Bibliothek (1773), over which Kant’s own letter to Nicolai (25 October 1773) is extant for comparison.

Nach einer schlechten Copie dieses Gemäldes [i.e., Becker] ist der geringe Kupferstich von Schleuen in dem 20. Bande der allgemeinen Deutschen Bibliothek aus dem jahre 1773 gemacht, worüber Kant’s eigner Brief vom 25. Oct 1773 an Nicolai zu vergleichen bleibt […].

Minden [1868, 26]:

[from the Becker(b) painting came this engraving] 1) Immanuel Kant. – Schleuen fec. (H. 5 Z. 2 L. – Br. 3 Z. 2 L.) Medaillonform, auf einem Fuss ruhend.


after 1773: Liebe [top]

Liebe

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Artist: Gottlob August Liebe, born (23 Oct 1746) and died (31 May 1819) in Halle.

Description: Engraving (13.5 x 8.9 cm, sheet). ‘Immanuel Kant’ under medallion 3/4 portrait (a close match to a mirror-image of the Schleuen engraving). ‘Liebe sc.’ underneath engraving. See also Liebe’s engraving of the Lowe painting.

Location: Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, Inv.-Nr. A 10838.

Derived from: Schleuen (1773).

Digital Image: Marburg Digitaler Portrait Index.

Literature: Meusel [1808, 1: 567] (on the artist, not the engraving).


1768: Becker (c) [top]

Becker (1768c)

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Becker (1768c)

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Becker (1768c)

Artist: Johann Gottlieb [or: Heinrich] Becker (Königsberg). Scheffler [1987, 517]: Johann Gottlieb Becker, born 1720 in Danzig, died 1783 in Königsberg.

Description: Oil painting (59 x 46 cm) on canvas. (Scheffler [1987, 518]: 57 x 45 cm.) The inscription under the painting of Kant reads (in translation): “Immanuel Kant, born April 22, 1724 / lived with the book dealer Kanter from 1766 until 1769 / was painted for this shop in August 1768 / by the portrait painter Becker, died 1804, the 12th of February.” This inscription likely stems from 1844, when the book dealer Gräfe & Unzer had the picture restored for display in their rooms. The dates are wrong, however true the image might be, as Kant lived with Kanter until 1777 (various professors rented living quarters from Kanter).

Location: Schiller-Nationalmuseum (Marbach/Neckar), purchased in 1980 from the publishers Gräfe & Unzer, who had acquired it when they bought Kanter’s business. Writing in 1868, Minden noted that “this painting (restored by Rosenfelder) is in the possession of the bookseller Gräfe, whose store it has adorned for a number of years,” and as can be seen in the photograph to the right.

Becker (1768c) in Koch's office

Office

Becker (1768c) in Bookshop

Gräfe & Unzer, 1922

Derived from: Becker(a) (1768) – see this for questions of dating.

Derivations: an-Pillau 1 (1780s)?, an-Pillau 3 (1780s)?, Neumann (1881).

Digital Image: (1) Clasen [1924], (2) Wikipedia. Also available through akg-images [online].

Literature: Schubert [1842, 204], Minden [1868, 25-26],[1] Reicke/Wichert [1881, 511-12], Abbott [1889], Dreher [1896, 214n114], Vaihinger [1899b], Clasen [1924, 11-13, Plate 3], Kuhrke [1924a, 26 (illus.)], Forstreuter [1932, Tafel 9 (illus. with framed caption)], Anderson [1943, 30],[2] Essers [1974, 43],[3] Scheffler [1987].

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

4. Gemälde von Becker, II. 1768. Buchhandlung Preisel & Geyer Königsberg. Größe: 46: 59. Tafel 3.

History and Discussion: This was the portrait commissioned by the bookdealer Kanter,[4] who moved his bookshop from the corner of the Altstadt Langgasse and Schmiede Gasse to the newly rebuilt “Löbenicht Town Hall” just a few blocks to the south-east on the corner of the Löbenicht Langgasse and Münchengasse and with a large square to the east. Kanter moved into the new shop at the end of August 1768, which he decorated with twelve busts of men from antiquity and nine oil portraits of contemporary German luminaries, three from Berlin (Moses Mendelssohn [bio], Friederich the Great, and the Berlin poet Karl Wilhelm Ramler) and six locals: Professor Friedrich Samuel Bock (age 52) [bio], Magister Immanuel Kant (age 44) [bio], Professor Johann Gotthelf Lindner (age 39) [bio], Kriegsrat Johann Georg Scheffner (age 32) [bio], and Hofgerichtsadvocat Theodor Gottlieb von Hippel (age 27) [bio].[5] The painting was restored by Rosenfelder in 1844 and put on display in the Gräfe & Unzer bookshop [Minden 1868, 26] for a century in the old Kanter location in the Löbenicht Rathaus before they moved in October 1866 to a shop at Junkerstraße 17, and finally moving in 1873 to their last Königsberg adress at Paradeplatz 7 on the southwest edge of the square [Forstrueter 1932, 107, 109] – see photos.[6]

Illustrierte Zeitung (Leipzig) 5 November 1881 (No. 2001, p. 407) ran the following advertisement:

A portrait of Immanuel Kant from an oil painting from August 1768 that the portraitist Becker painted for the bookseller Kanter in Königsberg has now been photographically reproduced by the bookseller Gräfe & Unzer in Königsberg, which owns the original painting.

Ein Porträt Immanuel Kant’s nach einem Oelgemälde, das der Porträtmaler Becker im August 1768 für den Buchhändler Kanter in Königsberg gemalt hat ist jetzt durch die Photographie vervielfältigt worden und zwar von der Buchhandlung von Gräfe & Unzer in Königsberg in deren Besitz sich das Originalgemälde befindet.

Abbott [1889] included a reprint of this portrait as the frontispiece of his book, noting in his preface:

The portrait prefixed is from a photograph of an oil-painting in the possession of Gräfe & Unzer, booksellers, of Königsberg. It is inferior, as a work of art, to the portrait engraved in the former edition [the 1791 engraving by Preisel & Geyer, based on a painting by Stobbe (see below)]; but as it represents Kant in the vigour of his age, and, unlike the former, has never appeared in an any book, readers will probably be pleased with the substitution. I possess also a copy of a rare full-length silhouette, photographic copies of which can be supplied.


1780s: an-Pillau 1 [top]

Pillau

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Artist: Unknown.

Description: Ink sketch drawn on the inside of a second endpaper of a set of student notes from Kant’s lectures on anthropology (an-Pillau 1), once housed at the Pillau school. A nearly identical ink sketch (differing only in a few minor details – the images of Kant are essentially identical – can be found on a set of notes from the physical geography lectures (an-Pillau 3), once housed at the Pillau school.

Location: Archive of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Academie der Wissenschaften (Berlin), Nachlass-Kant 10.

Derived from: Becker(c) (1768).

Digital Image: Courtesy of the Archiv der BBAW.

Literature: Vaihinger [1899a, 253], Stark [1991b].


1780s: an-Pillau 3 [top]

Becker-PillauPG

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Artist: Unknown.

Description: Ink sketch drawn on the inside of a second endpaper of a set of student notes from Kant’s lectures on physical geography (an-Pillau 3). A nearly identical ink sketch (differing only in a few minor details – the images of Kant are essentially identical – can be found on a set of notes from the anthropology lectures (an-Pillau 1), once housed at the Pillau school.

Location: Archive of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Academie der Wissenschaften (Berlin), Nachlass-Kant 16.

Derived from: Becker(c) (1768).

Digital Image: Courtesy of the Archiv der BBAW. Also published in Rischmüller [1991, ix].

Literature: Vaihinger [1899a, 253], Adickes [1911a, 103], Stark [1991b].


1881: Neumann [top]

Neumann

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Artist: Adolf Neumann. (Neumann also made an 1864 engraving(?) of the Vernet (Jachmann) Kant portrait).

Description: Woodcut (26 x 19.5 cm).

Location: Museum Stadt Königsberg (Inv. Nr. 1753).

Derived from: Becker(c) (1768).

Digital Image: Die Gartenlaube – Illustrirtes Familienblatt, p. 309 (from Werner Stark’s collection) [second image] The image accompanies a brief article on Kant by Moritz Brasch, “Immanuel Kant. Zum hundertjährigen Jubiläum seiner ‘Kritik der reinen Vernunft’,” Die Gartenlaube (Leipzig: Ernst Reil, 1881), No. 19, pp. 308-14.

Literature: Die Gartenlaube (Leipzig 1881), No. 19, pp. 319-20; Grimoni/Will [2004, 206].

History and Discussion: The caption in the magazine just says “Becker”; other engravings copy Becker(b), but this looks much closer to Becker(c) – note the bent thumb, the ear opening, the motif of the oval, the shape of the face, the lace at the wrist. Two paragraphs of explanation are found a few pages later in the same issue (pp. 319-20): the book dealer Kanter is to thank for commissioning the portraitist Becker to paint Kant in August 1768 (also noting that Kant lived with Kanter from 1766 to 1769). The Kanter firm was then sold to Gräfe & Unzer (1833), who had the painting restored for the university’s jubilee in 1844, and who also brought Kant’s portrait (along with the other paintings and busts) to their new location in 1868. The current owner of the business (in 1881: R. Dreher and B. Stürtz) continue to display Kant’s portrait and have for sale photographic copies (by L. E. Gottheil, Königsberg).


c.1775: Keyserling [top]

(1) [flip]

(2) [flip]

(3) [flip]

(4) [flip]

Artist: Countess Caroline Charlotte Amalie von Keyserling (also: Keyserlingk) (1727-1791).

Description: Chalk drawing (34 x 24 cm), in a bound volume (39 x 31 cm). The title of the volumes: “Les Loisirs de Caroline Amalia Comtesse de Keyserling, née Truchseß du St: Emp: Rom: Comtesse Waldburg”.

Location: Privately owned (although it had been reported as missing [Benninghoven 1974, 90; Malter 1983a; Schultz 2003, 18]). This chalk drawing had been kept in the Majoratsbibliothek in Schloß Rautenburg (now: Bolshije Berezhki, Russia; about 75 km northeast of Königsberg). Weise [1966, 186] claimed the collection of drawings, including Kant, were still at Rautenberg.

Adalbert Bezzenberger (1851-1922), the Professor of Sanskrit at the Albertus-Universität Königsberg, inspected Countess Keyserling’s chalk drawing of Kant in 1895, along with the two-volume album containing it, while on a visit to the Keyserling estate at Rautenburg. He also received permission to have a copy of the drawing made for the Prussia-Museum, over which he presided (from 1891 to 1916), and either he or Reicke made public this finding in a Cologne newspaper (13 Feb 1897) [Vaihinger 1898b]. That same year, Count Keyserling made available a photograph of the drawing, which was then reprinted in Kant-Studien [1898 (vol. 2.2)] and Feldkeller [1924] – see pictures (1) and (2) above. The drawing was on display at the 2004 Duisberg exhibition, with a full page reproduction in the catalog [Grimoni/Will 2004, 18], at which time postcards were also prepared and sold.

The 1895 chalk copy was on display in the Kantmuseum (in the former Kneiphof town hall) until being destroyed or lost during World War II.

In his survey of the Kantian iconography, Clasen [1924] noted that the Keyserling drawing can be found in an album in the Majoratsbibliothek at the Rautenburg estate and includes a photographic reproduction in his 1924 Kant-Bildnisse survey – see picture (3), above – but it appears that he did not have access to the original drawing.

Unlike Vaihinger, Fromm, and Clasen, Anderson inspected the original drawing along with the two-volume album containing it, and was allowed to take the first volume (that included the Kant portrait) back to Königsberg with him [1943, 22] (this was October 1943; one wonders if he ever had the opportunity to return the volume to the Rautenburg estate). Presumably both of these albums survived the war and are in the family’s possession, along with the original drawing of Kant.

Waistcoat
1760-80

An example of a “Man’s coat and waistcoat, about 1760-80” is on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum (London) which looks much like the one Kant is wearing in the Keyserling drawing. This coat is described as stemming probably from France, made of wool with silk twill and linen lining (Museum no. T.214:1, 2-1992).

Digital Images: (1) Kant-Studien, vol. 2 [1898] (photo of the original [Vaihinger 1898b, 142]), (2) Feldkeller [1924, Reichls Philosophischer Almanach auf das Jahr 1924] (photo of the original [Feldkeller 1924, 85]), (3) Clasen [1924], (4) postcard, Museum Stadt Königsberg (Duisburg).

Literature: Reicke [1896],[1] Vaihinger [1898b / PDF], Fromm [1898a],[2] Diestel [1898a, 1898b], Diestel [1901], Conrad [1911, 109-11], Clasen [1924, 9-10, Plate 1], Schöndörffer [1924a, 72], Feldkeller [1924, 83-86], Anderson [1936, 17],[3] Anderson [1943], Stavenhagen [1949, image between pp. 32-33], Essers [1974, 42],[4] Benninghoven [1974, 42, 90],[5a] Malter [1983a / PDF],[5b] Grimoni/Will [2004, 18 (full-page reproduction), 118-19].

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

1. Zeichnung der Gräfin Carolina, Charlotte, Amalia von Keyserling. Um 1755. Schloß Rautenburg in Ostpreußen. Größe: 35 x 25 cm. Tafel 1.

The Keyserling drawing is often claimed to be our earliest image of Kant, perhaps beginning with Rudolf Reicke [bio], who in a letter to Professor Bezzenberger wrote:[6]

That portrait of Kant that you brought from Rautenburg is, the more I look at it, of ever greater interest to me. … Especially interesting is to compare this previously unknown earliest private picture with that which the bookseller Kanter had the painter Becker paint for his bookstore in 1768. … This new portrait shows us Kant when he was even younger; for if it was drawn before he left the Keyserling house, where he spent several years as a tutor, then it was done no later than spring 1755, when Kant was at most 31 years old.

This sentiment has been echoed by Fromm [1898, 158], Clasen [1924, 9], Essers [1974, 42], and Malter [1983a, 9] but this early date for the portrait seems unlikely. While the portrait appears to be of a young Kant, any reasoning based on Kant’s service as Hofmeister on the Keyserling’s Rautenburg estate before 1755 is spurious, since Kant almost certainly never lived there, although it appears he did visit their Capustigall estate during his early years as a Privatdozent (see the discussion of “Kant as Hofmeister” [here]). But apart from that, the dating cannot rest simply on plausible opportunities for interaction between Kant and the Countess Keyserling, since these occurred throughout Kant’s professorship, up until her death in 1791. Kant had a standing invitation to dine with the Keyserling’s every Tuesday, and he was there on various other occasions as well.

K. G.
Richter

Anderson [1943, 24] argues in favor of a much later date, sometime after 1774, for the following reasons: (1) the clothing depicted is not that of a Hofmeister, (2) on the back of the drawing is written, in the Countess’s hand, “Professeur Kant” – which would place it after he assumed the professorship in 1770 (although of course she might have added this title later), but most significantly, (3) the context of the drawing itself: this was one of many similar drawings of family members and various luminaries either living in the area or passing through – see the quite similar drawing of Karl Gottlieb Richter (right).[6b] These drawings were collected in a two-volume family album prepared by the Countess[7] – the Kant drawing is in the first volume – and this album was prepared some time after 1774, as we learn from the “Brief an die Nachwelt” (written by Count Heinrich Christian Keyserling, original in French, German translation in Anderson [1943, 22-27]) that served as an introduction to the album. His comments indicate that this “collection of pictures of [the Countess’s] relations, friends, and acquaintances” was done “in her advanced age” (in vorgerückterem Alter) after the children were grown, and that this occurred some time after their 1774 stay in Warsaw.

Anderson also offered reasons to question whether the drawing was done from life. The Countess clearly knew Kant’s appearance and could have drawn him from memory, or else based her drawing on a painting (Becker) or engraving [1943, 30]. At the end of his essay, Anderson also notes Bernoulli’s Reisen durch Brandenburg, Pommern und Preußen but does not mention that Bernoulli appears to be describing these very volumes of the drawings:[8]

Of drawings done by hand, one will not readily see any more interesting than those Countess Keyserling has shown me, namely, a large collection of portraits in folio that she herself produced, an incredible number in just about 18 months. A large volume of these is already bound, accompanied by a French preface by the Count, and has a title such as: Gallery of our Friends, or something like that. Portraits of the Grand Duke, the Prince of Prussia, Prince Henry, and other persons known to me, along with some scholars from Königsberg, where I myself could see how successfully the Countess generally struck a good likeness. Does modesty allow me to write here that the Countess did me the honor this evening of admitting me to this same venerable company? [Bernoulli 1779, 3: 74]

Bernoulli’s visit to Königsberg was from June 29 to July 2, 1778.


1782: Keyserling miniatures [top]

(1) No. 5

(2) No. 7

(3) No. 11

Artist: Countess Caroline Charlotte Amalie von Keyserling (also: Keyserlingk) (1727-1791).

Description: Gouache (slight variations in size, but roughly 22 x 15 cm, with a caption underneath); the book itself appears to be about 32 x 18 cm.

Location: Almanach domestique de Cléon et de Javotte avec des tableaux qui représentent leur vie privée 1782. Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek, Signature: Cod. gall. 908. [pdf][GoogleBooks]. Full-color reproductions are in the Museum Stadt Königsberg (Duisburg, now in Lüneburg).

The images here are three of twelve paintings, each with a caption in French below and associated with a month, all bound in a small book with a few pages of additional text (in French). A sketch of the palace grounds is at the front of the book. Three of the paintings are of dinner parties: 7/July, 10/October, and 11/November. Painting no. 5, of the couple in her boudoir, shows a man reading a book aloud, who has been taken by some to be Kant (although the caption identifies the man as Cleon, i.e., the Count). Small reproductions of all twelve paintings are in Grimoni/Will [1984, 119]. Larger images to those found on this webpage (although in black and white) are available in the online PDF (links above). Each painting bears a caption.

Fifth painting (image 1): “When Javotte amuses herself with painting / Cleon reads the journal to her.” [“Quand Javotte s’amuse à la Peinture / Cleon des journeaux lui fait la lecture.”]

Seventh painting (image 2): “Let us enjoy with relatives, friends, scholars / a nourishing but very frugal meal. / Let us beware of imitating the gluttons / and nothing will equal our pleasure.” [“Jouissons avec parens, amis, savans / D’une table nourissante mais très frugale / Gardons nous bien d'imiter les gourmands / Et rien à notre plaisir sera egale.”]

Eleventh painting (image 3): “The day ends with a simple dinner / Of family, friends of both sexes, and different estates united.” [“La journée va se terminer par un frugal souper / Des parens, Amis des deux sexes et divers Etats groupés”].

Digital Image: (1) Wieckenberg [1988, front cover]; (2) Wieckenberg [1988, xix]; (3) Mainz.

Literature: Malter [1981], Malter [1983a / PDF], Grimoni/Will [1984, 119].


1782: Collin [top]

Collin

(1) [flip]

Collin

(2) [flip]

Collin

(3) [flip]

Collin

(4) Ulbrich

Collin

(5) Kant / Hippel

Artist: Paul Heinrich Collin (*5 May 1748/Königsberg, †17 Sep 1789/Königsberg).

Description: Relief bust. Full inscription (with a false birth-year): “Mons. Eman. Kant Professeur ä Koenigsberg né en l'année 1723 pris de nature par Paul Henri Collin en Juin 1782 fabrique des frères Collin ä Koenigsberg”. The material is variable: black, yellow, or white stoneware, zink, plaster, and wax. Three different sizes were sold (4.6 cm, 8.8 cm, ??) [Brinkmann 1896, 61].

Location: Various. A plaster model is in the Staatlichen Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz [Benninghoven 1974, 132]. The Clasen image (#1) is of a relief owned by Gräfe & Unzer. The Gause image (#2) is – according to the caption accompanying the image [1961] – of a relief in the Hamburg Museum for Art and History.[1] The Kant-Studien image (#3) is of a relief owned by a Professor Brütt (Berlin), who had received it from his father-in-law, Prof. Schillbach (Potsdam)[Vaihinger 1902a]. A ceramic model (9.0 x 7.2 cm) owned by the Ostpreußisches Landesmuseum (Lüneburg) is pictured in Grimoni/Will [2004, 220].

Derivations: Abramson (1784), Vase (c.1785), Abramson (1804).

Digital Images:

(1) Clasen [1924, 30].

(2) Gause [1961].

(3) Kant-Studien, vol. 7 [1902] (frontispiece to 7.1).

(4) Ulbrich [1926-29, 2: 742], “Abb. 919. Kunstgewerbe-Museum der Stadt Königsberg i. Pr. Kantbildnis in Basaltmasse, 1782. Kleinbildner P. H. Collin, Königsberg i. Pr. (Aufnahme von A. Kühlewindt.)”;[2]

(5) Rohde [1929, 120], “Abb. 98. Steingutplaketten mit den Bildnissen Kants und Hippels aus der Steingutmanufaktur der Brüder Collin. Kunstammlungen im Schloß” (Mühlpfordt [1970, 56] also includes an illustration of this pair of basaltware medallions, noting that the back of Kant is inscribed: “Monsr. Eman. Kant, Professeur à Koenigsberg, né en l’anné 1723, pris de nature par Paul Henri Collin en join 1782 fabrique des frères Collin à Koenigsberg”, and on the back of Hippel: “zu Königsberg im August 1784”).

Literature: Hamann [various letters],[3] Borowski [1804, 96, 177], Schubert [1842, 204-5], Minden [1868, 31], Brinkmann [1896, 59-63],[4] Vaihinger [1902a (pdf), 1902b (pdf), 1902c (pdf)], Clasen [1924, 13-14, 30, Plate 4], Demmler [1924a, 209-10], Ulbrich [1926-29, 2: 740-43 (illus.) (pdf)], Rohde [1929, 115-19], Anderson [1932, 309], Mühlpfordt [1970a, 55-57 (illus.)],[5] Essers [1974, 50-51],[6] Benninghoven [1974, 132], Grimoni/Will [2004, 220 (illus.)].

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

5. Relief von Paul Heinrich Collin. 1782. Kommt in Wachs, schwarzem, gelbem und weißem Steingut, Zink, Gips und meist in ovaler Medaillonforrn vor. Die Abbildung gibt das Exemplar der Buchhandlung Gräfe & Unzer aus gelblichem Steingut wieder. Höhe der Büste: 4.6 cm. Tafel 4.

History and Discussion: Collin lived in Königsberg and interacted with Kant frequently, as they both were Sunday dinner guests in the home of Robert Motherby. Schubert claims that the medallion was prepared in October 1782 [1842, 204].

Borowski [1804, 96]:[7]

A highly skilled local artist, Collin, who was worthy of a better fate, has delivered a bust of K. in gypsum, also in earthenware, where one truly sees the most apt likeness. For several years the local porcelain factory produced uncommonly graceful vases, on the center of which a raised bust image of Kant was displayed.[8]

Borowski [1804, 177]:[9]

HippelHippel

Collin, who had the pottery factory and later became a broker. Without ever having received any training he worked without equal, from sheer love of the thing – and from him came the plaster relief in which Kant’s resemblance is best captured, and upon which Abramson based his medal, mentioned above. Kant highly valued this Collin, whom he saw every Sunday dinner at Motherby’s, and he often thought how much was lost to art by his early death. In order to enliven the discussion at Kant’s table, even in his last years, one needed to do nothing more than to remind him of either Collin or Wobser, mentioned above. Then the dulled sage would gather every power in order to praise him.

Collin had also prepared a medaillon of Kant’s friend Hippel [bio] – mentioned in Hamann’s 8 May 1785 letter to Herder [Briefwechsel 5: 432],[10] Hippel’s biography [Hippel 1801, 356], and in Brinkmann [1896, 62] – and of which an engraving appeared as the frontispiece. See #4, above. Ulbrich notes that he prepared many of these bust medallions, including those of Kant, Hippel, and Hamann [1926, 2: 740].


1784: Abramson [top]

Abramson Medal (1784)
Abramson Medal (1784)
Abramson Medal (1784)

Artist: Abraham Abramson (*1754/Potsdam †1811/Berlin), son of Jakob Abraham (1723-1800), also a medal maker with whom the younger initially worked.

Description: Medal (4.2 cm, silver). Inscription on the front (at the top): “Emanuel Kant”, with the artist’s sign “A/S” at the bottom; Inscription on the back: “Perscrutatis fundamentis stabilitur veritas. Nat. MDCCXXIII.” [Truth is established by examining the foundations. Born 1723]

Location: Various extant instances, such as at the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), although the silver medal owned by the Staats- und Universitäts Bibliothek on display in the Kant-Zimmer of the Stadtgeschichtlichen Museum – along with Abramson’s 1804 medals – was destroyed in 1944 [Anderson 1936, 15; Mühlpfordt 1970, 11-12]. The Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Münzkabinett, has examples of the silver [see] and the bronze [see] coin.

Derived from: Collin (1782).

Derivations: Bardou (1798)[?].

Digital Image: (left) Karl Rosenkranz and Friedrich Wilhelm Schubert, eds., Immanuel Kant: Sämmtliche Werke, vol. 11, part 2 (Leipzig: Leopold Voss, 1842), frontispiece; (center) Kant-Studien, vol. 2 [1898], (right) Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam).

Literature: Kant [Nachlaß], Borowski [1804, 94-95],[1] Wasianski [1804, 79-80], Reicke [1860, 25, 54-55],[2] Schubert [1842, 205],[3] Minden [1868, 32], Vaihinger [1898a], Anderson [1936, 15],[4] Mühlpfordt [1970, 11-12], Kisch [1977, 13-14].

History and Discussion: This medal was created to honor Kant on the occasion of his 60th birthday, and was commissioned and paid for by a group of his students, some of whom were Jewish, and perhaps because of them Moses Mendelssohn was consulted on the medal’s design, which in any event was to be struck in Berlin – so Mendelssohn may also have overseen those details as well. (On the question of design, see Mendelssohn’s letter to Marcus Herz, dated 18 Nov 1783.) A gold copy of the medal was presented to Kant by his students on Wednesday, March 3, 1784; he had already received a copy of the medal (not in gold) directly from Berlin the previous Sunday. Kant gave this first copy to Johann Schultz later that week, and at the end of his life bequethed the gold medal to Wasianski (having in an earlier will bequeathed it to his lawyer friend, Johann Vigilantius).

It is remarkable that Anderson [1936, 15] does not identify the medallion on display in the city museum as the 1784 Abramson, since he would have had available to him the image and description in Schubert [1842, frontispiece, 205]; Anderson does not identify the artist, and lists it as being struck on the occasion of Kant’s death.

Kant discusses this medal – and only this – in a letter to Johann Schultz (4 March 1784), in which he presents him with the copy that he received from Berlin [AA 10: 368-69]:[5]

“Permit me, dear sir, to present you with a medal whose emblem is related to a work whose reception and influence will depend very much on the treatment and explanation that you will give it. Some of my auditors kept so secret this attempt to surprise me with this sign of their affection that I did not learn of it at all until I received a copy from Berlin last Sunday; by then no refusal or dissuasion could take place, which certainly would have occurred had I learned of this in time. I heard that Mr Mendelssohn thought up the symbol and slogan, which I do think does honor to his acuteness. Such striking and boastful expressions of affirmation and gratitude have a disquieting and humiliating effect on me, but what is to be done if our friends like to think differently?”

Hamann mentions in a letter to Scheffner (15 March 1784) Kant's irritation at the wrong birth-year inscribed on the medallion [Hamann Briefwechsel, 5: 134]:

“The golden medal given to Prof. Kant last Wednesday had his birth-year as 23 instead of 24, and a few other details[6] that dampened his joy over the honor bestowed upon him.”

“Die goldene Medaille, welche dem Prof. Kant vorigen Mittwoch überreicht worden, hat das Jahr seiner Geburt 23 statt 24, und eine Kleinigkeiten mehr, die seine Freude über die ihm erzeugte Ehre gedämpt.”

Kant mentions this medal in his will of 1799 [AA 12: 391]:

“To my honored friend, Councillor Vigilantius [bio], I ask to receive in memory the medallion struck in gold (which nevertheless has the error of giving my birth-year as 1723 instead of 1724).”

“Meinen geehrten Freund HEn Regierungsrath Vigilantius bitte ich die auf mich geschlagene Goldene Medaille (die doch den Fehler hat daß mein Geburthsjahr darauf statt 1724 mit 1723 ausgepreegt ist) zum Andenken erhalte.”

And again in his will of 1801 [AA 12: 392]:

“I give in memory the golden medal to Deacon Wasiansky [bio], the 8th November 1801.”

“Die goldene Medaille habe ich dem Herrn Diaconus Wasiansky zum Andenken geschenckt. den 8ten Novembr. 1801.”


1804: Abramson [top]

Abramson Medal (1804)

Artist: Abraham Abramson (see above).

Description: Medal (4.3 cm, 28.5 g silver). On the front: Kant’s bust (right profile, without a wig, and wearing an open shirt, similar to Abramson’s 1784 medallion, although here also with a dressing gown; nose and eyes resemble Hagemann, the mouth resembles Collin, but the borrowings from Hagemann could simply reflect Abramson “ageing” the 1784 likeness). Along the top is written “Immanuel Kant Nat. MDCCXXIV” and underneath “Abramson”. On the back: a seated Athena Pallas (Roman: Minerva), leaning on her left hand and with her right hand extended over an owl on the wing; written along the left-edge: “Altius Volantem Arcuit” (from Zöllner 1804), and below: “Denat. / MDCCCIV”.

Location: Various. A silver medallion at the Ostpreußisches Landesmuseum (Lüneburg); pictured in Grimoni/Will [2004, 220]. The copies housed in the Kant-Zimmer (two silver medallions, owned by the Staats- und Universitäts Bibliothek) were lost in 1944.

Derived from: Collin (1782), Abramson (1784), Vernet (1792)[Kisch 1977, 14], Hagemann (1792)[Reicke 1860, 55].

Digital Image: Rosenkranz/Schubert [1842, vol. 11, frontispiece].

Literature: Zöllner [1804],[1] Borowski [1804, 95n],[2] Freimüthige [1804, 1: 243-44], Schubert [1842, 210],[3] Reicke [1860, 55],[4] Demmler [1924a, 210-11], Anderson [1936, 15], Mühlpfordt [1970, 11-12], Kisch [1977, 14], Grimoni/Will [2004, 220-21].

See also Abramson’s 1784 medallion.

Freimüthige [1804, 1: 243-44]: A “Miscellany” in the Mon, 26 March 1804 issue, includes this paragraph:[5]

The talented and long-famous medalist Abramson of Berlin has worked up a medal of Kant which, both in respect of the noble and simple beauty of the execution and the meaningful simplicity of the idea, reflects the fame of the artist. One side has the inscription: ‘Imanuel Kant nat. MDCCXXIV.’ On the reverse side the thought that Kant determined the limits of human knowledge through speculation, proving the ridiculousness of any attempt to overstep them, nicely represented by a seated Minerva, restraining her soaring owl with her out-stretched hand, with the inscription: ‘Altius volantem arcuit’ [to hold back one flying too high]. Under the section it says: ‘Denat. MDCCCIV’. – In a few weeks’ time, Mr. Abramson will issue a coin similar to this one for Herder.

An English translation of the above report appeared a year later in the “Literary and Philosophical Intelligence” section of The Monthly Magazine, or British Register (1 May 1805), p. 374:

M. Abramson, of Berlin, well known for his talents in the engraving of medals, has executed one equally beautiful and simple, to the memory of Kant. On one side is a striking likeness of the philosopher, with the inscription “Immanuel Kant, nat. 1724.” On the reverse, the artist has attempted to express the service which Kant has rendered to speculative philosophy, by assigning limits to its empire, and to shew, at the same time, the madness of attempting to pass those limits. This he has represented by a Minerva, seated, and holding in her right hand an owl, which she prevents from flying, with the inscription “Altius volantem arcuit.” The exergue is “Denat. 1804.” M. Abramson is preparing another medal to the memory of Herder.

One would not be wrong to see in this restraining Minerva an image of Kant’s masterwork, the Critique of Pure Reason (1781), but that same Minerva is also at work in Kant’s very first publication, his Living Forces (1746-49), where he writes at the end of chapter one [AA 1: 30-31]:

Like many other sciences, our metaphysics is indeed only on the threshold of truly sound knowledge, and God knows when one will see that it has been crossed. It is not difficult to discern its weakness in much of what it undertakes. One very often finds that prejudice is the greatest strength behind its proofs. Nothing bears more responsibility for this than the dominant inclination of those who seek to extend human knowledge. They would like to possess a philosophy that is great, but it is desirable that it should also be sound. It is almost the only recompense of a philosopher’s endeavor if, after a laborious investigation, he can finally rest in possession of a properly founded science. [Edwards/Schönfeld transl.]


c.1785: Vase [top]

Kant Room, City Library, Alt Uni
Kant Room, City Library, Alt Uni

Artist: Patterned after the Collin 1782 relief.[1]

Description: “Кant relief (based on Collin) on a vase with two handles. Portrait white on a black background. The vase is made of earthenware, in the manner of factory ware produced by Gebr. Collin, Königsberg.” [Anderson 1936, 22]

Location: Room 6 of the City Museum (Königsberg). Lost.

Derived from: Collin (1782).

Digital image: Anderson [1936]?

Literature: Borowski [1804, 96], Schubert [1842, 204-5], Anderson [1936, 22], Essers [1974, 50-51].

Borowski [1804, 96]:

For several years the local porcelain factory produced uncommonly graceful vases, on the center of which a raised bust image of Kant was displayed.

Schubert, writing of Collin’s relief [1842, 204]:

… it was placed on earthenware [Fayence] vases.


1784: Lowe [top]

Lowe (1784)

(1)

Lowe (1784)

(2)

Artist: Moses (later: Johann Michael) Siegfried Lowe (also: Löwe, Loewe) (1756-1831); born and died in Königsberg, but left Königsberg in 1770 and spent most of his professional life in Berlin. He was the son of a Jewish merchant and, against his parents’ wishes but with the financial support of an uncle,[1] he was able to study painting and engraving, working under Sueur, Chodowiecki, and Frisch in Berlin, then later painting in Dresden under the famous portraitist Graff. After travels through Italy and then Russia he settled in Berlin, on occasion visiting Königsberg – and it was on such a visit in 1784[2] that he painted a miniature of Kant. He became a quite accomplished and sought after portraitist in oil and miniature, as well as an accomplished engraver [Hagen 1853].

ZenkerIG-Lowe

[Lowe sample]

Description: Miniature watercolor on ivory (9.8 x 8.0 cm), mounted on paper [Malter 1982, 267].

Location: Extant (private). Clasen [1924, 14-15] surmises that Lowe brought his miniature to Berlin, where it was engraved by Townley (1789) and thirty years later by Clar (1820), but notes that the painting went missing after that. The related Kantiana on display in the Kant-Zimmer of the City Historial Museum included a copy of Townley’s copperplate engraving (“in the chalk manner”) that was owned by the city library and two items by Liebe (a chalk drawing and a copperplate engraving) both owned by the museum [Anderson 1936, 12-13].

Malter [1982, 1983a] located a watercolor portrait of Kant in private hands (Gerhard Kroeske, whose father had been a pastor in Königsberg) and it is most likely that this watercolor is the original portrait, and thus that it was perhaps never taken to Berlin as a model for other engravers, and that instead an engraving prepared by Lowe was available for this purpose instead.

Derivations (not of the original watercolor, but of a putative 1786 engraving prepared by Lowe): Townley (1789), Liebe (1789), Clar (1820).

Digital Image: (1) Mainz; (2) Malter [1983a, Abb. 2].

Literature: Hamann [letters to Jacobi, March 4 and 25, 1786], Jachmann [1804, 110-11],[3] Hasse [1804, 33-34],[4] Schubert [1842, 205-6],[5] Hagen [1853],[6] Minden [1868, 26-27],[7] Clasen [1924, 14-15],[8] Degen [1924, 90-91],[9] Essers [1974, 45-46],[10] Malter [1982], Malter [1983a / PDF].[11] Of these sources, only Malter saw the painting, prior to which it had been lost; he describes it as a watercolor.

Hagen [1853] offers a useful biography of Lowe; Malter [1982] reports the re-discovery of a watercolor by Lowe and offers the best account of the Lowe images.

History and Discussion: Both Minden [1868, 27] and Clasen [1924, 14-15] list engravings by Townley (1789), Liebe (1789), and Clar (1820), without mentioning that Lowe might have prepared an engraving of his own, nor has such an engraving ever been found, although the contemporary evidence strongly points to this. Hamann and Jachmann (below) both claim that Lowe made an engraving of Kant, and while this has been read as a misunderstanding (viz., that the reference is instead to the 1789 Townley engraving based on Lowe), Hamann’s letters (from 1786) precede the Townley engraving. So it appears that Lowe prepared an engraving in 1786, but because of Kant’s displeasure (and his threat of a lawsuit, as mentioned by Hamann), Lowe never sold his engraving to a publisher – although he could still have had copies made and privately distributed, and these could easily have served as models for the various other engravings based on Lowe. This would also explain the “ad vivum pinxit” that Hamann mentions: it clearly is not on the painting, and was likely instead placed along the border of Lowe’s engraving.

This is one of a number of profiles done of Kant; the others are by Senewaldt (1786), Schnorr (1789), Baltruschatis (1802), various sillhouettes (Hippel 1784, Häbler-Stein 1788), Collin (1782; in relief), and the full-body profiles by Puttrich (1793) and the sketch by Hagemann (1801).

Kant deeply disliked this representation by Lowe; see the testimony by Hamann and Jachmann (below), and Kant’s letter to Reinhold (quoted with the discussion of the Townley engraving). And yet Hagen [1853, 319] notes that Lowe “was in demand as a portraitist in oil and miniature,” and his work in Berlin and elsewhere attests to his talents. It is a misfortune that these talents were absent in his work with Kant.

The earliest testimony comes from Johann Georg Hamman’s correspondence with F. H. Jacobi from March 1786:[12]

Kant had the displeasure of being engraved by a Jew, Löwe or Love,[13] in an entirely detestable fashion, such that he wants to press charges against him if he sells it. He supposedly looks like Pan, or the glutton Polyphemus.[14] The artist is a protégé of H.[15] where I think I'll take a closer look next time at the horrid monster. [F. H. Jacobi’s Werke, 4.3: 174]

Later that month, in a second letter to Jacobi (March 25), Hamann made some of the same observations:[16]

[Kant] had the displeasure of being engraved in the most detestable manner by a Jewish painter Löwe, from which he looks like a true monster, and the best physiognomist would ascribe to him the air of a reprobate. But I suspect some prints of this may have already arrived in Berlin, notwithstanding the cost that might prevent such pasquinades, and the scoundrel had the audacity to place painted from life on it. [F. H. Jacobi’s Werke, 4.3: 188-89]

In his 1804 memoire of his colleague Kant, Hasse [1804, 33-34] relates this anecdote from Kant’s dinner table:

[Kant] once had to sit for a Jewish artist who wanted to engrave his portrait. Once it was finally finished, he showed it to to him, but Kant thought it was bad [34] and didn’t resemble him at all, and he said as much – to which the artist tranquilly replied, “I don’t like it either.”

Jachmann [1804, 110-11] also mentions Kant’s dislike of this portrait:

His respect for people, and his striving to appear in the world not otherwise than he really was, made him anxious when his friends persuaded him to have himself be sculpted or painted. Kant was so far removed from all vanity [111] that, were it up to him, no painter, engraver or sculptor would have been allowed to ply their trade with him. But if it was to happen, then he also wanted the world to be portrayed entirely in its natural form and in a tasteful manner. His judgement of taste was there sharper over no other artwork than the portrayals of himself. He was really angry about the engraving of the Jewish engraver L. [Lowe] because, according to Kant, he had added his own racial features to the image and thereby made him unrecognizable.

Schopenhauer [1987, 169] met Lowe in 1825, as he recounts in a letter of 25 September 1837 to Rosenkranz (see the quote on the “Contemporary Assessments” page).

Schubert [1842, 205-6] provides an account in his Kant biography:

"Soon after, the Jewish artist Joseph Lowe of Königsberg came up with the idea to ask Kant for a few sittings for a new picture. Kant agreed [206], but unfortunately the portrait turned out a distorted carricature, on which the artist had the audacity to add ad vivum pinxit 1784, although he himself had expressed calmly enough to Kant, who was highly dissatisfied with it: ‘I don’t like it either’. Lowe later improved the drawing somewhat for Clar’s engraving of 1820, added to Enslin’s Preussischer Chronik and subsequently reproduced for sale and to supplement other works. Lowe’s caricature has meanwhile given rise to a great many imitations and even worse images (such as that in Fülleborn's Sketches),[17] of which it is best to remain silent here.”

In a biographical account of Lowe, Hagen [1853, 319] repeats Schubert’s account of the painting’s origins:

In this period, while on a visit to Königsberg, he painted a miniature of Immanuel Kant in 1784. The philosopher regretted having agreed to a sitting since he did not like the picture. The painter dutifully responded: “I don’t like it either.” Nevertheless it was engraved several times. [Hagen’s note: “Kants Werke, XI.II, p. 205. The painter is wrongly called Joseph Lowe. On the picture: L. ad vivum pinxit 1784. In the Allgem. Preuß. Personal-Chronik, Berlin 20. Dec. 1820, from an engraving by Clar.”] Kant’s admirers thought they saw Jewish features darkening the portrait. Lowe’s goal was to display the thinking mind, by which he gave him an overly high forehead and a striking angle to the eyebrows. He refined the mouth and with the wig increased the back-side of the head.”


1789: Townley [top]

Townley (1789)

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Townley (1789)

(2)

Artist: Charles Townley (1746-1800)(Berlin).

Description: copperplate engraving (image: 8.3 x 7.6 cm). Inscription following the bottom contour of the oval image: (left) “M. S. Lowe pinx” and (right) “C. Townley sculp. 1789”. Below, in ornamental script: “Immanuel Kant / nat. d. 22. April. 1724.” The image on the right shows the inscription, a passage from Cicero and ending with a dedication to Hippel: “Primus a rebus occultis, et ab ipsa natura / involutis, in quibus omnes ante eum Philosophi, / occupati fuerunt, avocavit Philosophiam, et ad / vitam communem adduxit; coelestia autem / procul a cognitione nostra esse, censuit. / Cic. Quaest. acad. L. 1. C. 4. / Dem Herrn Geh. Kr. Rath Hippel zugeeignet / von / M. S. Lowe. / Im Verlag der Königl. Hoffkupferstich Officin”.

The quote comes from Cicero’s Academic Questions, Bk. 1, ch. 4 (Varro is discussing Socrates):

“He was the first to call philosophy away from the obscure and tangled paths of all previous philosophers and to bring it down to the common affairs of life. He thought that the knowledge of celestial things was beyond our comprehension.”

Location: Printed by the Verlag der Königlichen Hofkupferstich Offizin zu Berlin. Copy at the Dresden Kupferstichkabinett (A 116088)[see].

Derived from: Lowe (1784).

Derivations: Liebe (1789)?

Digital Image: (1) Clasen [1924], (2) deutsche fotothek [online].

Literature: Wieland [1789][pdf], Reinhold [1825, 134n],[1] Minden [1868, 27],[2] Clasen [1924, 14-15, Plate 5], Anderson [1933],

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

7. C. Townley, Stich nach Lowes Miniatur von 1784. 2 Zustände: vor der Schrift und mit der Schrift. Gedruckt von der Königl. Hofkupferstich Officin. Oval. Bildgröße: 8.3 x 7.6 cm. Tafel 5.

History and Discussion: This engraving is first mentioned in C. M. Wieland’s 3 March 1789 letter to his son-in-law K. L. Reinhold:

“My Dearest Reinhold, If the portrait of your Kant that I am giving you here is new to you, then I hope it brings you a momentary pleasure. You would oblige me very much, if you could inform me in just two lines with next Thursday’s post: Whether it is similar? (for I am to announce it in the Merkur) Presumably one of your acquaintances in Jena knows Kant personally.”

“Mein liebster Reinhold, Wenn Ihnen das Bildnis Ihres Kant, welches ich Ihnen hier zum Opfer darbringe, noch etwas neues ist, so hoffe ich Ihnen dadurch angenehmen Augenblik zu machen. Sie würden mich sehr verbinden, wenn Sie mir mit der nächsten Donnerstags Post nur mit 2 Zeilen melden könnten, ob es ähnlich ist? (denn ich soll es im Merkur ankündigen) Vermuthlich giebt es in Jena einen ihrer Bekannten dem Kant von Person bekannt ist.” [Wielands Briefwechsel, 10.1: 161]

Reinhold’s reply is not extant, if he replied at all. Wieland’s notice in the 1 March 1789 issue of the Teutsche Merkur (p. 337) suggests that Reinhold could find no one in Jena familiar with Kant’s appearance:

“Berlin. In the publishing house of the Königliche Hofkupferstich-Officin, the portrait of Mr. Imm. Kant, painted by Lowe, engraved by Townley, 1789. This famous philosopher is presented here in profile, and although we cannot judge the likeness, the picture seems to be executed in the characteristic stippled manner and is very cleanly worked. The whole medallion is four inches high, with an appropriate passage from Cicero added to the portrait.”

“Berlin. Im Verlag der Königlichen Hofkupferstich-Officin, erschien dieser Tage das Portrait Hrn. Imm. Kants, gemahlt von Lowe, gestochen von Townley, 1789. Dieser berühmte Philosoph ist hier im Profil vorgestellt, und ob wir gleich nicht von der Aehnlichkeit urtheilen können, so scheint doch das Bildniß so charakteristisch ausgeführt zu seyn, als man es von der punctirten Manier, worin es sehr reinlich gearbeitet ist, erwarten kann. Das ganze Medaillon ist vier Zoll hoch, und man hat eine sehr passende Stelle des Cicero diesem Bildnisse beygefügt.”

A month later, Reinhold sent this engraving and another enclosure (presumably a copy of his recently published essay “Ueber das bisherige Schicksal der Kantsichen Philosophie”) to Kant with his letter of 9 April 1789:

“so I have no greater wish for you than that it [i.e., Reinhold’s manuscript that was enclosed with the letter] will be able to reach your hands on the 22nd of April (which, if the inscription on the portrait of you that was sent to me from Berlin is not mistaken, is your birthday).” [AA 11: 17]

“so habe ich dann keinen herzlichern Wunsch für ihn, als daß er den Zwey und Zwanzigsten April (der wenn mich die Aufschrift ihres aus Berlin mir zu[ge]sendeten Portraits nicht täuscht Ihr Geburtstag ist) in Ihren Händen seyn möge.”

Kant discusses the Townley engraving in his reply to Reinhold (12 May 1789):

"Sincerest thanks, my most cherished and dearest friend, for the communication of your kind opinion of me, which arrived together with your lovely present on the day after my birthday! The portrait[3] of me by Herr Lowe, a Jewish painter, done without my consent, is supposed to resemble me to a degree, from what my friends say. But a man who knows painting said at first glance: a Jew always paints people to look like Jews. And the proof of this is found in the nose. But enough of this." [AA 11: 33; Zweig transl.]

Den innigsten Dank, mein höchstschätzbarer und geliebtester Freund, für die Eröffnung Ihrer gütigen Gesinnungen gegen mich, die mir sammt Ihrem schönen Geschenk den Tag nach meinem Geburtstage richtig zu Handen gekommen sind! Das von Hrn Loewe, einem jüdischen Maler, ohne meine Einwilligung ausgefertigte Portrait, soll, wie meine Freunde sagen, zwar einen Grad Ähnlichkeit mit mir haben, aber ein guter Kenner von Mahlereyen sagte beym ersten Anblick: ein Jude mahlt immer wiederum einen Juden; wovon er den Zug an der Nase setzt: doch hievon genug.


1789: Liebe [top]

Based on Lowe

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Based on Lowe

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Artist: Gottlob August Liebe, born (23 Oct 1746) and died (31 May 1819) in Halle. He spent his entire working career in Halle (as the university engraver since 1760) and nearby Leipzig (where he taught engraving) [Thieme-Becker 1929,23: 196].

Description: Liebe produced two pictures of Kant: a chalk drawing (see image 2b) and a copperplate engraving (images 1 and 2a). The engraving is 16 x 10.5 cm.

The drawing, as described by Anderson [1933, 29], …

depicts Kant’s bust in profile. It is composed in an oval cutout, executed with black chalk in a hatching manner, the coat and background drawn together with light mixed tones. The coat shows the trim with buttonholes; the collar and jabot are somewhat more detailed in the engraving, for which the drawing served as a model. […] This drawing served as the preparatory sketch for Liebe’s engraving before us and was made using the miniature painted by M. S. Lowe.

Three years later, when preparing his catalog of the Kantzimmer holdings, Anderson allows that the drawing might instead have been modeled on Townley’s engraving of the Lowe miniature [1936, 13]:

Picture of Immanuel Kant, portrait, original drawing by Liebe of his engraving of the miniature by Lowe, or of Townley’s engraving of Lowe. / Owner: The Museum.

Picture of Immanuel Kant, portrait, copper plate by Liebe, following Lowe. / Owner: The Museum.

Bildnis Immanuel Kant, Brustbild, Originalzeichnung von Liebe zu seinem Stich nach der Miniatur von Lowe oder dem Stich nach Lowe von Townley. / Besitzer: Das Museum.

Bildnis Immanuel Kant, Brustbild, Kupferstich von Liebe nach Lowe. / Besitzer: Das Museum.

The engraving shows Kant in profile, facing left; oval frame on a rectangular pediment bearing “Immanuel Kant”; below the engraving, to the left: “Lowe pinx.” and to the right: “Liebe sc”. After describing Liebe’s drawing, Anderson [1933, 29] says this of the engraving:

Liebe’s stippled engraving is a remarkable technical achievement by the artist. Using a mirror he reversed the Lowe-Townley engraving and because the buttons were now on the wrong side of the coat, he replaced them with buttonholes.

Writing a decade before Anderson, Clasen [1924, 15] was not aware of Liebe’s chalk drawing, but in any event he also saw no need to look beyond Townley’s engraving as a source for Liebe’s own engraving, which he thought to be:

of no significance for our knowledge of Lowe’s Kant picture since, on closer inspection, it turns out to be an engraving based on Townley. The fact alone that he presents Townley’s bust of the philosopher in mirror-image may serve as proof. Moreover, Liebe anxiously reproduces Townley’s engraving step by step, always in mirror-image; even the scrollwork of the script betrays the plagiarism.

I find it difficult, when comparing the Townley and Liebe engravings side by side, to disagree with Clasen’s assessment.

Derived from: Lowe (1784) and a charcoal drawing possibly based on Lowe and/or Townley (1789).

Location: The engraving was published as the frontispiece to volume 39, part one, of the Neuen Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften und der freyen Künste (Leipzig 1789). Grimoni/Will [2004] lists a copy of the engraving in the Museum Stadt Königsberg (Inv. Nr. 241). Liebe’s charcoal sketch of the Lowe miniature was discovered in 1933 [Anderson 1933, 29] and put on display in the Kantzimmer of the City Historical Museum and was presumably lost in the destruction of World War II.

Digital Image: (1) Neuen Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften und der freyen Künste (see above); (2a-b) Mainz website, with the caption: “Kupferstich von Liebe (1789) und Vorzeichnung nach dem von Lowe gemalten Miniaturbild (nr. 8) / Leipzig, Neue Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften”.[1] Image 2a is presumably reproduced from the Neuen Bibliothek engraving, but the provenance of image 2b is unknown.

Literature: Borowski [1804, 96], Meusel [1808, 1: 567], Schubert [1842, 204],[2] Minden [1868, 26-27],[3] Clasen [1924, 15],[4] Anderson [1933, 29],[5] Anderson [1936, 13], Grimoni/Will [2004, 209].


1820: Clar [top]

Clar

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Artist: Johann Friedrich August Clar (1768/Belzig-1844/Berlin)[Neuer Nekrolog der Deutschen, vol. 23 (1846), pp. 293-96]

Description: Copperplate engraving. Below the engraving to the left: 'Lowe del' to the right: 'Clar sc.'. Grimoni/Will [2004] list the engraving as: 13 x 9 cm (Museum Stadt Königsberg, Inv. Nr. 239).

Derived from: Lowe (1784).

Location: Published in the Allgemeinen Preussische Personal-Chronik (Berlin, 20. December 1820).[not yet found]

Digital Image: Digital image of the reproduction in Grimoni/Will [2004].

Literature: Schubert [1842, 206], Hagen [1853, 319],[1] Minden [1868, 26-27], Clasen [1924, 14], Anderson [1933], Grimoni/Will [2004, 209].

Minden mentions the Clar engraving at the end of his discussion of Lowe [1868, 27]:

Lowe war besonders als Miniatur-Maler von Bedeutung, und als er 1784 über Königsberg zurückkehrte, malte er in dieser Manier das Bild Imman. Kant’s. Indessen bedauerte es der Philosoph, ihm einige Sitzungen gewährt zu haben, da das Bild nicht nach seinen Wünschen ausfiel. Dennoch wurde selbiges mehrmals gestochen. (s. Kant’s Werke XI. II. S. 205. Auf dem Bilde: L. ad vivum pinxit 1784. In der Allgemeinen Preuss. Personal-Chronik. Berlin, 20. Decbr. 1820 nach ihm der Kupferstich von Clar).


1784: Hippel Nachlaß [top]

Silhouette from Hippels Nachlaß (1784)

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Silhouette from Hippels Nachlaß (1784)

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Artist: ??.

Description: Silhouette from Hippel’s Nachlaß (1784).

Location:

Digital Image: (1) Altpreußische Monatsschrift, vol. 37 (1900); (2) Clasen [1924].

Literature: Warda [1900], Clasen [1924, 14 (illus.)], Essers [1974, 44][1]

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

6. Silhouette aus Hippels Nachlaß. 1784, Königsberg, Stadtbibliothek. Höhe: 6.5 cm. Titelblatt.

This silhouette appears to be one of two silhouettes that Kant sent to Hippel, as discussed in Kant’s brief letter to him dated 15 March 1784 [#224, AA 10: 369], the entirety of which concerns the silhouettes:[2]

I have the honor to present these silhouettes, sent to me by Herr Buck, according to your request, although I doubt that they have been done accurately enough. The loose silhouette, could be better with respect to the lower lip, however, and both are off with regard to the fat under the chin (the so-called wattle) that is attributed to me and that could perhaps be improved with some scissors.

A letter from Hamann to Hartknoch (8 April 1781) mentions an artist by the name of Sydow who was in Königsberg, intending to make a silhouette of Kant:[3]

Hamann[J. G. Hamann]

We have here a silhouetteur named Sydow and a silhouetrice [named] Polkähnin. Hänschen and I sat for the first one this Monday. I don’t know if anything will come of it. Because my barber has been gone, my long beard and my wild eye-brows were in the way, as he let me know.[4] Madame Courtan told me post factum that he asked your author Kant for permission to sketch him for free.[5] He also let me know that he learned, I don't know how, that I was in his physiognomic library, which he carries with him; but I would rather atone for my foolishness than commit it for free. Therefore, I do not know how we will come to an agreement, and I carry the honorarium programmaticum in my pocket until the matter is settled; on which it is based whether or not I will entrust my 4 Fräulein – the 3 girls with their mother – to the Silhouetrice.

Clasen [1924, 14], referring to the silhouette reproduced in the Altpreußische Monatsschrift (1900) writes:[6]

Arthur Warda found in 1900, among the portraits in the Königsberg city library that came from Hippel’s estate, a black silhouette pasted on a sheet of paper and signed: ‘Immanuel Kant, Prof. Log; et Metaphisices’, by an unknown hand, which is probably identical with one of the copies mentioned in the letter [to Hippel]. In any case, it is close in time to Collin’s paste and Lowe’s miniature.

The profile of the silhouette in bust form faces left. The profile angle matches that of Collin’s paste, as does the course of the forehead and nose line. Differences are most apparent in the mouth and chin. The mouth protrudes less, an impression created especially by the fact that the line from the lower lip to the chin slopes too obliquely and too evenly. The lower chin line hangs a little in the middle, while in the other portraits it leans more toward the neck. This creates the wattle that Kant rebukes in his letter. The braid with the bow, in contrast to other profile pictures, stands out from the neck, probably to give the black surface an interesting, painterly resolution.


1786: Senewaldt (a-b) [top]

Senewaldt

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Senewaldt

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Senewaldt

(3-b) [flip]

Artist: Friedrich Wilhelm Senewaldt (Berlin); most of his work was done in Schlesia, specializing in miniature portraiture, typically in monotone, like his profile of Kant.

Description: Senewaldt completed (at least) two drawings: Senewaldt(a) appears to have been done on 25 October 1786,[1] and was discovered by Lind and reproduced with his Kant-Studien article [1900]. The existence of Senewaldt(b) was reported in the wake of Lind’s article; it was part of a collection of Senewaldt’s pictures in the possession of Graf Richard zu Dohna-Schlobitten (as reported by Vaihinger [1900a, 356] and listed and photographically reproduced in Grommelt/Mertens [1962]).

The two drawings are very nearly identical: oval, in profile showing Kant's left side, chest and head; they differ only slightly in dimension (a: 13.3 x 9.8 cm; b: 13 x 10 cm) and pictorial detail. Both are also in the same medium, reported as “sepia” (Lind, Vaihinger) or “silverpoint” (Silberstiftzeichnung) drawings (Grommelt/Mertens, Grimoni/Will); Essers [1994] describes it as a light-gray watercolor. I offer multiple digital images of the (b)-drawing, because of the different sources as well as the differing ranges of detail provided.

There are several inscriptions found (only) on Senewaldt(a). Not visible in the reproduction, but reported by Lind, is an inscription under the fourth button hole: "25. Octobr. 1786". Under the oval drawing itself is the inscription: "Professor Kant in Königsberg. 134" with "134" written again, in slightly larger script, at the bottom-right edge of the oval — this image appears in a book of c.400 portraits by Senewaldt, and this number is likely referring to the placement of the drawing in that book. These inscriptions are absent from Senewaldt(b).

Location: Both drawings are lost, having previously been privately held.

Senewaldt(a) was in the Majoratsbibliothek of Schloß Fürstenstein (Schlesia) of Fürst Pleß, first published as the frontispiece to Kant-Studien, vol. 4 (1900).

Senewaldt(b) was in the Ostpreussische Majoratsbibliothek of Graf Dohna-Schlobitten, Schloss Schlobitten,[2] first published in Grommelt/Mertens [1962, 246].

A reproduction of (b) is in the Stadt Museum Königsberg in Duisburg (Inv. Nr. 1754), and is also reproduced in Grimoni/Will [2004, 209].

Digital Images: (1-a) Kant-Studien, vol. 4 [1900], as the frontispiece; (2-b) Clasen [1924], (3-b) Grommelt/Mertens [1962]. [Senewaldt(b) is available through akg-images.]

Literature: Lind [1900], Hintze [1904, 118-19, 152-53], Vaihinger [1899b], Vaihinger [1900a], Clasen [1924, 16, 30, Plate 6], Grommelt/Mertens [1962], Essers [1994, 46], Grimoni/Will [2004, 206, 209 (reprint of #3b, above; MSK #1754)].

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

8. Die Miniaturen von Fr. W. Senewaldt. 1786. 1. Oval. Größe: 13.3 x 9.8 cm. Schloß Fürstenstein in Schlesien. Majoratsbibliothek des Fürsten Pleß. 2, Oval. Größe: 13 x 10 cm. Schlobitten in Ostpr. Majoratsbibliothek des Grafen Dohna-Schlobitten. Die Abb. gibt das zweite Exemplar wieder. Tafel 6.

In a brief report of the discovery of Senewaldt(b), Vaihinger offers a brief comparison [1900a, 356]:[3]

In addition, the following information concerning the Kant picture reproduced in the previous issue [of Senewaldt(a)] might find its place here, which we owe to the kindness of Dr. Alfred Schellwien (Pless Castle, Upper Silesia): That picture was painted twice by Senewaldt. The two pictures correspond almost exactly with each other. The one newly discovered, part of a collection of Senewaldt paintings in the possession of Count Richard zu Dohna-Schlobitten is, as Dr. Schellwien writes, also executed in sepia, very carefully and delicately in the same silver-gray tone as the Fürstenstein painting. The format is almost the same, 130 mm high, 100 wide. The facial expression is exactly the same, deviating only in some minor parts. In this new picture, the ear is somewhat more covered, and the jabot is folded somewhat differently. There is no date or signature.

Grommelt/Mertens [1962, 246]:[4]

Schlobitten possesses a silverpoint drawing of Immanuel Kant (Fig. 194) by the Berlin portrait painter F. W. Senewaldt, who was also in Schlobitten and made very attractive profile portraits of the children of Friedrich Alexander Dohna and other relatives.

Essers [1994, 46]:[5]

When the itinerant artist Friedrich Wilhelm Senewaldt[Note 1] was in Königsberg in 1786, he created a small oval profile portrait of Kant in pale gray watercolor. In comparison with Kant’s robust appearance in Lowe’s portrait, here he appears gaunt and fragile. On this point this image comes closest to Jachmann’s report [Note 2] of the fragility and weakness of Kant's physical constitution. It is striking how narrow the nose is formed and how pointed. The skin appears thin and wrinkled, the face very mobile due to the delicate strokes. The picture comes from a portrait album of Count Hachberg.

[Note 1]: Album in the Majoratsbibliothek of the Fürstenstein von Pleß in Fürstenstein. A duplicate of this Kant portrait was owned by the Count of Dohna-Schlobitten. Cf. Clasen, pp. 15-16.

[Note 2]: Jachmann, pp. 152-60.


1788: Häbler [top]

Häbler (1788)

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Häbler (1788)

(2)

Artist: ??

Description: (1) Silhouette pasted onto an album page owned by Pastor Häbler (Marienburg), with a Latin quote in Kant’s hand. Latin: Animum rege, qui nisi paret, imperat,[1] and Kant’s signature: “I. Kant, Log. et Met. Prof. Ord. Reg. Acad. Scient. Berol. Socius.”[2] The date (30 March 1788) was added by another hand.

(2) This silhouette belongs to a page of eleven silhouettes of professors at Königsberg (a 12th, of Orlovius, was removed from the page), in four rows of three: Kant, C.J. Kraus, K.G. Hagen / J.G. Kreutzfeld, T.C. Lilienthal, J. Schultz / G.C. Reccard, J.E. Schulz, L.E. Borowski (or: J.S. Bock) / J.H.C. Graef, J.G. Hasse, (A.J. Orlovius). The Ketterer Kunst auction page notes that the support paper shows a watermark: "I. Hessels".

Location:

Digital Image: (1) Clasen [1924], (2) Ketterer Kunst Auktionskatalog (Hamburg). – from Lot 53 of a 23/24 November 2015 auction in Hamburg. [web]

Literature: Vaihinger [1904], Clasen [1924, 16 (illus.)].[3]

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

9. Zu den Stammbuchsilhouetten von 1788. Zwei Exemplare:

(1) Stammbuch Stein. Besitzer Prof. Dr. Heinrici, Leipzig. Abb. im Text, S. 16 (left). [see below]

(2) Stammbuch Häbler. Früher bei Dr. Nagler, Elbing.

Diese Silhouette tauchte während der Korrektur im Leipziger Antiquitätenhandel auf. Es stellte sich heraus, daß sie von dem 1. Exemplar in Einzelheiten abweicht. Zweifellos ist sie jedoch von derselben Hand, denn sie zeigt in der Umrißführung viele Übereinstimmungen und weicht auch im Gesichtsprofil nicht wesentlich ab. Möglicherweise gehen beide Exemplare auf den gleichen Schnitt zurück und wurden erst nachträglich modifiziert. Abb. im Text, S. 16 (right).


[1] A quote from Horace, Epistles, Bk. I, epistle 2, l.62: “Ira furor brevis est: animum rege, qui nisi paret imperat” [Anger is a momentary madness: rule your passion, or it will control you].

[2] These abbreviations, expanded and translated into English: “Immanuel Kant, Ordinary Professor of Logic and Metaphysics, Member of the Berlin Royal Academy of Sciences.”


1788: Stein [top]

Stein (1788)

(1) [flip]

Stein (1788)

(2) [flip]

Artist:

Description: Silhouette pasted onto an album (Stammbuch) [glossary] page, with a Latin quote in Kant’s hand at the top (“Quod petis, in te est - ne te quaesiveris extra. / Persius”),[1] a date at the bottom-left: “Regiom. / d. 18. Marz / 1788”, and Kant’s signature at the bottom-right: “I. Kant. / Log. et Metaph. P. O.”. On the back is written: “Geschenk Kants an Pfarrer Stein in Juditten, dessen Sohn, Oberförster Stein, durch das Blatt Konsistorialrat Heinrici in Gumbinnen erfreute.”[2]

This makes the provenance of the album sheet fairly straight-forward: from Kant to Pastor Stein (Juditten), then to Stein's son, then to Counselor Heinrici (Gumbinnen), and finally to his son, Professor Georg Heinrici (Leipzig), who made the sheet available to Vaihinger.

This silhouette was first published as a frontispiece in Kant-Studien vol. 9 (1904) and is also reproduced on the cover, where it then remained until decades later – at some point this silhouette was replaced by Stein #2 (see below) on the Kant-Studien covers.

Location:

Digital Image: (1) Hochdorf [1924], between pp. 80-81, reproduction of the original in the Manuscript Collection of the “Preußischen Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin”; (2) Kant-Studien, vol. 9 [1904]. Also printed in Richter [1904, 183] and Schultz [2003, 111].

Literature: Vaihinger [1904], Richter [1904, 183 (illus.)], Clasen [1924, 16], Hochdorf [1924 (illus.)].


[1] Vaihinger [1904] notes that this blends quotes from Horace (Quod petis, hic est, Epist. I, 11, v.29) and Persius (nec te quaesiveris extra, Satira I, v.7), and that this was a favorite quote used by Kant (appearing on at least eight other Stammblätter. Kant’s quote translates as: “What you seek is in you; do not look outside.”

[2] [in English] “A gift from Kant to Pastor Stein in Juditten, whose son, Head Forester Stein, delighted Counselor Heinrici with this sheet."


1788: Stein #2 [top]

Stein

[flip]

Artist:

Description: This silhouette should be identical to the above, but it clearly appears to be another silhouette. Clasen included it in his book, and discussed it alongside the Häbler silhouette, identifying it as being owned by Dr. Heinrici of Leipzig, just as the Stammblatt with the Stein silhouette that Vaihinger described (and reproduced in vol. 9 of Kant-Studien, as shown above).

Location:

Digital Image: Clasen [1924, 16].

Literature: Vaihinger [1904], Clasen [1924, 16 (illus.)].[3]

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]: (see Häbler, above)


1789: Schnorr von Carolsfeld [top]

Schnorr (Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett)

(1) [flip]

Schnorr (Marburg Bildindex)

(2) [flip]

Schnorr (Clasen reproduction)

(3) [flip]

Schnorr (Kant-Studien reproduction)

(4) [flip]

Schnorr (Schultz version)

(5) [flip]

Artist: Veit Hans Friedrich Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1764-1841), born in Scheeberg, died in Leipzig. He received his law degree at Leipzig (March 1787), but his father died a few months later and he decided to abandon a law career in order to dedicate himself entirely to his art. He married Julianne Lange, the daughter of a Leipzig retailer, and moved to Königsberg in late 1787 or 1788. He later moved to Magdeburg, and then returned to Leipzig in 1790. Schnorr’s first son, Ludwig Ferdinand, was born (11 October 1788) while they were in Königsberg.[1]

Description: Drawing (11 x 8.7 cm), graphite on vellum. Sheet: 14.3 x 11.0 cm (see more below).

Derivations: Bause (1791), Benizy (1796), Chapman (1812), Rosmäsler (1822), Landon? (1806), Zeelander? (c.1830), Bracquemond? (1852).

Location: Extant (Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett, No. C 3130), acquired in 1836 (see image).

Digital Image: (1) Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett [see]; (2) Marburg BildIndex; (3) Clasen [1924]; (4) Kant-Studien, vol. 14 [1909]; (5) Mainz + Schultz [1965, 21].

Literature: Borowski [1804, 95-96], Schubert [1842, 206], Minden [1868, 27-28], Vaihinger [1909a], Distel [1909],[2] Clasen [1924, 17],[3] Essers [1994, 46],[4] Cheetham [2001, 151-54].

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

10. Zeichnung von Veit Hans Schnorr von Carolsfeld. 1789. Dresden, Kupferstichkabinett. Gr.: 11 x 8.7 cm. Tafel 7.

The images above have four sources: (1) is a photo of the actual drawing, kept in the Kupferstich-Kabinett der Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, (2) is an older photograph of this drawing reproduced in Cheetham [2001, 151] and is also available at the Marburg BildIndex [online]. Both (1) and (2) include a handwritten text below Kant’s portrait: “Immanuel Kant. / geb. zu Königsberg d. 22. April 1724. gest. 2. 12 Febr: 1804.” (3) comes from Clasen [1924], and claims to be a photographic reproduction of the original drawing, as does (4), which appeared in Kant-Studien, vol. 14 [1909], even though the latter shows a seal above Kant’s head that is neither in the original drawing nor in the Clasen reproduction. Finally (5) comes from the Mainz website, which in turn appears to be taken from Schultz [1965, 21], with the latter crediting the image to Historia-Photo (Bad Sachsa). This Schultz version depicts an oval frame, unlike the others, and the inscribed date clearly reads “1760”, which Schultz repeats in his caption. Other small deviations between the images suggest that the Schultz version is a reproduction of a copy of the original drawing.

Minden [1868, 27-28] does not give the dimensions for Schnorr’s drawing, while he does for the seven engravings made from it, suggesting that he never saw the original – of all the paintings/drawings of Kant, he offers dimensions only of Becker(b) and Hagemann(a).

(4) Immanuel Kant. – V. H. F. Schnorr del. – J. F. Bause sculp. 1791. Zu finden in Leipzig bey Bause. Medaillonform mit Ecken. – (H. 9 Z. 2 L. – Br. 6 Z. 3 L.) Dieses Portrait Kant’s ist in künstlerischer Beziehung unzweifelhaft als das beste zu bezeichnen.
(5) Kant..Ms.– C. L. N. 809. (H. 4 Z. 6 L. – Br. 9 Z. 3 L.)
(6) Immanuel Kant. – Holzschnitt. (H. 3 Z. – Br. 2 Z. 6 L.)
(7) *Immanuel Kant. – Stahlstich (aus der „Borussia“). (H. 5 Z. – Br. 3 Z. 5 L.)
(8) *Kant. – Stahlstich (aus der „Walhalla“ Nr. 36). Nach dem Leben. (H. 5 Z. – Br. 4 Z.) [28]
(9) *Immanuel Kant / Geb. am 22ten April 1724. / Gest. am 12ten Februar 1804. / Steindruck von F. W. Wenig. – Quedlinburg u. Leipzig. Verlag von Gottfr. Basse. (H. 4 Z. 2 L. – Br. 3 Z. 2 L.)
(10) *Im. Kant, gemalt von Schnorr, - gezeichnet und gestochen von Rosmäsler in Dresden 1822. (H. 8 Z. 4 L. – Br. 6 Z. 4 L.)

Vaihinger [1909a] tells us that the original had been lost until that year, when it was discovered by Theodor Distel in the Königlich Küpferstich-Kabinett in Dresden, and in an accompanying article, Distel [1909] quotes from Schnorr’s diary account of his visit with Kant, who remarked that his face was lopsided. Schnorr notes: “Not so withered and thin as Reichardt described him.”


1791: Bause [top]

Bause (1791)

(1)

Bause (1791), British Museum

(2)

Artist: Johann Friedrich Bause (1738/Halle-1814/Weimar).

Description: Engraving (26.3 x 18.5 cm). Below the engraving: (left) “V. H. F. Schnorr del.”; (center) “zu finden in Leipzig bey Bause.”; (right) “J. F. Bause sculps. 1791.”. The British Museum print (#2) is without caption.

Derived from: Schnorr (1789).

Derivations: BPK (179?), Vase (179?), Benizy (1796), Schmidt (1804), Chapman (1812), Rosmäsler (1822), Bürkner (18??), Borussia? (1838).

Locations: Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett [see]; Ostpreußisches Landesmuseum (Lüneburg), ID: 632/85; British Museum [see]; Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts (San Francisco).

Digital Image: (1) ??, (2) British Museum [web]. See large image [11.1 mb].

Literature: Borowski [1804, 95-96], Schubert [1842, 206], Minden [1868, 27], Distel [1909, 143].

Distel notes that “the many other reproductions of [Schnorr] are all based on the Bause engraving” [1909, 143].

Minden [1868, 27] writes:

Joh. Friedr. Bause geb. 1738 zu Halle, gest. 1814 zu Weimar, Schüler Wille’s, einer der vorzüglichsten deutschen Kupferstecher, dessen Blätter sich durch Festigkeit und Reinheit des Grabstichels auszeichnen. Vorzugsweise sind seine Portraits hochgeschätzt, deren Zahl sich über 200 beläuft und die er in einem besonderen Werke vereinigte.

Bause’s engraving is mentioned in various places. In a letter from Maria von Herbert to Kant (January 1793), she writes [AA 11: 403]:

I see a calm moral depth in the engraved portrait I have of you by Bause of Leipzig, but I do not find there the penetration of which the Critique of Pure Reason above all else is proof; I’m also unhappy not to be able to look you straight in the face.

ich hab ihr Porträt von Leibpzig bey Bause in stich bekomen, in welchen ich wohl einen Moralischen Ruhigen Tiefen aber keinen Scharf Sinn enteke, den mir die Kritik der reinen Vernunft doch Vor allen anderm versicherte, auch bin ich nicht zufrieden daß ich sie nicht in's mitte Gesicht sehen kann –


179?: Vase [top]

Vase (patterned on Bause)

(1)

Vase (patterned on Bause)

(2)

Artist: Patterned after the Bause 1791 engraving.[1]

Description: Fürstenberger Porzellan (height: 29.9 cm).

Location: Kestner-Museum Hannover (private loan).

Derived from: Bause.

Digital image: (1-2) Grimoni/Will [2004, 229]. The Ostpreussische Landesmuseum (Lüneberg) holds a postcard of this image (ID: OL 550 Kant 71, Leihgabe Stiftung Königsberg).

Literature: Essers [1974, 50-51], Grimoni/Will [2004, 228-29].

Essers, in the context of a discussion of Collin’s relief [1974, 51]:

… just as Bause’s engraving after Schnorr’s drawing was widespread as a vase ornament.


179?: BPK [top]

from Schnorr

Artist: Unknown.

Description: Similar to Bause. BPK lists it as a steel engraving. From the sheet, the engraving appears to be “No. 11” of the Neues Convers. Lexicon. The caption reads “Nach dem Leben”, with no indication of the source painting, the “Kant // Eigenthum & Verlag des Bibl. Instituts in Hildburghausen.”

Derived from: Bause (1791), derived from Schnorr (1789).

Digital Image: BPK, Image-No.: 10012258.

Literature: Appears in Emundts [2000, 18], without discussion.


1796: Benizy [top]

Benizy (from Bause)

[flip]

Artist: Benizy. The Inventaire du fonds français, graveurs du XVII Siècle (vol. 2, 1951) describes him as “a burin engraver of whom little is known. He worked in Paris around 1760 and is known only for the portrait of Kant described below” [text]. A similar account is given in Thieme-Becker [1909, 3: 329]

Description: Copperplate engraving (12.9 x 8.5 cm).

Derived from: Bause (1791), from Schnorr (1789).

Derivation: Lewis (1815).

Location: Frontispiece to Emmanuel Kant, Observations sur le sentiment du beau et du sublime, translated from the German by Hercule Peyer-Imhoff (Paris: J. J. Lucet, 1796).

Digital Image: Kant translation (above).


1815: Lewis [top]

Spurzheim example of Kant

[flip]

Artist: Drawn and Engraved by Frederick Christian Lewis (1779-1856).

Description: Spurzheim’s figure points to Kant’s protruding forehead as evidence of an enlarged “organ of causality.”[1]

Derived from: Benizy (1796).

Location: Plate 17, Figure 2 of J. G. Spurzheim, The Physiognomical System of Drs. Gall and Spurzheim; founded on an Anatomical and Physiological Examination of the Nervous System in General and of the Brain in Particuar; and indicating the Dispositions and Manifestations of the Mind. 2nd edition, greatly improved (London: Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, 1815).

Digital Image: Spurzheim (above).


1804: Schmidt [top]

Schmidt (1789?)

[flip]

Artist: Henrich Friedrich Thomas Schmidt was born in Berlin (1780) and worked in Leipzig, then Weimar [Bryan 1889, 2: 471].

Description: Engraving (Graphic: 8.9 x 7.5 cm / Sheet: 14.4 x 9.2 cm).

Derived from: Bause (1791)?

Location: Leipzig Bibliothek. Appears as the frontispiece to volume one of G. S. A. Mellin’s anonymously published two volume biography of Kant: Immanuel Kants Biographie (Leipzig: C. G. Weigel, 1804).

Digital Image: Digital image (and the given dimensions) comes from the Dibner Library of Science and Technology [see]

Literature: Beilage #7 (1805) of the Stuttgart Allgemeine Zeitung shows a listing of books published by C. G Weigel (Leipzig) that includes the anonymous four-volume Kant biography (of which only two were published, and which have been tentatively ascribed to Mellin). A separate listing of “Bildnisse” includes the follwoing: "Immanuel Kant, gestochen von H. Schmidt. 8 gr.” (p. 26). So it appears likely that the Schmidt engraving was prepared specifically for the Kant biography and so was prepared at this time.


1812: Chapman [top]

Chapman (1812)

(1) [flip]

Chapman (1812)

(2)

Artist: John Chapman.

Description: Engraving (Graphic: 15.9 x 10.5 cm / Sheet: 18.2 x 14 cm). Kant portrait framed with a double ouroboros, various alchemical (?) symbols hanging in the lower oval. At the bottom: “Immanuel Kant. / London: Published April 4th 1812, by Adlard & Jones”.

Derived from: Bause (1791).

Location: Thomas Wirgman, “Kant” in Encyclopaedia Londinensis, vol. 11 (1812): 603-29. The engraving follows p. 602. Chapman was the engraver for many (or all?) of the engravings in that encylopedia.

Digital Image: (1) Dibner Library of Science and Technology [see]; slightly edited image in the Encyclopedia Britannica [see]; (2) Wellcome Collection (London).


1822: Rosmäsler [top]

Rosmäsler engraving (1822)

[flip]

Artist: Rosmäsler (also: Rossmäßler) (Dresden).

Description: Copperplate engraving (22.5 x 16.5 cm). Written under some versions of the engraving: “Schnorr pinx. – Rosmäsler del. et sc., Dresden 1822.” In Grimoni/Will: "gemt. v. Schnorr gezt und gest v. Rosmäsler in Dresden 1822".

Derived from: Bause (1791), from Schnorr (1789).

Location: Ostpreußisches Landesmuseum (Lüneburg), Inv. Nr. MSK0086; Historisches Museum Schloss Friedenstein, Inv.-Nr. 26803 (Gotha).

Digital Image: Digital image from the full-page reproduction in Grimoni/Will [2004, 207].

Minden [1868, 28]:

10) *Im. Kant, gemalt von Schnorr, - gezeichnet und gestochen von Rosmäsler in Dresden 1822. (H. 8 Z. 4 L. – Br. 6 Z. 4 L.)


18??: Bürkner (from Bause) [top]

Bause copy (1791)

(1)

Bause copy (1791)

(2)

Artist: Hugo Bürkner (1818-1897) – as noted with the digital image at the Marburg Bildarchiv (Bildindex der Kunst und Architektur).

Description: Woodcut (11.0 x 9.1 cm).

Derived from: Bause (1791), from Schnorr (1789).

Location: Dresden Kupferstichkabinett [No. A 147096]

Digital Image: (1) Deutsche Fotothek (Dresden); (2) Marburg Bildarchiv.

Literature:


1838: Borussia [top]

Borussia engraving (1838)

[flip]

Artist: ??.

Description: Steel engraving.

Derived from: Bause[??] (1791), from Schnorr (1789).

Location:

Digital Image: Engraving following p. 153 of Borussia. Museum für Preußische Vaterlandskunde (Dresden: Eduard Pietsch und Comp., 1838), vol. 1, issue 19.

Minden [1868, 27]:

7} *Immanuel Kant'). - Stahlstich (aus der "Borussia"). (H. 5 Z. - Br. 3 Z. 5 L.)


17??: anon. from Schnorr? [top]

anon.

Artist: ?

Description: Engraving (## x ## cm).

Derived from: Bause (1791).

Location: Published in The Hundred Greatest Men (New York: D. Appleton, 1885).

Digital Image: Digital image from WikiMedia.


c.1790: Dresden (anonymous) [top]

Dresden

(1)

Dresden

(2)

Dresden

(3)

Artist: Anonymous, not by Anton Graff, but perhaps a student of his (possibly Elisabeth von Stägemann).

Description: Oil on canvas (53 x 38 cm). "I. Kant" is written in the upper-left corner (not discernible in these images). The painting appears to be done in the style of Graff, but there's no evidence that it is his (as the antiquities dealer had maintained), and Lubowski maintains that it is certainly not by Graff. Closer inspection showed that the overpainting was done by the same hand as the original painting, and also the "I. Kant" in the corner. Restoration of the painting revealed the brown coat associated with Kant, and made the facial features much more recognisably those of Kant [Lubowski 1899, 162]. Lubowski is convinced that the painting was done from life.

Kant-Zimmer, City Museum

Kant-Zimmer
City Museum

Kant-Zimmer, City Museum

Kant-Zimmer
City Museum

Kant-Zimmer, City Library

Kant-Zimmer
Albertinum

Location: Presumably destroyed in Königsberg in August 1944. The “Dresden” portrait had been purchased from an estate by the owner of a Dresden antiquities shop and, without much sense of its value but believing it to be the work of Anton Graff, offered to sell it to the city of Königsberg. A city official conferred with an old Königsberg friend who was a rector in Dresden, Professor Gustav Diestel, asking him to assess the painting. Diestel’s initial view was that “it is certainly a portrait of Kant, and it is possibly painted by Graff,” so the purchase was made, and a Professor Hauser of Berlin restored the painting, although Hauser judged that “it is hardly Graff’s, but given the palette and general approach it could easily be one of his imitators or students.”

The painting was previously owned by a Dr. Dzondi, who had inherited it in 1859 from his father, a Pastor Dzondi in Groß-Schirma, who had the painting displayed in his house at least since 1820 – and that’s the end of the trail. After Dr. Dzondi’s death in 1889, the painting was acquired, along with Dr. Dzondi’s library, by the antique dealer Lengefeld. Nine years passed before Lengefeld read a notice in a newspaper about Kant in Königsberg, after which he offered it for sale to the city in September 1897 for 500 Marks [Diestel 1898a, 105; Diestel 1898b, 196-97].

After arriving in Königsberg, the painting was put on display in the Kant-Zimmer of the Albertinum (see photo), then the Kant-Zimmer of the Stadtgeschichtliche Museum (here it is seen hanging on the east wall of the room, and more clearly, in the third photo, on the north wall above the black Mattersberger bust of Kant).

Vahinger [1909, 568-69] notes that a woodcut was made of the painting – reproduced in two separate woodcuts for Kant-Studien, vols. 3 (1899) and and 9 (1904) – and that a local painter of some talent (Fräulein Lotte Joost) prepared a copy of the paining that was being offered for sale for 100 Deutschmark. Clasen [1924, Tafel 8] included a color reproduction (see image (1), above), but no other color reproductions are known, other than this copy by Lotte Joost, if it still exists. All the digital images that I have seen, while some are much more vibrant than what one finds in Clasen, share the same pattern of crackles in the paint, and so are certainly of the original Dresden painting that Clasen reproduced, and are likely merely enhanced images of the Clasen reproduction.

Digital Image: (1) Clasen [1924]; (2) Kant-Studien [vol. 3, 1899], as the frontispiece, with the caption: "(Das Original, in Dresden aufgefunden, befindet sich jetzt im Städtischen Museum zu Königsberg.) / Mit Genehmigung von J. J. Weber in Leipzig."; (3) Kant-Studien [vol. 9, 1904], following p. 208. These latter two images are of a woodcut modeled from a photograph of the original painting [Diestel 1898, 104]. A version of this portrait was also published as the frontispiece of The Philosophical Review 8.3 (May 1899), p. ii, with the caption: “THE NEWLY DISCOVERED PORTRAIT OF KANT. / (Now in the Museum of Königsberg.)”. Also available through akg-images [online].

Literature: Diestel [1898a, 1898b], Vaihinger [1898c], Reicke/Wichert [1898], Lubowski [1899], Diestel [1899], Diestel [1901], Vaihinger [1904, 343], Vaihinger [1909, 568-69], Clasen [1924, 30, Plate 8], Anderson [1936, 17], Malter/Staffa [1983, 29].

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

11. Gemälde aus dem Dresdener Kunsthandel. Um 1790. Königsbg. i. Pr. Kantzimmer, Gr.: 53 x 38 cm. Tafel 8.

Anderson 1936 catalog [1936, 17; Malter/Staffa 1983, 29]:

Kantbildnis, Brustbild, unbekannter Meister. Sogenanntes „Gemälde aus dem Dresdner Kunsthandel". Im Jahre 1896 kaufte dieses Bildnis eine Dresdener Kunsthandlung. Sein Schöpfer wird in der Nähe von Anton Graff zu finden sein. Als Entstehungsjahr ist 1790 anzunehmen. Ölgemälde auf Leinwand. 40 x 53 cm. H.

Besitzer: Das Museum.

History and Discussion: Prof. Dr. Gustav Diestel (an assistant rector in Dresden, but originally from Königsberg) discussed this painting on several occasions. He initially believed that it was painted based on earlier engravings and paintings [1898, 105]:

[O]nly one interpretation of the picture seems possible: That one of Kant’s many admirers, either in Dresden or in Leipzig, commissioned some not insignificant portraitist to paint him a worthy portrait of the great philosopher, with the help of the known copperplate engravings and oil paintings, and that this later came from some estate by purchase or donation into the hands of Pastor Dzondi, who died in 1859 at Großschirma in Saxony.

Nach alledem scheint nur die eine Deutung des Bildes möglich, daß einer von den vielen Kant-Verehrern, sei es in Dresden oder in Leipzig, iergendeinem, sicher nicht unbedeutenden Porträtmaler den Autrag gegeben habe, ihm mit Hülfe aller bekannten Kupferstiche und Oelbilder ein würdiges Porträt des großen Weltweisen zu malen, und daß dieses später aus irgeneinem Nachlaß durch Kauf oder Schenkung in die Hand jenes Pastors Dzondi gekommen sei, der 1859 zu Großschirma in Sachsen verstorben ist.

A year later he suggests that some wealthy Kant admirer from Dresden might have sent one of Graff’s pupils to Königsberg [1899, 166], and later still Diestel [1901] re-assesses the evidence and suggests Elisabeth von Stägemann as the possible artist, quoting from Franz Rühl’s introduction to his edition of Friedrich August von Stägemann’s Nachlass:

As a painter she was also not without talent; with all likelihood the portrait of Immanuel Kant now in the Königsberg Museum comes from her.

Sie war auch als Malerin nicht ohne Talent; aller Wahrscheinlichkeit nach rührt von ihr das Porträt Immanuel Kants her, das sich jetzt im Königsberger Museum befindet.

Asked about this claim, Rühl[1] noted that the Dresden painting was consistent with her other work, and also reminiscent of Anton Graff’s, “whose student she was” [Diestel 1901, 113].

In an addendum to Diestel’s brief article, Vaihinger also notes that Elisabeth’s grandson, a Dr. Ernst von Olfers, claims that his grandmother was a student of Graff’s, although Diestel couldn’t confirm this (and one wonders when she might have slipped down to Dresden to study with Graff).

Vaihinger [1904, 343] repeats Diestel’s general assessment:

The picture is probably painted by Elisabeth v. Stägemann.

Wahrscheinlich ist das Bild von Elisabeth v. Stägemann gemalt.

This attribution to Stägemann – who lived in Königsberg and saw Kant regularly – would seem to be supported by a comment by Reichardt’s request (in a letter to Stägemann) for a drawing or painting from which he could then have an engraving prepared for his Deutschland journal, and who hoped for “a true depiction of his admirable forehead and very fine nose.” This description nicely fits the Dresden portrait (see the correspondence between Reichardt and Stägemann under the 1796 Stägemann), but Stägemann also describes this work as a drawing, not a painting, and she notes that she based it on other paintings, while this Dresden painting has no antecedents that we know of. Apart from that, Warda has argued that there would not have been enough time to complete such a painting [1905]. None of these considerations speak again Stägemann as having painted the Dresden portrait, but just that it would have been a second portrait of Kant, and not the one she prepared for Reichardt.

The subject of the Dresden painting is clearly Kant – ‘I. Kant’ was painted in the upper-left corner at the same time as the painting itself – but as lovely as this painting is, what bothers me most is that the right eye – Kant’s good eye – is clearly a light brown in (my reproduction of) the painting. In any other painting we have of Kant, his famously blue eyes are always shown as blue: in Becker, Döbler, and Vernet. Why not that eye in the Dresden painting?

This painting also lies at the center of a recent novel about Kant: Günter Richard Scherer, Kant, die Handschrift und das Bild (Husum Taschenbuch, 2010), 232 pp.


1791: Döbler [top]

Döbler in Allgemeine Historische Portrait

(1) [flip]

Döbler (1791)

(2) [flip]

Döbler on cover of Land und Meer (14 February 1904)

(3)

Artist: Gottlieb Döbler (also: Doebler, Döpler, Doepler), born and died in Berlin (c.1762-c.1810), a student of the Scottish painter Edmund Francis Cunningham (1741-1793) who had been called to Berlin by Friedrich Wilhelm II in 1788 to paint portraits of the royal family. Döbler traveled to Königsberg in 1791 to paint Kant (unclear whether this was merely opportunistic, or whether he had traveled to Königsberg specifically for this purpose). Some sources claim he committed suicide in 1795 [Minden 1868, 28]; if he is also the pastellist, then he would have died some time after 1806. His entry in Thieme-Becker claims that “his miniature portrait of Kant, dated 1791, was shown at the 1906 Jahrhundertausstellung deutscher Kunst in Berlin” [9: 366-67].

Attribution of the Kant portrait to Döbler rests on Schubert’s account [1842, 206].

Jeffares [2006, 156] includes an entry[1] in his dictionary of 18th century pastellists for a Döbler, who was active in Berlin (1786-88); similarly, a recently published collection of pastels of Prussian military uniforms from 1805-6 is attributed to Gottlieb Doepler [Friese 2014].

Description: Oil painting on canvas (33 x 28.5 cm). Roughly half-life sized.

Derivations: Kiesewetter (1791), Barth (1838) by way of the Stobbe painting, Raab (1840), Heydeck (1872).

Location: Missing.

Digital Images: (1) Seidlitz/Lier, Allgemeines historisches Porträtwerk [1888], (2) Clasen [1924, 30] of the copy in the UB-Marburg, (3) Über Land und Meer (Stuttgart), vol. 91, 14 Feb 1904 (between pages 464 and 465). An accompanying article appears on p. 452 (Dr. Ph. Münch, “Immanuel Kant. Zu seinem hundertsten Todestage.”)

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

12. Gemälde von Döbler. 1791, Königsberg, Totenkopfloge. Größe: 33 x 28.5 cm. Tafel 9.

Literature: Schubert [1842, 206],[2] Minden [1868, 28],[3] Lind [1900], Bessel Hagen [1880, 28],[4] Kupffer/Bessel Hagen [1881, 370], Clasen [1924, 18-19, 30, Plate 9],[5] Kuhrke [1924a, 67 (illus.)], Gause [1974, 127],[6] Essers [1974, 47],[7] Stark [1993, 241-42], Gause [1996, 2: 253],[8] Lange [2009a], Gerlach [2009, 272].[9]

History: Lange [2009a] provides the most thorough history – and it is complicated – of this well-known image of Kant. Döbler’s painting found its way to the Königsberg Masonic lodge Totenkopf und Phönix where it was displayed in their Andreassaal. Over the years various copies were made of it (see a partial list, below). It was stolen in 1934 and went missing altogether after 1945, although before that a black and white phototype was published in Allgemeines historisches Porträtwerk [Seiditz/Lier 1888] and a color image was published in Clasen [1924, 30] (both are shown above).

Minden claims [1868, 28] that Döbler gave the painting to the Totenkopf und Phönix lodge as a present, which is presumably just an elaboration of Schubert’s claim that “the painting became the property of the local Todtenkopf Lodge” [1842, 206]. Clasen claims that the very attribution of the painting to Döbler rests on Schubert, although Minden notes that the painting’s style conforms with this claim, “unmistakably displaying the manner of the conception and the angularity of the facial surfaces popular in England at that time” [1868, 28].

There is apparently a tradition within the freemasonry community that Kant’s helper and dinner guest Wasianski, a lodge member since 1784, played a role in the painting’s acquisition: Gerlach claims that it was through Wasianski that the painting “came into the lodge’s possession” [2009, 272], and a similar claim was made in the 1920s by Rector Julius Perry, also a member of the lodge in Königsberg, who noted that Pastor Wasianski “was our [lodge] brother and belonged to Kant’s dinner friends” and that the picture came from him, presumably right after Kant’s death.[10]

A second painting that looks very much like the first, has at times been confused with this version belonging to the masonic lodge (e.g., Gause [1996, 2: 253]). It was either also painted by Döbler or else by an unknown artist, and is discussed further below (see Kiesewetter). This second painting still exists and has been on display in the Museum Stadt Königsberg (Duisburg, now in Lüneburg).

Copies mentioned in the literature (all are destroyed or lost except the Kiesewetter and the Heydeck).

(1) by Döbler or an unknown artist (the so-called Kiesewetter) (c.1791; 36.8 x 31 cm), owned by the Museum Stadt Königsberg (Duisburg, now in Lüneburg) [Lange 2009a, 481-82].

(2) by Johann Heinrich Stobbe of Königsberg (c.1840; # x # cm), owned privately by the “Kant-Gesellschaft Königsberg” (at least since 1868, when Minden noted it: “the copy of which is owned by the Kant Society in Königsberg”) [Schubert 1842, 206-7; Minden 1868, 28; Lange 2009a, 484]. Our only visual representation of this painting or drawing is the Barth engraving made from it.

Kant Zimmer, Kneiphof Rathaus, Königsberg

Kant-Zimmer
Kneiphof Rathaus

(3) by Petzenburg (1872; 35 x 28.5 cm), owned by the Stadtgeschichtlichen Museum Königsberg. Lange [2009a, 482-83] identifies it as hanging directly above the Siemering marble bust in the accompanying photo of the Kant-Zimmer, when it was housed in the City Museum).

(4) by Fräulein J. Jacobson (1872, Königsberg), owned by Emil Arnoldt [Bessel-Hagen 1880, 28].

(5) “Bildnis Kants, Ölmalerei auf Leinwand (nach Döbler)” owned by the Prussia-Museum [Lange 2009a, 487].

(6) a copy owned by the “Provinzialmuseums der Physik.-ökon. Gesellschaft” [Lange 2009a, 487].

(7) a life-size painted copy for the Königsberg Immanuel Lodge[11] [Bessel Hagen 1880, 28],

(8) by Heydeck (62 x 58.5 cm), owned by the Stadtgeschichtlichen Museum Königsberg.

Schubert [1842, 206]:

The most successful oil painting was done by the painter Döbler of Berlin, a student of the well-known portrait painter Edmund Francis Cunningham, who spent a long time in Königsberg as part of an extensive tour. Kant sat for him in 1791, thus at the time of his highest intellectual flowering and still in full possession of his powers; the painting became the property of the local Todtenkopf Lodge. It is a bust portrait in half life size and has not yet been copied for publication. As I agree with Kant’s still living contemporaries that this is the most faithful picture, I have had a copy made, with the owner’s [the Totenkopf und Phönix lodge] kind permission, which the good local painter Stobbe has captured just as skillfully as Karl Barth engraved it, which will serve as the true adornment of this biography.


1840: Raab [top]

Raab (1791

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Raab

(2) [flip]

Raab

(3) [flip]

Artist: Johann Leonard Raab (1825-1899).

Description: Steel engraving (37.2 x 28.9 cm). Directly beneath the engraving: (left) “gem. v. Dobler”, (right) “gest. v. J. L. Raab”. At the bottom of the page: “Verlag von Breitkopf & Hartel in Leipzig”. 1840.

Derived from: Döbler (1791).

Location: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Handschriftenabteilung. Also: Museum Stadt Königsberg (Duisburg, now in Lüneburg). An excellent reproduction is available online at PortraitIndex. Karl Vorländer included this engraving as a frontispiece to the 2nd volume of his Immanuel Kant. Der Mann und das Werk (1924).

Digital Image: (1) [??], (2) Vorländer [1924]; (3) Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam).

Literature: Minden [1868, 28],[1] Lange [2009a].

Comparing the Raab and Barth engravings:

Raab is based on Döbler, and matches it closely (note especially the buttons, the lace frill, and the descending collar). In all of these, Raab matches Döbler and deviates from the Kiesewetter copy.

Barth, based on a painted copy by Stobbe, deviates considerably from Döbler (and Raab); the descending collar matches Döbler, but the buttons are either a free invention or else follow (the now lost) Stobbe. The lace is closer to Keyserling than to Döbler, but still shows considerable deviation; likewise with the hairline of the wig, while the curls on the right are closer to Döbler. The line of the ear is different from both Keyserling and Döbler.


after 1791: Kiesewetter (copied from Döbler) [top]

Kiesewetter-Döbler

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kiesewetter

(2)

Kiesewetter

(3)

Artist: Unknown, unless it is a second painting by Döbler.

Description: Oil painting on canvas (36.8 x 31 cm). This was prepared for Johann Gottfried Carl Christian Kiesewetter [bio], a disciple and former student of Kant’s teaching in Berlin, by Döbler or else some unknown artist. On the back of the canvas, written in ink (the first three lines in one hand, the last in another): “Portrait of Immanuel Kant / Philosopher / 1724-1804 / Pr Kiesewetter angehörend.” A mechanically printed label (with blanks for the numbers) on the back of the frame: “Königsberger Sammlungen der Patenstadt Duisburg / Inv. Gr. 6 Nr. 71” (the same information is entered in a stamped version); handwritten in modern script on a white label: “Duisburg / Museum St. Königsberg / 10 50 / WT 4/2”. The Duisburg Museum postcard states: “Ölgemälde, zweite Ausführung für Johann Gottfried Carl Christian Kiesewetter, 37 x 31 cm”.

This painting was discovered in Munich in 1955. Lange [2009a, 480] quotes the account given in Das Ostpreußenblatt (20 August 1955):[1]

Just a few weeks ago […] the American side offered to buy the painting from the directorate of the Bavarian State Painting Collections in Munich, requesting ten thousand DM and indicating that the painting would be brought to the United States of America if the state of Bavaria or the State Painting Collections did not make the purchase. After the Göttinger Arbeitskreis of East German scholars and the Gesellschaft der Freunde Kants (now Göttingen, formerly Königsberg) become aware of these events and informed the Königsberg Lodge, which had been restituted in Berlin in 1947, the Lodge asserted its right of ownership to the famous Kant portrait and obtained a temporary court order, by which the painting was initially secured in Munich against being taken abroad.

It was eventually determined that this painting was different from the painting owned by the Masonic lodge in Königsberg, so it ended up in the United States after all, only to be purchased by the city of Duisburg (for 10,000 DM) on 25 June 1963 [Lange 2009a, 481].

Derived from: Döbler (1791).

Derivations: ??.

Location: Museum Stadt Königsberg (Duisburg, now in Lüneburg), Inv.-Nr. 74 (original of the Mainz digital image).

Digital Image: (1) Mainz; (2) postcard, Museum Stadt Königsberg (Duisburg); (3) Wikipedia.

Literature: Schubert [1842, 206-7], Lind [1900, 105], Degen [1924, 105], Benninghoven [1974, 150],[2] Grimoni/Will [2004, 129], Lange [2009a, 2009b].

Lange [2009a, 494] reproduces this image, identifying it as: “Second composition by Gottlieb Döbler or else a copy by an unknown painter from the original in the Königsberg Totenkopf und Phönix lodge, around 1791 (?). Museum Stadt Königsberg, Duisburg; formerly owned by the Kant student Kiesewetter (?).”

Kiesewetter was not painted by Stobbe; it might have been a second painting by Döbler.

There are three strong reasons why Kiesewetter was not painted by Stobbe. The first and most obvious is on the back of the canvas, written by an unknown hand in ink: “Pr Kiesewetter angehörend” [belongs to Professor Kiesewetter]. Kiesewetter died in 1819, when Stobbe was only 17, and about twenty years before he painted his copy of the Döbler painting. So unless we have good reason to view as spurious this claim written on the back of the canvas, then we cannot identify Kiesewetter as Stobbe’s copy.

The second reason is the many differences between Döbler/Raab and Kiesewetter on the one hand, and Barth (based on Stobbe) on the other hand. The slightly crooked nose in Döbler/Raab and Kiesewetter all match, while the nose in Barth is more straightened;[3] likewise the full lower lip is less pronounced in Barth, and the descending left collar is nearly straight, while it is slanted in the others, and the top button is lower in Barth than in the others; likewise with the button patterns, which vary among all four images, but Barth remains the outlier. These and other details suggest that Barth was working from a different model (i.e., Stobbe is not the same as Kiesewetter).

A third point is made by Lange [2009a, 486-87]: when the Kiesewetter painting re-surfaced in Munich in 1955 and plans were vetted for an American to buy it, these plans were delayed until representatives of the former Masonic lodge in Königsberg, which had claims to the painting if it was the original Döbler, had time to inspect it. Members of the Kant Society were also involved, who had an interest should the painting turn out to be the Stobbe copy, but in the end the purchase was permitted.

Is Kiesewetter a second painting executed by Döbler? This is a widely-held view and it might be correct – Albinus claims Döbler gave this second portrait to Kant, who gave it to Kiesewetter [1985, 149] – although against this Lange notes various features of Kiesewetter (e.g., a smoothing of certain features) that are indicative of copies [2009a, 485-86] – not a definitive argument, but it casts doubt on the claim that Kiesewetter was also painted by Döbler.


1838: Barth (and the Stobbe painting) [top]

Barth engraving in Schubert

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Barth (1791)

(2) [flip]

Barth engraving in Bax's translation

(3)

Artist: Karl Barth (1787-1853).

Description: Oval-shaped engraving. At the bottom of the image, following the contour: “Nach Stobbe gest. von Karl Barth.” Beneath the engraving is a facsimile of a text from Kant’s hand (dated 1793) and of his signature (dated 1791). The text reads:

Religion ist Erkenntnis aller Pflicht als Göttliche Gebote Sie geht also vor dem Glaube an das Dasein Gottes vorher und die Moral führt zur Theologie in practischer Absicht ob sie zwar in theoretischer Rücksicht problematisch ist und bleibt (1793) [Religion is the cognition of all duty as a divine commandment. It therefore proceeds the belief in the existence of God, and morality leads to theology in the practical sense, although it is indeed and remains problematic considered theoretically]

The Stobbe copy has been lost, so Barth’s engraving is our only visual representation of the Stobbe painting.

Derived from: Döbler (1791), by way of the Stobbe copy.

Location: This engraving (with the religion quote and signature) appears as a frontispiece in at least two separate works: (1) Rosenkranz/Schubert (vol. 1, 1838; vol. 11.1, 1842) and (2) Saintes (1844). A quite similar, but not identical engraving appears in (3) Belfort Bax’s translation into English of Kant’s Prolegomena and Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science (1883) – this last engraving has no name attached; it differs from Preisel and Geyer, and also Raab.

Digital Image: (1) Rosenkranz/Schubert [1842]; (2) Saintes [1844]; (3) Bax [1883].

Literature: Schubert [1842, 206-7], Minden [1868, 28],[1] Lind [1900, 105],[2] Lange [2009a].

Schubert [1842, 206]:

As I agree with Kant’s still living contemporaries that [Döbler’s painting] is the most faithful picture, I have had a copy made, with the owner's kind permission, which the good local painter Stobbe has captured just as skillfully as Karl Barth engraved it, a true adornment of this biography.

Lind [1900, 105] offers a detailed comparison of the Döbler and Stobbe paintings. He had access to Stobbe but not Döbler, which he knew only from the 1888 photograph of Döbler in Allgemeine Historische Porträtwerk (1888):

Döbler in Allgemeine Historische Portrait

A.H.P. (1888)

An eye critically trained in art cannot fail to notice that this gloomy trait of Döbler’s original, which rises even to a defiance and mistrust in Kant’s facial features, was avoided by Stobbe, as the engravings based on Döbler and Stobbe clearly show. The engraving based on Döbler by J. L. Raab (published by Breitkopft & Härtel, Leipzig) betrays a gloomy, distrustful, almost defiant expression, while the engraving based on Stobbe by Preisel & Geyer (published by Leopold Voss, Leipzig, now Hamburg) shows only a gloomy expression, though not without warmth. Stobbe has thus deviated significantly from the Döbler original. Döbler’s picture is unsurpassable in its own way: Kant’s spiritual greatness grips us with elemental force, ennobling even the body as well. This great feature is missing in Stobbe; and the engravings based on Stobbe, unfortunately, also omit the lower part of the upper body, which is indispensable for the correct expression of the whole, even Kant’s beautiful hands are missing, an irrecoverable error. I did not see the Döbler original, but I did see a quite excellent phototype based on the original, found in the well-known Allgemeine historische Porträtwerk, published by Dr. von Seidlitz and Dr. H. Lier; Series X (Verlag Bruckmann, Munich 1888).


18??: Preisel & Geyer [top]

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(2) [flip]

Artist: Christoph Preisel (1818-??) and Conrad Geyer (1816-1893)

Description: Oval-shaped engraving; at the bottom of the image, following the contour: “Nach Stobbe gest. v. Preisel & Geyer.” Beneath the engraving is a facsimile of a text from Kant's hand (dated 1793) and of his signature (dated 1791) – this is identical to the Barth engraving. The text reads: Religion ist Erkenntnis aller Pflicht als Göttliche Gebote Sie geht also vor dem Glaube an das Dasein Gottes vorher und die Moral führt zur Theologie in practischer Absicht ob sie zwar in theoretischer Rücksicht problematisch ist und bleibt [Religion is the cognition of all duty as a divine commandment. It therefore proceeds the belief in the existence of God, and morality leads to theology in the practical sense, although it is indeed and remains problematic considered theoretically].

Derived from: Döbler (1791), by way of the Stobbe copy.

Location: This engraving appears as a frontispiece for at least two books: (1) Abbott’s English translation of Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason (1879 edition) and (2) Erdmann’s 3rd edition of Kant’s Kritik der reinen Vernunft (1884) (and which includes the same facsimile of Kant’s handwriting on religion as used in Rosenkranz and Schubert’s engraving by Barth).

Digital Image: (1) Erdmann [1884]; (2) Abbott [1879].

Literature: Lind [1900, 105], Lange [2009a, 485].


1872: Heydeck [top]

Barth (1791)

Artist: Johannes Wilhelm Heydeck (1835-1910), professor of art at the Königsberg Academy of Art and a member of the Altertumsgesellschaft Prussia.

Description: Oil on canvas (62 x 58.5 cm).

Derived from: Döbler (1791).

Location: Acquired (near the end of 2000) by the Museum Stadt Königsberg (Duisburg, now in Lüneburg), Inv.-Nr. 1755.

Digital Image: Grimoni/Will [2004, 72].

Literature: Heydeck [1879-80, 122], Bessel Hagen [1880, 16],[1] Anderson [1936, 22],[2] Grimoni/Will [2004, 72], Lange [2009a, 488-92].

History: Grimoni/Will [2004, 72] reprint this image, giving the provenance as Neuenburg (Schweiz) and the description: “unknown artist, 19th c. (Heydeck?).” Anderson [1936, 22] identifies Heydeck and dates the painting to around 1870, and Lange [2009a, 488-92] further argues that Heydeck painted this in 1872.


1???: unattested1 [top]

Doerstling (1892)

Artist: ??

Description: Engraving.

Derived from: Döbler (1791).

Digital image: Wikimedia.

Literature: Grimoni/Will [2004, 228, 231].

Grimoni/Will [2004] displays the image as a Russian postcard (artist/year unknown).

This engraving is clearly a descendent from Döbler, but it is unclear which, and is likely a free adaptation of some intermediary engraving.


1???: unattested2 [top]

Barth (1791)

Artist:

Description:

Derived from: Döbler (1791).

Location:.

Digital Image: .

Literature: .


1???: unattested3 [top]

DöblerAnon2

Artist:

Description:

Derived from: Döbler (1791).

Location:.

Digital Image: .

Literature: .


c.1792: Matusczewski [top]

Matusczewski

[flip]

Artist: Thomas Daniel Matusczewski (1774-183?)[Lange 2006, 65] was the son of a chamberlain with the Keyserlings, and he studied several semesters with Kant, preparing this minature c.1792.

Description: Gouache (11 x 9 cm).

Location: Ostpreußisches Landesmuseum (Lüneburg), on loan from Christine Falck, a descendant of the artist’s sister.

Digital Image: Grimoni/Will [2004, 210].

Literature: Grimoni/Will [2004, 210], Lange [2006, 65].

{It is difficult to believe that this is not just another Vernet knock-off, or else a copy of Vernet}

Grimoni/Will [2004, 210]:[1]

Matusczewski, the son of a chamberlain to Count Keyserlingk, studied with Kant for a few semesters and probably painted his portrait in 1792. After the painter’s early death, the painting passed into the possession of his sister’s family, where it was then passed down from generation to generation until its present owner, who kindly made it available for this exhibition. Loan Christine Falck.


1792-95: Vernet [top]

Artist: Carl Friedrich Vernet (c.1760-1825), born in Berlin, died in Reval (now: Talinn, Estonia). He studied in Berlin under Anna Dorothea Therbusch (1721-1782),[1] leaving in 1783, and settling in Königsberg some time after 1790. He was active in St. Petersburg between 1795-1805 (based on paintings signed by him), and in Dorpat (now: Tartu) shortly before his death. Minden claims, perhaps rightly, that he returned to Königsberg after his years in Petersburg.[2] He is often confused with one or another member of the Vernet dynasty of French painters.[3]

A ‘Car. Frdr. Vernet’ appears in the university matriculation records for 6 July 1797 as an ‘artis pictoriae cult.’ – this would have been after Kant sat for the portrait, but it would seem to be the relevant portraitist.[4]

Description: This is a collection of paintings, all miniatures, which was Vernet’s speciality. Some are signed by Vernet and he appears to have painted at least two of these from life – one in 1792 (based on Borowski) and one in 1795 (based on the painting itself, Vernet (1795)); the rest are copies that he or another painter made, which was surely a lucrative market at the time. Some of the paintings are signed by or attributed to another artist, and a few are claimed to be originals by another artist, but they are so similar to Vernet that it is difficult to view them as anything but a copy. Various of these paintings also served as the basis for various engravings (lised below as “Derivations”).

The paintings mentioned in the literature are as follows (and those with an image or additional information are linked to a separate entry, below): Vernet (SPKB), Vernet (Jachmann), Vernet (Helmholtz-Zeller), Vernet (Fuchs), Vernet (Stargardt), Vernet (Meyer), Vernet (Insterburg), and Vernet (1795) – this last painting is the only one that is securely dated and signed.[5]

Copies known to be made by an artist other than Vernet: Vernet (24 Aug 1793), Vernet (Harwardt), Vernet (Meckelburg), Vernet (Springer), Vernet (Breysig).

Clasen knew of only one miniature that was dated, the “Altertumsgesellschaft Prussia” painting, dated 1795 and presumably painted from life. But we know that Vernet had already made a painting sometime before 1792, because Borowski reported in that year that Kant had been painted by Werner [sic] which was used to prepare a copperplate engraving for Hufeland’s journal. The painting he dates as 1792 was the painting in the Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum [= Bode Museum](Berlin).

Location: Extant paintings include the following [TBD].

Derivations:[6] Lips #1 (1793), Lips #2 (1794), Poll (179?), Pfenning (179?), Bolt (1794), Schindelmayer (1795), Tea-Cup (1795), Bollinger (1804), Hopwood (1819), Lehmann (1836), Mayer (1838), Claassens (date?), Pauli (date?), Westermayr (date?), undetermined (date?).

Literature: Borowski [1804, 96], Schubert [1842, 210], Minden [1868, 28-29], Vaihinger [1899c], Vaihinger [1901b], Clasen [1924, 19-20, Plates 10 & 11], Anderson [1932], Forstreuter [1963, 31-32], Essers [1974, 47], Malter [1992], Lange [2006].

Vernet-Dohna

Alexander
Graf Dohna

Grommelt/Mertens [1962, 249, 498] reproduce a miniature (11.5 x 9 cm; brass frame – see right) depicting Alexander Burggraf zu Dohna, which is signed on the face: “C. Vernet p. 1796,” surely the same Vernet who painted Kant.[7]

Clasen reports that he was unable to determine which of the many miniatures painted by Vernet is the original and which are copies. The only dated Vernet is from 1795 (belonging to the Altertumsgesellschaft Prussia, in Königsberg [see]). Vernet did in fact paint Kant from life in 1792, but continued painting images of him for the next three years.

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

13. Miniaturen von Vernet. 1792. 1. Exemplar der Altertumsgesellschaft Prussia, Königsberg, Kantzimmer. Größe mit gemaltem Rahmen: 13 x 10 cm. [Tafel 10 – see below: "1795: Vernet"]. 2. Exemplar in Berlin, Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum [= Bode Museum]. Größe: 10.5 x 8 cm. Tafel 10 & 11.

Clasen [1924, 19-20]:[8]

One of those traveling artists was C. Vernet, who, as Schubert states, came from the school of the Berlin painter Anna Dorothea Therbusch and stayed for some time in Königsberg, where he died at a young age. For the time being, his traces cannot be traced beyond Königsberg, and he can hardly have reached a comprehensive artistic activity. The time of the creation of his miniature portrait of Kant is determined by a message that Borowski gives in a lecture on Kant, prepared in 1792: ‘He has just been painted by Wernern, so that, after this drawing, a correct copperplate engraving can be brought before a new journal that Hufeland wants to publish in Jena’ (Borowski, Über Immanuel Kant, p. 96). It seems that Vernet, in contrast to other artists of this kind, knew better how to make a good business with his Kant portrait; for his miniature pictures appear in quite a number of copies. As Schubert reports, he made copies for engravers: in 1793, an engraving by H. Lips appears made from this miniature, and in 1794 one by J. M. Bolt. However, he must have found numerous buyers in Kant’s circle of friends, since most of Vernet’s miniatures can be traced back to certain friends of Kant. Which of these miniatures is the original and served as the basis for the copies can hardly be determined, given the infeasability of closely comparing the widely scattered portraits. The only designated and dated copy, however, only from the year 1795, is that of the Altertumsgesellschaft Prussia in Königsberg. It is also the only picture that I know of with a painted frame that has the inscription: ‘Immanuel Kant, nat, MDCCXXIV. D.XXII April (- the space for the date of death is left blank -)Vernet pinx. MDCCXCV.’ The kind of view that Vernet [20] gives of Kant in this picture agrees better with the neighboring pictures in time than in some of Vernet’s other miniatures, which are also usually painted smoother and more commonly, and therefore have a more pleasing effect on the outside. Kant appears somewhat older and uglier than usual in the Prussia picture, consistent with Schubert’s report that Vernet had painted the philosopher in a common conception. In terms of color, this copy far surpasses the other versions, insofar as they could be consulted. It could perhaps have been painted in 1795 as a second picture after life, which would explain the striking fact of the designation and dating. A characteristic example of Vernet's other Kant portraits is the one in the Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum in Berlin. […]

In contrast to the attempts of other artists to express primarily the spiritual meaning of Kant, Vernet gives him a more everyday appearance, as Schubert already noted. But perhaps this is precisely what gives his portrait a particularly valuable quality for us. In any case, the idea we have of the old Kant is based not least on Vernet’s miniature. Artistically, it possesses value due to its fine coloring, which definitely reach the miniature art of the time, as one easily determines with the Berlin copy by comparing it with similar pictures in the same box – although just this Berlin picture remains much paler and more charmless in color.

Anderson (the director of the Stadtgeschichtlichen Museum, Königsberg) [1932, 309]:[9]

With C. Vernet, an artist travelling east from Berlin, the depiction of Kant takes on a more commercial quality. Schubert states that Vernet had studied with Anna Dorothea Therbusch in Berlin. Since only a few other works by him are known, we must judge his artistic skills from the Kant portraits – and the number of these is quite large, although they are only repetitions of one portrait that the artist painted from life. His portraits were in great demand, gladly purchased by Kant’s friends and admirers. Sometimes on the back will be a note that the artist painted the scholar from life. The paintings are in watercolor on either parchment or ivory. It might be interesting to collect together all the available portraits of this kind to determine which was the original. Vernet was not a great master of his subject; painted once from life, he copied the portrait again and again, varying the background or clothing. Königsberg has three such portraits[10] in the Kant Room of the Museum of City History and a fourth, painted on an ivory plate, is still in the university’s matriculation register; in the 18th century, portraits of the university rectors were pasted in there. The heads of these portraits are only slightly glazed, while the background and coat are applied with opaque colors. Kant wears the characteristic wig with the three curls over the ears.

Essers [1974, 47]:[11]

C. Vernet, a traveling artist, seems to have known how to make a business out of his Kant portrait of 1792. He took advantage of the public's interest and produced his miniatures in numerous repetitions, which hardly differed from each other and served as models for many engravings.[Note 1] He chose the form of a bust portrait. The upper part of the body is set at an angle to the picture plane. The head appears turned to the right with a slight counter-rotation in three-quarter profile. Unlike Döbler, the face is not transfigured by inspired reflection. It is without exaggeration a wrinkled old man’s face looking animatedly at the viewer. Such a portrait, intent only on likeness and very personal in effect, was hardly suitable for public presentation and more for the private veneration of the sitter. Thus the buyers of Vernet’s miniatures are found among Kant’s friends.[Note 2]

[Note 1: Minden, pp. 28-29; Clasen, pp. 19-20, 2 fig. Die Großen Deutschen im Bild, ed. by Alfred Hentzen and Niels von Holst, Berlin 1936, fig. p. 174. A version of the portrait is now in the Rectorate of the University of Göttingen. Cf. W. Grunert, “Das Insterburger Kantbild” in: Jahrbuch der Albertus-Universität zu Königsberg/Pr. (Würzburg 1962) 12: 339-340.]

[Note 2: Clasen 1924, 19.]


1792: Vernet (SPKB) [top]

name

(1)

Vernet (1795)-Berlin

(2)

Vernet (1795)–Berlin

(3)

Artist: Carl Friedrich Vernet. [see above]

Description: Watercolor on paper (10.6 x 8.2 cm; oval). On the back: 'Kants / Porträt wozu er / selbst gesessen / […] Porträt ist nach / F. Bolt'.

Location: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (main floor, room 34). Previously: Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum (Berlin). Acquired in 1894 from the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett [Lange 2006, 64].

Digital Image: (1) Clasen [1924, Tafel 11], (2/3) Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz. Ident. Nr.: M 207.

Literature: Clasen [1924, 19-20, Plate 11], Demmler [1924a, 211],[1] Schneiders [2000], Lange [2006, 64].

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

13. Miniaturen von Vernet. 1792. 1. Exemplar der Altertumsgesellschaft Prussia, Königsberg, Kantzimmer. Größe mit gemaltem Rahmen: 13 x 10 cm. Tafel 10. 2. Exemplar in Berlin, Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum [= Bode Museum]. Größe: 10.5 x 8 cm. Tafel 11.

The inscription on the back [source??] would suggest that this painting was based on the 1794 Bolt engraving, thus making it a copy of a copy and most likely by someone other than Vernet [– but no one mentions this, so this must be spurious].


1792-95: Vernet (Jachmann) [top]

Vernet (1792)

[Jachmann]

Vernet (1792)

[Neumann]

Artist: Painting by Carl Friedrich Vernet [see above]; engraving by Adolf Neumann (who also made a woodcut of the Becker(c) Kant portrait).

Description: Opaque paint (gouache) on paper, glued to an oak panel; 11.3 x 9 cm. The engraving (a woodcut?) is known only as it appeared in Die Gartenlaube.

Kant had personally given this painting to his former student and biographer Reinhold Bernhard Jachmann [bio]. Jachmann’s son, also named Reinhold, briefly discusses the painting in a published note [Jachmann 1864]:[1]

The installation of Kant’s statue has brought attention once more to our great compatriot. My father, Privy Councilor Jachmann in Königsberg, [465] who died in 1843, possessed a portrait of Kant that he declared to be the only one he knew that truly resembled him, and so I hope to offer a service not only to Kant’s admirers among the men of science, but to all Prussian patriots in general, by making available a photographic reproduction of this portrait. And indeed, my father’s assessment was well-justified, as he had known Kant since his sixteenth year and remained in very close contact with him to the end of Kant’s life. Having been introduced to Kant by his older brother, the popular Königsberg physician who was Kant’s amanuensis at the time, Kant soon honored him with a very special trust and companionship, and in a preface by Kant appearing in my father’s work on Kant’s Philosophy of Religion,[2] Kant himself declared that he “wants to add this seal of my friendship toward the author as an everlasting memento.” It is also known that Kant requested my father to write his biography. Kant gave as a gift to my father this portrait, which these photographs reproduce. My father explained that the portrait was the work of a certain Vernet, without being able to say anything more in detail about him, but according to the research of Professor August Hagen, this Vernet was a native of Berlin who at the end of the last century was known for his work as a miniaturist. He painted on parchment, as with my father’s painting, which he probably painted while on his way to Russia; other portraits of famous Königsbergers from this time are also his work.

I have mentioned the above about my father’s closer friendship with Kant in order to show his judgment regarding the portrait’s resemblance as absolutely decisive; the best proof of this, however, might be the fact that Kant himself gave it to my father. My father declared it, as I said, to be a perfect resemblance, and this was confirmed to me by other men who knew Kant well. Among these I mention Dr. William Motherby, who was Kant’s dinner guest for many years. For those interested in having such a portrait of Kant, I draw your attention to the photographs I had made, by Glinsky in Elbing, of Vernet’s original, and that are available through the Leon-Saunier bookshop there.

Location: Privately owned.

Digital Image/Literature: (left, of the painting) Schneiders [2000], (right, of the engraving) Illustrierte Zeitung (Leipzig), 29 October 1864, p. 304.

Literature: Jachmann [1864], Anon. [1864, 305], Minden [1868, 28], Schneiders [2000].

Lacking a good reproduction, I will quote Schneiders’ detailed description [2000, 3-4]:[3]

Now to present a previously “unknown,” long lost and forgotten portrait from private ownership, which is of particular interest, both historically and iconographically. It is an oval miniature (c.11.3 x 9 cm), painted with opaque colors on paper, i.e., a gouache, and glued on a roughly worked oak panel. Today the picture is under a similarly poorly cut glass in a Biedermeier frame (light walnut with dark corners), which is obviously not the original frame.

The bust portrait shows a roughly seventy-year-old Kant on a gray background, with the usual slightly sloping shoulders and somewhat flat chest, the right shoulder slightly pulled forward, and the face turned towards the viewer, making it visible in a three-quarter profile. This hides the more pronounced jaw on the left somewhat, and the face appears more even. The philosopher is dressed in dark gray apparel (jacket and vest) with a white frilled shirt and black tie, also wearing the familiar wig. It is an everyday portrait – Kant even makes a somewhat unkempt impression — he is not wearing his good blue coat with the cross-decorated buttons, and he is badly shaved. Under the high, arched forehead and the almost straight eyebrows, of which the left seems to curve a little higher, the gray-blue eyes look out wisely, a thoughtful-quizzical gaze that is almost a bit absent. But the eyelids are also reddened, the left lacrimal sac (as in other Kant portraits) is more pronounced and slightly drooping. The rather long nose (here not idealized in a classical way, not sharp-edged, but with a slight hump) and the slightly raised lips above the roundish-small, slightly receding chin also make (as do the cheeks) a somewhat unhealthy [4] reddish impression. The sitter is obviously on the threshold of old age, although undoubtedly still mentally wide-awake and he looks at the viewer a bit sorrowfully, yet with a nevertheless friendly gaze.

On the reverse of the picture, i.e., on the wooden support, there is – apart from the number ‘4’, which was clear added later in pencil (probably during an inheritance settlement or auction) – the following information written in ink in block letters: Vernet fec. // Kant ipse donavit // discipulo et amico // Reinhold Bernhard // Jachmann.

The engraving of the Vernet painting by Neumann appeared in the context of an 1864 article on “The Unveiling of the Kant-Memorial in Königsberg in Prussia” – this was the nine-foot statue of Kant, on an equally high granite pedestal, prepared by Rauch in his Berlin studio and completed in 1857. Regarding the Vernet image, the anonymous author of this article wrote [Anon. 1864b, 305]:[4]

The portrait of Kant included with this essay is a copy of a miniature painting by Vernet, a native of Berlin, who painted Kant from life. The original is owned by Dr. Jachmann of Elbing, whose father, Privy Councillor Jachmann, who died in 1843, received it from Kant himself and declared the portrait to be the only true likeness he knew. Photographs of it, in business card format, can be obtained through Saunier’s bookstore in Szczecin.

Schneiders was not able to locate a copy of the advertised photographs of the Vernet painting [2000, 6].


1792-95: Vernet (Helmholtz-Zeller) [top]

Vernet (1792)

[Helmholtz]

Artist: Carl Friedrich Vernet. [see above]

Description: Copy of Vernet; in a frame identical to that shown in Vernet, but the image differs significantly in certain details. With the frame, the dimension is 13 x 10 cm, and apparently a pastel. On the back is written 'Koenigsberg' and '25. Merz 1797'.

Location: As of March 2001, this painting was still extant and in private possession (Frankfurt/Main). The description stems from that time.

Digital Image: Kant-Studien, vol. 5 [1901]

Literature: Vaihinger [1901b (illus.)]

Hermann Helmholtz (1821-1894) taught at Königsberg (1849-55); after his death the painting passed to his friend and colleague, Eduard Zeller (1814-1908), and has remained in that family.


1792-95: Vernet (Fuchs) [top]

Vernet (1792-95)

[flip]

Artist: Carl Friedrich Vernet. [see above]

Description: Miniature watercolor on a plate of ivory (8 x 6 cm). Kant without his wig.

Location: Presumably destroyed in 1944, along with most of the holdings of the City Museum (Königsbeg). Anderson [1932, 310; 1933, 28] reports that this portrait was purchased by a merchant named Rehage, who ran a linen store on the Junkerstraße in Königsberg, and that it remained in his family, until inherited by a Dr Fuchs, who loaned it to the recently opened Stadtgeschichtlichen Museum (in the vacated Kneiphof Rathaus) in 1928.

Digital Image: Kant-Studien, vol. 37 [1932]. Under the image: “Kantbild von Vernet / den Philosophen ohne Perücke darstellend; Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Königsberg / Leihgabe”. Discussed by Anderson [1932] in the same volume.

Literature: Vaihinger [1901b, 144], Anderson [1932 (illus.)], Anderson [1933 (illus.)], Anderson [1936], Lange [2006, 63-64 (illus.)].

Anderson [1933] claims that this is clearly painted from life, as there is much more attention to detail than the other paintings by Vernet that were in Königsberg. In addition to this newly found painting, Anderson mentions four other miniatures by Vernet, including the signed Vernet (1795) and the Vernet (Meckelburg), which was also painted on ivory and glued into the university matriculation registry.

Anderson gives the following report [1932, 309-10]:[1]

The newly discovered portrait presents the scholar without a wig; it is painted on an ivory plate 8 cm high and 6 cm wide. In comparison with the other pictures by the same master, it shows great agreement both in format and in the angle of the head, which is only slightly more inclined to the right ear. The wrinkles on the forehead are the same as in the other pictures, likewise the color of the [310] eyes and the wrinkles leading from them to the temples. The shape of the eyebrows is the same, but here they are more delicate and softer. The cheeks are fresh and the coloring shows a transparent but healthy skin color. Around the mouth and chin the tones are bluish, as is always found in people with shaved beards. The shape of the nose is similar to that in Vernet’s other paintings and the mouth also protrudes somewhat. The ear is completely visible, which is partially covered by the wig in the other pictures, but its shaping is very poorly executed by the artist. The already graying short head of hair is slightly curled, but not thinned; only at the temples is the forehead a little higher than what we see in the Hagemann bust. Kant wears a brown coat, but without buttons down the front – it is cut off in the picture like in a relief portrait, and in general the modeling of the folds resembles the treatment of a sculpture. The coat collar is not arranged very naturally, a point that Vernet otherwise had executed very carefully in his other pictures. The folds of the coat also extend up to the neck, so that it is unclear how they are actually connected to the garment. Kant wears a small white turn-down collar, plus a black knot that finishes over the loose jabot under the chin.

And in his 1936 inventory of the Kant Museum holdings, Anderson gives the following entry of the Vernet-Fuchs [1936, 11]:[2]

Portrait Immanuel Kant, head-and-shoulders by C. Vernet. Miniature depicting the philosopher without a wig. The head is very carefully modeled, softer in shape and finer in facial toning. The coat is less successful in the folds and cuts off at the bottom edge in the manner of a plastic relief. Painted on ivory in watercolors.

Owner: Retired City Councilor Fuchs, Königsberg (Pr).


1792-95: Vernet (Stargardt) [top]

Vernet (1792)

[flip]

Artist: Carl Friedrich Vernet. [see above]

Description: Oval Miniature (11.5 x 9.0 cm). Painting on pergament. On the reverse, written in ink: “Immanuel Kant geboren den 22. Apr. 1724”.

Location: UB-Heidelberg

Digital Image: J. A. Stargardt auction catalog #278 (1928).

Literature: Text included in the catalog is here.


1792-95: Vernet (Meyer) [top]

Vernet (1792)

[flip]

Artist: Carl Friedrich Vernet? [see above]

Description:

Location: Privately owned by descendants of Lorenz Meyer (Frankfurt am Main).

Digital Image: Grolle [1995, 19].

Literature: Grolle [1995, 18-19].

The Canon and travel author Friedrich Johann Lorenz Meyer (1766–1840) claims that this miniature was an original, painted from life in Kant’s “75th year” – and perhaps it is, although it looks a great deal like a Vernet copy, and is listed here as such. Written on the back, in Meyer’s hand:

This portrait of the great Königsberg philosopher Immanuel Kant, who allowed himself to be painted for me in the year 1800, and sat for it saying, in reply to a young traveler who had expressed my wish to him for a portrait: “Gladly, said the venerable old man, will I have my portrait done for Meyer, and I only ask that he say that it was done in my 75th year.”[1] It is a good resemblance. [Grolle 1995, 19]

Diese Bildnis des großen Königsberger Philosophen Immanuel Kant hatte derselbe i.J. 1800 für mich malen lassen und selbst dazu gesessen indem ein junger Reisender ihm meinen Wunsch sein Bildnis zu besitzen geäußert: "Gern, sagte der ehrwürdige Greis will ich mich für Meyern malen lassen und ich bitte nur ihm zu sagen, daß es in meinem 75. Jahre geschehen sey." – Es ist höchst ähnlich.

Grolle accepts this claim at face value, but it seems odd that Meyer makes no mention of the artist here. Kant’s ready willingness to sit for a portrait is also at odds with Jachmann’s account [1804, 110-11]. It seems more plausible to think that Meyer’s young friend simply bought a copy of Vernet, or perhaps had an artist paint a copy of a Vernet (or of a Vernet copy).


1792-95: Vernet (Insterburg) [top]

Insterburg Vernet with article)

Artist: Carl Friedrich Vernet? [see above]

Description: Oil copy of Vernet.

Location: Rector’s Office of the Georg-Augustus-Universität Göttingen [Gronau 2002].

Digital Image: Gronau [2002]

Literature: Grunert [1962], Gronau [2002].

Grunert appears to have lived in Insterburg before WW II, when this Vernet miniature was on display in the castle there. This small oil painting of Kant now hangs in the office of the university rector in Göttingen, but was originally owned privately, most recently by a Dr. Bercio, a prosecuting attorney in Insterburg (now: Chernyakhovsk, in the Kaliningrad Oblast), who left it to the local historical society upon his death in 1937, and where it was displayed in the Heimatmuseum in the old castle. Near the end of World War II the museum’s curator, Walter Gronau, while on leave from the army, took it out of its frame and put it in his wallet for safekeeping, after which he was redeployed to Bohemia, where he was captured by the Russians, sent to Auschwitz as a prisoner, and was eventually released, making his way to the west, where he gave the painting to the Schleswig professor La Baume. La Baume, in concert with Grunert, loaned the painting to the newly formed Gesellschaft der Freunde Kants in Gottingen (April 1949), where it received a new frame and was put on display at the university, in the Rektoratzimmer. Grunert quotes the informational plaque next to the painting:

“Immanuel Kant. Originalbild von Horace Vernet (1789-1853), Leihgabe der Altertumsgesellschaft Insterburg/Ostpr., der Gesellschaft der Freunde Kants in Göttingen am 1. April 1949 überlassen, von Prof. Dr. Götz von Selle dem Rektorat der Universität Königsberg durch die Georg-Augustus-Universität Göttingen).”

The only description given by Grunert is that the painting is done in oil and that Kant is shown wearing a white wig, with the “kurze Zöpfchen im Nacken” (presumably he means here the three curls seen on the side of the wig, since the Vernet miniatures do not show the hair-bag on the back.


1793: Vernet (Göttingen) [top]

name

Artist: Carl Friedrich Vernet? [see above]

Description: On the back: “Gemahlt den 24. August 1793”. Copy of Vernet.

Location: Göttingen (until 1930).

Digital Image:.

Literature: Forstreuter [1963, 31-32], Schneiders [2000].

Apart from the Harwardt copy of Vernet, Forstreuter also briefly mentions a Vernet copy dated 24 August 1793 that had been privately owned in Göttingen until 1930 when it was sold at auction, citing Theime-Becker, Künstlerlexikon, vol. 34 (1940). Clasen notes that this belonged to the "Ehlers Collection" (see entry for 1795: Springer).


1793: Harwardt (copy of Vernet) [top]

Harwardt

Artist: Johannes Gottlieb Harwardt (Königsberg).[1]

Description: Water-color miniature on vellum, oval, 3/4 profile. On the reverse: “Pinxit Harwardt 1793”. Copy of Vernet, although it is quite possible or even likely that Harwardt would have seen Kant in person.

Location: Holland (as of 1959, in the possession of Nijland-Verwey).

Digital Image: Nijland-Verwey [1959].

Literature: Nijland-Verwey [1959]; Forstreuter [1963].

Originally owned by Gottlieb Salomon (1774-1865), born in Danzig who matriculated at the university as a fourteen year old in 1791 (July 6)[2] in the philosophy faculty (“phil. cult”), but changed to medicine. He likely attended Kant’s lectures. Graduating in 1797, he settled in Leiden in 1802 where he established a medical practice. The painting passed from Salomon to Johannes van Vloten (1818-1883), who studied theology, philosophy, and literature in Leiden, and remained in that family to the present day.

The inscription on the back (“Pinxit Harwardt 1793”) may well be accurate, but Forstreuter notes that the image resembles the Vernet paintings like “one egg to another.” Kant’s coat is green instead of brown and the buttons differ, but the face is virtually identical. So this should be viewed as a copy painted by Harwardt of an early Vernet painting (before 1793).


1792-95/1804: Meckelburg (copy of Vernet) [top]

Vernet-Meckelburg

Artist: Copy of Vernet, either by Meckelburg (Schubert, Minden) or Vernet (Anderson).

Description: (from Erler [1910, xxxvii]) Pastel portrait on ivory (12.5 x 9 cm). The ivory is glued to a sheet of heavy paper, which was inserted into the Matrikel after p. 1110 (thus, just before the records of summer semester 1788, Kant’s second rectorate). On the painted oval frame is the inscription: ‘Immanuel Kant. Orbi datus 1724 24. April, ereptus 1804 12. febr.” The corners are gray with the oval itself tinted brown. Kant is portrayed almost in profile, wearing a brown coat with a white Spitzenjabot. The head is covered with a white wig. Erler notes that a letter from Carl Heinrich Hagen to the Academic Senate was also glued to this page, asking that this painting of Kant be included in the Matrikel and followed by the names of forty-eight students. This request was not unusual, but rather part of a practice of inserting the portraits (or coats of arms) of rectors into the Matrikel, and Erler provides a list [1910, xxxiv-xl], beginning with Johann Strimesius (1722) and ending with Christ. Aug. Lobeck (1836).

Location: Placed in the Königsberg matriculation book in 1804. The Matrikel is extant: Biblioteka Uniwersytecka w Toruniu (Torun, Poland).

Digital Image: (none)

Literature: Schubert [1842, 210], Minden [1862, 28n-29n], Erler [1910, xxxvii-xxxix], Anderson [1932].

Schubert [1842, 210]:[1]

“A quite pleasing little picture, painted with pastels on ivory by the Königsberg painter Meckelburg, a painter from Königsberg. It was presented to the Rector of the University on 28 September 1804 in the name of 48 students, with the request to have it bound in the large register book, which still exists and is a huge volume from the founding of this university (1544). The picture was placed, according to their wish, just before the inscription of the students during [Kant’s] first Rectorate.”

Minden mentions Mecklenburg [sic] as having copied Vernet, presumably drawing this from Schubert (although he misspelled the name) [1862, 28n-29n]:[2]

“At the same time, a very successful copy after Vernet (in pastel colors and ivory) by the Königsberg painter Mecklenburg [sic] should be mentioned here. This picture was presented in the year of Kant’s death (specifically, on 28 September 1804) and in the name of 48 students, to the then Rector of the University, with the wish that it be included in the matriculation book, where it has found a worthy place and still engages the viewer with its felicitous reproduction of the facial features.”

The documents reprinted by Erler [1910, xxxvii-xxxix] make no mention of the artist; Anderson [1932, 309] identifies (without discussion) this painting as Vernet’s (he does not address Schubert’s claim at all, although he does draw from Schubert’s accounts of the Kantian iconography).


1795: Springer (copy of Vernet) [top]

Vernet (1795)

(1)

Vernet (1795)

(2)

Artist: Friedrich Wilhelm Springer (1760-1805)[Lange 2006, 63].

Description: watercolor and gouache on unbacked vellum. Oval, 8.5 x 7.3 cm. On the back of the painting: “Springer Pinx: 1765”. Contemporary gild wood frame.

Derived from: Vernet (1792-95).

Location: Private? (Auctioned at Sotheby’s in London, 28 May 2015.) It appears as the frontispiece to volume 42 of Kant-Studien (1937), in which the Weinhandl essay appears.

Digital Image: (1) Frontispiece to Kant-Studien, vol. 42 (1937); (2) From the Sotheby website.

Literature: Degen [1924, 93], Weinhandl [1937], Lange [2006, 65].

The Sotheby website suggests that the Springer painting could be the basis of the various Vernet paintings; they are almost certainly related, although the relationship is likely the reverse. The 1765 date found on the reverse of the Springer painting – which motivates Sotheby’s claim that Springer is the original – is surely an error, as such a date places it before even the Becker paintings, and this image is clearly of an older Kant.

There was indeed a Königsberg painter by the name Friedrich Wilhelm Springer (1760-1805) and he also was a miniaturist on vellum, but he was only five in 1765; perhaps there was another Springer? Or perhaps the name is as spurious as the date seems to be.

Weinhandl discovered the original in the Purgstall archives in Schloß Hainfeld bei Feldbach in Styria (southern Austria). This makes the most likely provenance to be through Graf Wenzel Purgstall (1773-1812), who had studied with Reinhold in Jena, followed him to Kiel (1793-94), and then traveled to Königsberg in the summer of 1795 to meet Kant, staying about two months before leaving to study law in Göttingen. In September 1795, likely on his way to Göttingen, he gave a portrait of Kant to the Danish poet and Kant enthusiast Jens Baggesen. It would appear that Purgstall had hired Springer to make multiple copies of a Vernet original.[1]

Weinhandl conferred with Prof. Clasen (Rostock), to whom this painting was not known when he published his 1924 monograph on Kant iconography, and Clasen offered this assessment to Weinhandl [1937, 326]:[2]

It is undoubtedly a picture of the group associated with the miniaturist C. Vernet. The similarity in the arrangement of the painting, the clothing and the appearance with the portraits painted by Vernet is too great to classify the Hainfeld miniature differently […] The painter is most probably the miniaturist Friedrich Wilhelm Springer of Königsberg, who was born in 1760 and died in 1805 (Warda-Degen, Nachrichten von Königsberger Künstlern. Altpreuß. Forschungen 1924, p. 93) […] Portraits of Kant by Springer are otherwise not known. So the question arises whether the Hainfeld painting is a copy of Vernet or an original from life. In the latter case, however, Springer would have to be the original painter of the type previously attributed to Vernet. It is certain, however, that Vernet painted Kant in 1792 (testimony of Borowski, Kantbildnisse, p. 19). The portrait of Kant in the Ehlers Collection, auctioned in 1930, also bears the note that Vernet painted it on Aug. 24, 1793 […] We have no further information regarding either Vernet or Springer. Nor can it be determined whether C. Vernet comes from the famous French family of artists.


1795: Vernet [top]

Vernet (1795)

[flip]

Artist: C. Vernet. [see above]

Description: Oil painting on pergament (10.5 x 8 cm; in the frame: 13 x 10 cm) An oval miniature in a painted frame, with the inscription: “Immanuel Kant, nat, MDCCXXIV.D.XXII April - [blank left for the death date] Vernet pinx. MDCCXCV”. Possibly copied from an earlier portrait, but Kant’s face here is noticably older than, e.g., the “Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum” (or SPKB) portrait, so it might have involved a second sitting with Kant.

Location: Destroyed; previously on display in the Kant-Zimmer of the Stadtsgeschichtliche Museum Königsberg, on loan from the Altertumsgesellschaft Prussia.

Digital Image: Clasen [1924, Tafel 10]; also reproduced in Grimoni/Will [2004, 208].

Literature: Clasen [1924, 19-20], Anderson [1936, 10-11], Schneiders [2000], Grimoni/Will [2004, 206].

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

13. Miniaturen von Vernet. 1792. 1. Exemplar der Altertumsgesellschaft Prussia, Königsberg, Kantzimmer. Größe mit gemaltem Rahmen: 13 x 10 cm. Tafel 10. 2. Exemplar in Berlin, Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum [= Bode Museum]. Größe: 10.5 x 8 cm. Tafel 11.

Clasen [1924, 20]:[1]

The portrait of the Altertumsgesellschaft Prussia, painted as an oval miniature on vellum, shows the philosopher in three-quarter profile, as do all of Vernet’s Kant portraits. Lively blue eyes shine insistently at the viewer. The nose is somewhat thicker than in the Kant portraits of other artists, and the lips, surrounded by sharp wrinkles, seem more protruding. The costume consists, as usual, of a brown coat and vest, white collar with black tie and white ruff, plus a wig with braid and bow. The background and the painted frame have a gray-brown coloration.

Anderson includes an entry for this painting in his inventory of the Kantiana in the city museum [1936, 10-11]:[2]

Image of Immanuel Kant. Bust portrait by C. Vernet, miniature. Depicting Kant in a brown coat with wig. On the painted frame the inscription ‘Immanuel Kant April, nat. MDCCXXIV. D. XXII. April (the place for the date of death has been left empty). Vernet, pinx.’ The painting is on vellum. Size 10.5 x 12.5 cm. In an oval gold frame. According to Borowski, Kant was painted by Vernet in 1792. He made copies of the portrait that he sold to Kant’s friends and admirers. They also served as models for engravings and etchings. (See the images by Lips 1793 and Bolt, Berlin 1794.) The original can not be determined. That it would be artistically better than the copies makes it very probable [11] that the original artist’s picture is the one that shows the philosopher without a wig (see this).

Owner: Prussia Museum.


1792-95/??: Vernet (Claassens) [top]

Vernet (1792)

[flip]

Artist: Lambertus Antonius Claassens.

Description: Stipple engraving (Punktiermanier); at the bottom-left: "C. Vernet, pinx."; at the bottom-right: "L. C. Claassens, sculp." Sheet: 22.1 x 12.8 cm; Image: 13.5 x 9.4 cm.

Derived from: Vernet (1792).

Location: Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam).

Digital Image: Rijksmuseum

Digital Image: .

Literature: Minden [1868, 29].


1792-95/??: Vernet (Pauli) [top]

Vernet (1792-95)

Artist: C. Vernet. [see above]; Jan Willem Paulus (engraving)

Description: Engraving (7.9 x 5.5 cm).

Derived from: Vernet (1792).

Location: Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam).

Digital Image: Rijksmuseum

Literature: Clasen [1924].


1792/1793: Lips #1 (based on Vernet) [top]

based on Vernet (1792)

(1) [flip]

based on Vernet (1792)

(2) [flip]

based on Vernet (1792)

(3) [flip]

Artist: Johann Heinrich Lips (1758-1817/Zürich). Lips was a student of Johann Rudiger Schellenberg. From 1789-94 he taught at the Freien Zeicheninstitut in Weimar.

Description: Copperplate engraving (1793), from a miniature of Vernet; below the engraving: (left) “C. Vernet pinx”, (right) “J. H. Lips sculp”. Graphic: 16.5 x 12.6 cm / Sheet: 22 x 15.7 cm.

Location: Frontispiece to vol. 1 of the Allgemeinen Repertoriums der Literatur für die Jahre 1785-1790 (Jena, 1793). (NB: This frontispiece is missing from several copies that I’ve inspected, although HathiTrust has a digital copy – that includes the Kant engraving – of a volume held in the University of Iowa library.)

Derived from: Vernet (1792).

Derivations: Lips #2 (1794)[?], Hopwood (1819).

Digital Image: (1) Allgemeinen Repertoriums der Literatur für die Jahre 1785-1790 (held in the University of Iowa library); (2) Dibner Library of Science and Technology [see]; (3) Lange [2006, 70], who lists the artist as unknown; he cites Grimoni/Wills (p. 208) and an exemplar appears to be held at Museum Stadt Königsberg (Duisburg, now in Lüneburg), Inv. Nr. 237 [larger image]. An additional image is available online from the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art [see].

Literature: Borowski [1804, 96], Meusel [1808, 1: 573-76], Schubert [1842, 206], Minden [1868, 29], Clasen [1924, 19-20], Grimoni/Wills [2004, 206, 208], Lange [2006, 70].

Minden [1868, 29] writes:

14) Immanuel Kant. – C. Vernet pinx. – H. Lips(N) sculp. Medaillonform mit Ecken (H. 8 Z. 4 L. – Br. 6 Z.)

Note N: “Joh. Heinr. Lips geb. zu Kloten bei Zürich 1758, gest. zu Zürich 1817, Schüler des Joh. Rud. Schellenberg. – Lips stach noch ausser dem Portrait Kant’s (vor Bd. I. des allgem. Repertoriums der Literatur für die Jahre 1785-1790. Jena 1793. 4°), welches an Kunstwerth nächst dem Bauseschen das bedeutendste ist, die Bildnisse Göthe’s 1792 (H. 13 Z. – Br. 11 Z.) und Wieland’s 1793 (H. 13 Z. – Br. 11 Z.)”

Johann Friedrich Reichardt (1752-1814) wrote in his 1822 memoire:[1]

Kant was, both body and soul, an entirely dry man. There has perhaps never existed one so thin, so withered as his small body; never did a philosopher live so cold, pure, closed-up. A high, cheerful forehead, fine nose and bright clear eyes displayed his face to advantage. The lower part of this, on the other hand, was the most perfect expression of coarse sensuality, which showed itself to excess especially when eating and drinking. The picture from the Repertorium of the Allgemeinen Literatur-Zeitung expresses these characteristics also well enough, and is the best resemblance that we have of him.

Wenzel Johann Gottfried von Purgstall (1773-1812), an Austrian nobleman, visited Kant in the spring of 1795, and offers this account in a letter of 30 April 1795:[2]

His face and person looks most like the picture at the front of the Repertorium of the Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung and that hangs in Reinhold’s [bio] room.[3] Only he has, around his mouth and his light blue eyes, something mobile, fine, friendly, that is missing in the hard engraving. He walks bent over, his hair-bag always falls forward because he is a little crooked, and this results in his always making this maneuvre to push it back. […]


1792-95: Poll (based on Vernet) [top]

based on Vernet (1792)

Artist: T. V. Poll.

Description: Stipple and etching, from a miniature of Vernet; below the engraving: (left) “C. Wernet pi:”, (right) “T. F. Poll sc. A.V.”. Graphic: 16.5 x 12.6 cm / Sheet: 11.2 x 7.7 cm.

Location: British Museum [see]

Derived from: Vernet (1792).

Digital Image: Courtesy of The Trustees of the British Museum (London).


????: Pfenning (based on Vernet) [top]

Vernet-Pfenning

[flip]

Artist: Engraving: Pfenning; painting: Vernet

Description:

Location:

Digital Image: .

Literature:


1794: Bolt (based on Vernet) [top]

Bolt (1794)

[flip]

Hippel-BoltT.G. Hippel

Artist: Johann Friedrich Bolt (1769-1836; Berlin).

Description: Engraving (Diameter: 3 Z. 4 L), from a miniature of Vernet. Bottom-left reads: "Vernet pinx", bottom-right reads: "J. F. Bolt sc: Berlin 1794".

Derived from: Vernet (1792).

Derivations: Bollinger (1804?); Lehmann (1836), Anon.-1, Anon.-2

Location:

Digital Image: Frontispiece to Herbart [1811]. The Bolt engraving of Hippel (see right) comes from Deutsche Fotothek (Dresden).

Literature: Schubert [1842, 207], Minden [1868, 29], Clasen [1924, 19-20], Lange [2006, 66].

Minden [1868, 29] writes:

13) Immanuel Kant. – Vernet pinx. – J. F. Bolt sc. Berlin 1794. Medaillonform. (Diamet. 3 Z. 4 L.) [Dieser Stich, in punktirter Manier, befindet sich – nebst einer Abbildung der Stoa Kantiana – in der 1811 bei Friedr. Nicolovius erschienen Gedächtnissrede auf Kant, welche Herbart am 22. April 1810 zu Königsberg gehalten hat.]


1???: Anon.-1 (based on Bolt) [top]

Oil painting, copied from Bolt (1794)

[flip]

Artist: ??

Description: Engraving based on Bolt (1784).

Derived from: Bolt (1794), derived from Vernet (1792).

Location:

Digital Image: Mainz. (this appears to be a reversed image of the Bolt engraving in Herbart [1811]).


1???: Anon.-2 (based on Bolt) [top]

Oil painting, copied from Bolt (1794)

[flip]

Artist: ??

Description:

Derived from: Bolt (1794), derived from Vernet (1792).

Location: Deutsche Fotothek

Digital Image:

Literature:


1794: Lips #2 (based on Vernet) [top]

based on Vernet (1792)

Artist: Johann Heinrich Lips (1758-1817).

Description: Copperplate engraving, from the miniature of Vernet, opposite a similarly sized engraving of David Hume. Compare to the 1793 Lips engraving [see].

Location: Title-page of volume 1 of Carl Friedrich Stäudlin, Geschichte und Geist des Skepticismus, vorzüglich in Rücksicht auf Moral und Religion, 2 vols. (Leipzig, 1794).

Derived from: Lips #1 (1792) or Vernet (1795).

Derivations: Hopwood (1819).

Digital Image: From the title-page of the Stäudlin volume.

Schopenhauer apparently had this print hanging on his wall, along with three other engravings of Kant, as we learn from a letter of 25 September 1837 to Karl Rosenkranz in which Schopenhauer offers advice on which Kant portrait to use as a frontispiece to the upcoming edition of Kant’s collected writings [Schopenhauer1987, 169]:

“Concerning the portrait: twelve years ago, I knew a painter named Lowe, at that time already very old, formerly ‘Löwe’ and a Jew, who also gave me an autograph of Kant’s. Kant sat for a painting for him, which Kant himself mentions in a letter, printed in a collection of letters of Jacobi, Herder, Kant, and others, around 1826. Who can be more competent about physiognomy than this old painter? Now there are always in my room four copperplate engravings of Kant by Bause, Thilo, Lips, and Meno Haas. Lowe looked at them closely and said: “Only the one by Lips is a good likeness, but that one very much. You can also see the characteristic melancholy features, as if he had just said: ‘That’s how people are!’” – next to him is Hume, but even this great man looks clumsy and common next to that fine, witty face. The two heads are in medallions, very nicely engraved, my print is avant la lettre, the whole sheet eight inches. I therefore advise you to have your engraving made from this sheet, which certainly hangs in old friends’ houses in Königsberg, and must also still be available through art dealers. It is important to bring his true face to posterity, the most distant posterity.”

Literature: Schopenhauer [1987, 169]; Vaihinger [1901b, 144]; Lange [2006, 65-66 (illus.)].


1795: Schindelmayer (based on Vernet) [top]

based on Vernet (1792)

(1) [flip]

based on Vernet (1792)

(2)

Schindelmayer (1794)

(3) [flip]

Artist: Karl Robert Schindelmayer (c.1769-1839)[Lange 2006, 68].

Description: Copperplate engraving (1795), from a miniature of Vernet; below the engraving: (left) “Vernet pinx”, (right) “C. Schindelmayer sc”. Graphic: ?? 13.6 x 8.5 cm. It appears as a frontispiece in an edition of Kant’s Prolegomena (Grätz 1795 – Warda #79).

Derived from: Vernet (1795).

Digital Image: (1)-(2) Prolegomena ... (Grätz 1795); (3) Mainz.

Literature: Vaihinger [1899d], Lange [2006, 68].

.


1795: Tea-Cup (based on Vernet) [top]

Tea-Cup (from Vernet)

(1) [flip]

Tea-Cup (from Vernet)

(2) [flip]

Tea-Cup (from Vernet)

(3)

Artist: (from Vernet).

Description: Deckeltasse mit Unterschale (Bouillon-Tasse) der Königlichen Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin mit Miniaturmalereien in Grisaille, 1795. [Lange 2006]

Location: Museum Stadt Königsberg (Duisburg, now in Lüneburg).

Derived from: Vernet (1792-95).

Digital Image: (1) Lange [2004, 184], (2)-(3) Lange [2006].

Literature: Lagarde to Scheffner [AA 13: 392-93], Kant to Lagarde [AA 12: 14-15], Borowski [1804, 176], Lange [2004, 184-85 (illus.)], Lange [2006 (illus.)].

The Berlin publisher François Théodore de Lagarde commissioned the Royal Porcelain Factory in Berlin to manufacture this tea cup with lid and tea saucer. The set on display at the Museum Stadt Königsberg (Duisburg, now in Lüneburg) was given to Kant by Lagarde, in thanks for allowing him to publish Kant’s Critique of Judgment in 1790. Lagarde describes the porcelain and explains his motives in a letter (14 March 1795) to Kant’s close friend Johann George Scheffner [bio] in Königsberg, to whom Lagarde also sent the package for further delivery to Kant. Kant acknowledges the gift and thanks Lagarde in a letter two weeks later (30 March 1795). Borowski notes that “Long before his death he gave to his faithful friend, Deacon Wasianski, a porcelain teacup of exquisite value and bearing his picture” [1804, 176].

Having been given to Wasianski, it eventually made its way from Wasianki’s estate to the Kunstmuseum der Stadt Essen [AA 13: 393] and is now in the Ostpreußisches Landesmuseum in Lüneburg.


1804: Bollinger [top]

Bollinger

(1) [flip]

Bollinger

(2)

Artist: Friedrich Wilhelm Bollinger (1777-1825), Berlin [Lange 2006, 66-67].

Description: Engraving based on Bolt? (1784). Printed in “Zwickau bei Gebr. Schumann”.

Derived from: Bolt (1794), derived from Vernet (1792).

Digital Image: (1) Frontispiece to E. A. Ch. Wasianski, Immanuel Kant in seinen letzten Lebensjahren (Königsberg: Friedrich Nicolovius, 1804) – followed, in the same bound volume, by the Borowski and Jachmann biographies. (2) From the Wellcome Collection Wellcome Collection) in London. Their catalog lists this image as a stipple engraving by F. W. Bollinger (R. Burgess, Portraits of Doctors & Scientists in the Wellcome Institute, London, London 1973). The Wellcome Institute has several other engravings[1] by Bollinger of similar format and with the same publisher listed below (“Zwickau bei Gebr. Schumann”).

Literature: Minden [1868, 29],[2] Emundts [2000, 224 (illus.)], Lange [2006, 66-67].


1819: Hopwood-Logic (based on Vernet) [top]

Hopwood

[flip]

Artist: Hopwood (1819)

Description: Engraving; based on the engraving by Lips (1793), which is based on a miniature by Vernet.

Derived from: Lips (1793).

Location: Frontispiece to John Richardson’s 1819 translation into English of the Jaesche Logic (Kant 1800).

Digital Image: Richardson [1819]

Literature: John Richardson, Logic, from the German of Emmanuel Kant, M.A. (London: W. Simpkin and R. Marshall, 1819), vii, 243 pp.

In a brief biography of Kant included at the end of Richardson’s translation of the Jaesche Logic, Richardson writes [1819, 238]:

“He was of a little stature, his thorax or chest so narrow as scarce to leave room for the play of his lungs, and, when walking alone, in a thoughtful mood, stooped very much, especially in the decline of life. – The portrait sketched by Hopwood, which is the frontispiece to this work, is the copy of an engraving by Lips of Weimar from an original painting, a striking likeness of Kant at the age of seventy-one, by Wernet [sic] of Berlin”.

Many of Richardson’s biographical details of Kant are incorrect, but if we can believe the above description then the Lip’s engraving was based on a 1795 painting by Vernet. We also have this item from J. H. Muirhead:

“It was not till 1819 that we have, so far as I can find, any actual translation of Kant’s works. In that year John Richardson published in English Prolegomena to Every Future Metaphysic which can appear as a Science and Kant’s posthumous work on Logic, each with a reproduction of Wernet’s portrait of Kant at the age of seventy-one (probably the first to appear in England); the Logic with a biographical appendix.” [1927, 431]


1819: Hopwood-Prolegomena (based on Vernet) [top]

Hopwood

Artist: Hopwood (1819)

Description: Engraving; based on the engraving by Lips (1793), which is based on a miniature by Vernet.

Location: Frontispiece to John Richardson’s 1819 translation into English of the Prolegomena (Kant 1783).

Derived from: Lips (1793), Lips (1794).

Digital Image: Richardson [1819]. The pairing with Hume would seem to be derivative from Lips (1794). double-engraving.

Literature: Richardson [1819]


1836: Hopwood (based on Vernet) [top]

Hopwood

Artist: Hopwood (1819)

Description: Engraving; based on the engraving by Lips (1793), which is based on a miniature by Vernet. This appears to be identical to that used in the 1819 edition of Richardson's translation of the Prolegomena.

Location: Frontispiece to John Richardson’s An Enquiry, Critical and Metaphysical, into the Grounds of Proof for the Existence of God, and into the Theodicy, a Sequel to the Logic and Prolegomena, translated from the German of Immanuel Kant (London: 1836, although printed in 1819). [translation of??].

Digital Image: Richardson [1836].

Literature:Richardson [1836]. This volume has its own title-page and pagination, but is the last of three volumes bound together (entitled Metaphysical Works of the Celebrated Immanuel Kant, the other two being Kant's Logic and Prolegomena.


1???: Westermayr (based on Vernet) [top]

based on Vernet (1792)

[flip]

Artist: Konrad Westermayr (1765/Hanau-1834/Hanau), German painter and engraver, studied engraving under Lips in Weimar (1791)[see ABD].

Description: Copperplate engraving. At the bottom-left: "C. Wernet pin." and right: “¿ Westermayer fecit” (sheet: 15.4 x 9.9 cm).

Derived from: Vernet (1792).

Location: Heidelberg Universitätsbibliothek.

Digital Image: Marburg Bildarchiv

Literature: Lange [2006, 68].


1792?: Anon. #3 (copy of Vernet) [top]

based on Vernet (1792)

[flip]

Artist: Anon. copy of Vernet (1792).

Description:

Location:.

Digital Image:

Literature:


1792?: Anon. #4 (based on Vernet) [top]

based on Vernet (1792)

[flip]

Artist: Anon. based on Vernet (1792).

Description:

Location: Private possession (Baron Heinrich von Hammer-Purgstall).

Digital Image: Mainz (KS 42)

Literature: Weinhandel 1937.


1792?: Anon. #5 (based on Vernet) [top]

based on Vernet (1792)

Artist: Anon. based on Vernet (1792).

Description: The center-piece to an historical collage, prepared by (Conrad) Geyer & Derlinger

Location: Private collection.

Digital Image: Frontispiece to Oberhausen/Pozzo [1999].

Literature:


1826: Breysig (copy of Vernet) [top]

name

Artist: Johann Adam Breysig (1766-1831)[Lange 2006, 65]

Description: Watercolor on ivory (4.25 x 3.5 inches). On the back: “Immanuel Kant geb. d 22 April 1724 (illeg.) 12 (illeg.) Februar 1804/ Breysig fecit.” [Malter 1992].

Derived from: Vernet (1792-95).

Location: Privately owned, Raymond Agler/USA.

Digital Image: Emundts [2000a, frontispiece].

Literature: Vaihinger [1901b, 144], Malter [1992], Emundts [2000a], Emundts [2000b], Lange [2006, 65].

Vaihinger [1901b, 144]:[1]

A very good copy of a Vernet painting from 1826 is in the possession of the bookseller Richard Bertling in Dresden, who was kind enough to make it available to us for inspection. The painter of the miniature (9.0 x 4.6 cm) executed on ivory is J. B. Breysig, perhaps a son of the painter and architect Joh. Adam Breysig, who died in 1880 as director of the art school in Danzig. (Cf. Nagler’s Künstlerlexikon, 2: 188.)


1836: Lehmann (based on Vernet) [top]

Meyer's engraving from Vernet

[flip]

Meyer's engraving from Vernet

[flip]

Artist: Friedrich Leonhard Lehmann (†1848, Königsberg).

Description: Copperplate engraving, 14.6 x 9.5 cm (from Vernet).

Derived from: Bolt (1794), derived from Vernet (1792).

Location: Published in Preußische Provinzial-Blätter, vol. 18 (1837), between pp. 302 and 303.

Digital Image: (left) Lange [2006, 67] (originally from a copy in the Tübingen UB); (right) Preußische Provinzial-Blätter, vol. 18 (1837).

Literature: Schubert [1842, 207], Minden [1868, 29], Bezzenberger [1892, 232],[1] Lange [2006, 67 (illus.)].

Lange writes that “[t]he model for the head is unmistakably Bolt’s engraving” [2006, 67].

Minden [1868, 29] writes:

17) I. Kant. – F. Lehmann sc. In Königsberg. (H.5 Z. 6 L. – Br. 3 Z. 6 L.) [F. L. Lehmann, in Darmstadt geb., Schüler des alten Felsing, wirkte 18 Jahre hindurch an der Universität zu Wilna; kam nach Aufhebung derselben 1831 – auf Veranlassung des Professor v. Baer nach Königsberg und wurde hier als akadem. Kupferstecher bei der Universität angestellt. Er stach für v. Baer, Rathke etc. und starb am 13. Juni 1848 (s. Preuss. Provinzialbl. Alte Folge X. Nr. 325).]


1838: Mayer (based on Vernet) [top]

Meyer's engraving from Vernet

[flip]

Artist: Carl Mayer (1798-1868) (Nuremberg) [Thieme-Becker, 24: 464 (1930)].

Description: Steel engraving. Below, left: “Gem. v. C. Wernet” and right: “Stahlstich v. Carl Mayer. Nrbg.”

Derived from: Vernet (1792).

Location: Frontispiece to Immanuel Kant’s Schriften zur Philosophie im Allgemeinen und zur Logik (Leipzig 1838), ed. Hartenstein.

Digital Image: Digital image from Hartenstein [1838].

Literature: Hartenstein [1838 (illus.)], Minden [1868, 29],[1] Vaihinger [1901b, 144], Lange [2006, 69 (illus.)].


date?: Based on Vernet [top]

Meyer's engraving from Vernet

Artist: .

Description: At the bottom is a copy of Kant's signature – “Koenigsberg den 25ten Oct: 1773” – from a letter to the Berlin publisher Friedrich Nicolai [AA 10: 142]. Presumably this was chosen because Kant discusses in that letter the Schleuen engraving that Nicolai included as the frontispiece to Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek (1773), vol. 20, #1 – the first image of Kant to be published.

A facsimile of this letter is published in Künzel, Sammlung historisch-berühmter Autographen […] (Stuttgart 1845), Nr. 3. The words have been re-arranged for the purposes of this engraving, but otherwise appear to be from that letter (which at the time the 1922 edition of the Academy edition volumes of correspondence, the whereabouts of the autograph was unknown).

Derived from: Vernet (1792).

Location: A copy of this engraving is in the UB Leipzig (as of c.1990). Whether it was originally printed separately or as part of some larger work has not been determined.

Digital Image: .


date?: Based on Vernet [top]

Painted Vernet, with tear

Artist: .

Description: .

Derived from: Vernet (1792).

Location:

Digital Image: .


1793: Puttrich [top]

Puttrich (1793)-Marbach

(1)

Puttrich  (1793)

(2a) [flip]

Puttrich  (1793) from Forstreuter

(2b)

Artist: Johann Theodor [Gottlieb] Puttrich (matriculated at the university in Königsberg on 20 July 1793).[1] Minden [1868] reports (and Vaihinger [1906, 140] repeats) that Puttrich was an itinerant artist from Saxony (a sculptor named ‘Puttrich’ living in Rome in the 1830s was a great-nephew).

Description (of 1): Silhouette; ink brush, opaque and brown watercolor, heightened with white, on handmade paper (21.6 x 14.1 cm). The second silhouette closely resembles the first, but with differences, the most obvious being the placement of the rock below Kant’s foot.

Description (of 2): Silhouette, wash drawing in black ink (18 x 10.5 cm; sheet: 21 x 14 cm). Inscription: “Puttrich fecit”. Engravings were subsequently made of this drawing – Schubert suggests that Puttrich prepared his drawing for the Berlin engraver Berger [1842, 207]. Kant’s white stockings portrayed here bring to mind his comment in the Anthropology that “white stockings make the calves look fuller than do black ones” [AA 7: 137n].

Location: (1) Extant in the Schiller-Nationalmuseum (Marbach/Neckar) [online]. The museum acquired it from Georg Baesecke (1876-1951), who had been a professor of German studies at the university in Königsberg (1913-21) before being appointed as Professor and Chair of German Philology at Halle (1921). (2) Lost (presumably in the destruction of WW II). In 1906 it was still in the possession of the Altertums-Gesellschaft Prussia in Königsberg [Vaihinger 1906, 292], and would have originally been kept in the “Prussia-Museum” in the castle, although was eventually relocated to the City Museum, and was available in 1924 to Clasen (for reproduction in his 1924 publication). Anderson [1936, 13] lists it among the contents of Vitrine 30 in the Kant-Room of the City Museum.[2] Yet another copy of Puttrich’s silhouette was owned by the sculptor Rauch in Berlin, who used it to model his statue of Kant:

Rauch owns a very rare relic, a full-figure silhouette of the philosopher with his signature in his own hand. [Eggers 1855, 251]

This Puttrich copy has yet to be located.

Derivations: Berger (1798), Rauch (1864).

Digital Image: (1) Schiller-Nationalmuseum [online]. (2a) Clasen [1924] presents this as the actual drawing, and on the stone are the words “Puttrich fecit”; also reproduced in Schultz [1965, 48; 2004, 44]. (2b) Forstreuter [1932, Tafel 10 (illus.)]. The caption below the illustration refers to Unzer’s letter to Kant, and that letter is reproduced on plate 12; the Puttrich silhouette is plate 10 of the book.

Literature: Schubert [1842, 207], Eggers [1855, 251], Minden [1868, 29-30],[3] Vaihinger [1900b],[4] Vaihinger [1906], Clasen [1924, 24, Plate 16], Schöndörffer [1924, 231-32],[5] Kuhrke [1924a, 76 (illus.)], Forstreuter [1932, Tafel 10 (illus.)], Anderson [1936, 13], Essers [1974, 48].[6]

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

17. Zeichnung von Puttrich. Vor 1798. Königsberg, Altertumsgesellschaft Prussia, Kantzimmer. Blattgröße: 21 x 14 cm. Ein zweites Exemplar von ungefähr gleicher Größe im Besitze von Prof. Dr. Baesecke, Halle. Nach der Zeichnung wurde 1798 ein Stich in Punktiermanier angefertigt, der bei Unzer in Königsberg erschien. Tafel 16.


1798: Berger (based on Puttrich) [top]

Puttrich  (1793)

(1) [flip]

Puttrich  (1793)

(2)

Puttrich  (1793)

(3) [flip]

Artist: Daniel Berger (*25 Oct 1744, †17 Nov 1824) (Berlin)

Description: Aquatint based on Puttrich (1793). A print owned by the Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum has the dimensions 18.4 x 11.2 cm.

Location: Published by Unzer (Königsberg), November 1798.

Derived from: Puttrich (1793).

Digital Image: (1) Grimoni/Will [2004, 208],[1] (2) Wellcome Collection, apparently of the same published image as in Grimoni/Will; (3) frontispiece to Kant-Studien, vol. 11 [1906] – reproduction of the aquatint borrowed from Herr Arthur Gwinner (director of the Deutsche Bank in Berlin and a member of the Kantgesellschaft). Written beneath the image (used for the Kant-Studien reproduction) was a handwritten “Sehr ähnlich,” which Vaihinger assumes was written by one of Kant’s contemporaries.

Berger appears to have prepared a new aquatint after Kant died, given an advertisement appearing in the 1 December 1804 issue of the Hamburgische Correspondenten: “Kants Silhouette. In ganzer Figur, neu gestochen von Berger. 9 Gr.”[2]

Literature: Schubert [1842, 206], Vaihinger [1900b, 140, 292], Vaihinger [1906, 140, 292], Anderson [1936, 10],[3] Grimoni/Will [2004, 206, 208]

The Königsberg publisher August Wilhelm Unzer wrote to Kant on 17 Nov 1798 [AA 12: 263]:[4]

May you find it excusable that I accepted the offer of Rector Berger in Berlin and had a well-struck silhouette, after a drawing by Puttrich, engraved in wash! A favorable acceptance of the enclosed copies would make me incredibly happy and free me from the worry of your possible displeausure with what I have allowed myself.


179?: Based on Puttrich [top]

Puttrich (copy) (1793)

[flip]

Artist: Unknown, but derivative from Puttrich.

Description: Painted on ivory (3 x 1.7 cm; with the frame: 7.9 x 6.4 cm). The head appears to be copied from a Vernet portrait. Written on the back: “Bildniss des Philosophen J. Kant, gemalt in Königsberg. Geschenck meines Freundes Metzger aus Königsberg. Hdlbrg 1806. H. H. Moser.”

Location: In possession of Arthur Warda (Königsberg).

Derived from: Puttrich (1793) and Vernet (1792).

Digital Image: Kant-Studien, vol. 4 [1900], following p. 360, and discussed by Vaihinger [1900b] in the same issue.

Literature: Vaihinger [1899d, 1900b, 1906].

Vaihinger reports that this miniature painting, at the time in the possession of the Königsberg Kant scholar Arthur Warda [bio], was previously owned by Georg Heinrich Moser (1780-1858), Rector of the Gymnasium and Realschule in Ulm, and that he received it in Heidelberg (in 1808) from his friend Metzger from Königsberg – presumably Fredrich Daniel Metzger (born c.1783), the son of Kant’s colleague in the medical faculty.


1794: Mattersberger [top]

Mattersberger bust (1895)

(1a)
Rosenkranz

Mattersberger bust (1895)

(1b)

Mattersberger bust (1895)

(1c)

Mattersberger bust (1895)

(2a)
Tieftrunk

Mattersberger bust (1895)

(2b)

Mattersberger bust (1895)

(2c)

Mattersberger bust (1895)

(2d)

Artist: Josef Mattersberger (1755-1825); born 11 February 1755 in Dölach (Ost-Tirol), began his apprenticeship in sculpture as a 12-year-old in Salzburg, training further in Passau (1772) and Milan (1778-84), entered the service of the Russian ambassador Count Beloselksi in Dresden. He travelled to St. Petersburg and Moscow in 1794, returning west in 1799 and settling in Breslau to teach at the art school. He died there on 10 November 1825 [Meusel 1809; Vaihinger 1905; Mühlpfordt 1970, 116-17; Vogel 2015a, 236-37].

Description: Mattersberger passed through Königsberg during his travels to and from St. Petersburg, meeting with and sketching Kant at least in 1794 (given the ‘1795’ date on one of the busts) and possibly in 1799 as well (Mühlpfordt dates the sketch to 1790 but provides no argument for this [1970, 117]). The meeting with Kant was possibly mediated by the Russian Count Beloselsky, who had been corresponding with Kant – Schwarzbach notes that “in this period no sculptor worked without a contract” and one interested party with money would have been the Count [2020, 6].

Mattersberger prepared two separate and noticeably different forms for casting busts – the Rosenkranz-version and the Tieftrunk-version. Initially, the various castings were all in plaster (Clasen knew of only plaster casts), until a set of bronze castings (Tieftrunk-version) were made in 2004 (see image #2c, above) and in 2013 an iron casting (image #2d). The Rosenkranz-version is 63 cm tall (including the 17 cm pedestal), with “Kant 1724” on the shirt collar(?) [Hemdumschlag]. The Tieftrunk-version is 61 cm tall; on the backside: “Immanuel Kant Nat. d. 22. Aug. J. Mattersberger fec. 1795” [Clasen 1924, 21].

Clasen mentions both versions [1924, 20], but included photographs (#1a-1c, above) only of the bust putatively once owned by Karl Rosenkranz (1805-1879) – it was commonly known as the Rosenkranz bust – and in 1924 belonged to the State and University Library (Königsberg)[glossary]. This Rosenkranz-version is also pictured in Mühlpfordt [1970, 117] and Vogel [2015b, 58, illus. 33], but each using the Clasen reproduction. The Tieftrunk bust (#2, as pictured in Kant-Studien [1905] and on the cover of Anderson [1936]) gets its name from Johann Heinrich Tieftrunk [bio] an admirer of Kant’s and a professor at Halle who owned a bust of Kant, as we learn from his 5 November 1797 letter to Kant:[1] “Your friends here greet you warmly; also my wife, who with the young boys often gazes at your bust, wishes you all the best” [#787; AA 12: 219].

Location: Of the Rosenkranz-version, all the plaster castings appear to have been lost, although we have the photographs in Clasen [1924]. Of the Tieftrunk-version, the Halle sculptor Otto Rudolph made a mold (1880) from the bust owned by J. H. Tieftrunk and some of the plaster casts from Rudolph’s mold still survived in 1905 (although the mold itself had gone missing [Vaihinger 1905, 236-37]) – namely castings owned by Rudolph Stammler (1856-1938) (see image #2, above), Gerlach (Königsberg), and Gottschick (Tübingen).

In 2004, the Tieftrunk bust was used to create four bronze castings by the Kunstgießerei Lauchhammer, and one of these bronze casts is held at the Ostpreußisches Landesmuseum (Lüneberg), Inv. Nr. 547 (pictured here, #2c).

Derivations: Willich (1798), Thilo (1799).

Mattersberger bust in Kant-Zimmer

Kant-Zimmer
City Museum

Digital Image:

(1a-1c) Clasen [1924, Plates 12 & 13].

(2a) Kant-Studien, vol. 10 (1905), photograph of the Stammler cast (also at [AKG]).

(2b) Vogel [2015a, 197]: Illustration 26: “Otto Rudolph (Hallenser Stukkateur) nach Joseph Mattersberger, Büste Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), (nach der zweiten Fassung),1880. Gips, Kustodie der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle/Wittenberg, Foto: Ulrich Burkhardt”.

(2c) bronze casting made in 2004, ultimately from the Tieftrunk bust, reprinted in Grimoni/Will [2004, 10].

(2d) Vogel [2015a, 196]: Illustration 25: “Otto Rudolph (Hallenser Stukkateur) nach Joseph Mattersberger, Büste Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), (nach der zweiten Fassung), 1880/2013, Eisenkunstguss Lauchhammer (Neuguss), Privatbesitz, Foto: A. F. Schwarzbach”.

Vaihinger [1905b, 236-37] reprinted the Tieftrunk-version in the Kant-Studien (1905), noting in his article that copies of this bust were rare, but with no indication that there were different versions of the bust – Clasen [1924] appears to have been the first to mention this.

The City History Museum [glossary] owned a black Tieftrunk-version of the bust which was displayed on Kant’s writing desk in the Kant-Zimmer (see the photo here). Eduard Anderson, the museum’s director (1927-38), notes that the bust was thought to have come from Kant’s estate and that Clasen thought it was modelled from life, also noting that some of the castings bore a ‘1795’ date [1936, 16].

Mühlpfordt, who reproduces Clasen’s photo of the Rosenkranz-version, suggests that it was “probably owned by the philosopher Carl Rosenkranz, then ended up in the University Library, and then the City History Museum.” [1970, 117]. Presumably Mühlpfordt is mistaken in this last claim, since Anderson says nothing of a second Mattersberger bust at the museum, and the one he has is clearly a Tieftrunk-version. Mühlpfordt gives the dimensions of the Rosenkranz version (63 cm high), but then claims it is tinted black, although the photo he reproduces is the white plaster Rosenkranz bust shown in Clasen; he also claims the drawing stems from 1790 (without giving evidence) and that he made the bust in 1793.

Most puzzling is Gause’s brief discussion of the Mattersberger bust [1974, 124]. As the last director of the Kant-Museum (1938-45), he had daily access to the black copy of the Tieftrunk-version in the museum, and he surely also had ready access to Clasen’s photographs of the Rosenkranz-version – and yet he repeats Mühlpfordt’s claim that the bust in the Kant-Museum was owned by Rosenkranz, given to the University Library, which then passed it on to the Kant-Museum, with Gause adding that Kant had originally owned the bust. Apart from what appears to be a clear confusion of the white Rosenkranz bust photographed by Clasen and housed in the State and University Library with the black Tieftrunk bust photographed in the Kant-Zimmer of the City History Museum, Gause’s claim of Kant’s previous ownership is at least supported by an earlier comment by Vaihinger [1901c, 111n] that the innkeeper Meyer, who bought Kant’s house in 1804, also received the Becker(b) portrait of Kant as well as “a life-size bust of Kant on a high column, both of black stone or marble.” This was from a letter published in the Königsberger Hartungsche Zeitung (17 November 1898) by Meyer’s daughter, who also wrote:

“I know only that as long as the house was in my father’s possession, the bust also stood there; it is possible and probable, however, that when the property was later sold to Mr. Döbbelin Sr. the bust also passed into his possession, but I cannot say this with certainty.”

This is most probably the black plaster Mattersberger bust described in Anderson’s 1936 catalog of the holdings in the Kant-Zimmer, and that the daughter misidentified or misremembered the plaster bust as one made of stone. This is further supported by Anderson’s entry for the Mattersberger bust, which notes that it was traditionally thought to have come from Kant’s estate.[2]

Literature: Meusel [1809, 2: 18],[3] Schubert [1842, 210],[4] Minden [1868, 32],[5] Vaihinger [1901c, 111n],[6] Vaihinger [1905b, 236-37 (illus. as frontispiece) / pdf],[7] Clasen [1924, 20-21, 30, Plates 12 & 13],[8] Anderson [1936, 16, cover (illus.)],[9] Mühlpfordt [1970, 116-17 (illus.)],[10] Essers [1974, 52-53],[11] Gause [1974, 124],[12] Albinus [2002, 150], Grimoni/Will [2004, 10 (full page color illustration), 218], Speler [2005, 254],[13] Vogel [2015a, 196-97, 234 (illus.)], Vogel [2015b, 56-59 (illus.)], Schwarzbach [2015, 81-83 (Illus.)], Schwarzbach [2020, 4-8 (Illus.)]

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

14. Büste von Mattersberger. 1795. Mehrere Exemplare in Gips. Abgebildet ist das Exemplar der Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Königsberg. Tafel 12 (see image 1a, above) und 13 (see images 1b-1c, above).


1798: Willich [top]

Kant's Bible (silhouette)

Artist: ??

Description: Engraving, perhaps patterned after the Mattersberger bust (similar clothing and straight neck, but with shorter hair). Text below the profile: “IMMANUEL KANT, / The Founder of / The Critical Philosophy / Reg. Prof. of Logic & Metaphysics at Koenigsberg /BORN 22d of April 1724.”

Derived from: Mattersberger (1795)?

Digital Image: Appears as the frontispiece to A. F. M. Willich, Elements of the Critical Philosophy (London: T. N. Longman, 1798).

Literature:


1799: Thilo [top]

Engraving from Mattersberger bust (1895)

Artist: Gottfried August Thilo (*7 Mar 1766, †1 Mar 1855) was primarily a miniaturist and spent his long career primarily in Breslau, where he was born and had studied under the portraitist Braband (†1790). Joseph Mattersberger had settled in Breslau in 1799, having returned from a five year stint in Russia; Vogel [1905a, 238] suggests that he might have made a new sketch of Kant on this return journey.

Description: Medallion engraving. Bottom-left: “Mattersberger del.”; bottom-right: “A Thilo. sc. Bresl. 1799.” In large script, below: “Imanuel Kant / Professor der Logik und Metaphysik / zu Königsberg / daselbst gebohren d. 22ten April 1724. / in Breslau bey August Schall zu haben.”

Derived from: Mattersberger (1795).

Digital Image/Location: Frontispiece[1] to Georg Gustav Fülleborn, Museum deutscher Gelehrten und Künstler, in Kupfern und schriftlichen Abrissen (Breslau: August Schalls Buch und Kunsthandlung, 1800).

Literature: Fülleborn [1800], Schubert [1842, 206],[2] Minden [1868, 30], Hintze [1904, 119-36, 153-54], Vaihinger [1905b, 237],[3] Schwarzbach [2015, 81].

Minden [1868, 30]:

25) *Imanuel Kant, Professor der Logik und Metaphysik zu Königsberg, daselbst geboren d. 22ten April 1724. in Breslau bei August Schall zu haben. Mattersberger del. A. G. Thilo sc. Breslau 1799. Medaillonform (Diamet. 4 Z. 3 L.)


1796: Stägemann [top]

no image

Artist: Elisabeth von Stägemann née Fischer (1761-1835) [bio] was born in Königsberg, where she also grew up, likely encountering Kant over the years and then, after she was married (1780, to Graun), and especially in the early 90’s and after her divorce (1796) and marriage (1796) to Stägemann, she kept a salon in her home that attracted many visitors, including Kant. So she knew her subject. The puzzle with Stägemann concerns her drawing(s) or painting(s) of Kant. We know that she supplied a drawing to her friend Reichardt and which might be the basis for Hasse (1799) and a related colored engraving. There is also some reason to believe that she painted the otherwise anonymous Dresden (c.1790).

Location: Lost.

Literature: Stägemann [1846, 2: 223-24], Lind [1899], Lind [1900], Warda [1905a], Clasen [1924, 21-23], and Gause [1996, 2: 303-4], who briefly discusses the salon she kept.

History and Discussion: We have two engravings: (1) Haas (1799) and (2) anonymous-Haas (date?), a colored engraving by an unknown engraver. These engravings are clearly related, either sharing the same model (a now lost drawing or painting)[1] or else one serving as the model for the other – and both of them share a strong resemblance to the family of Vernet paintings/engravings. The only connection to Stägemann is through the Haas engraving, and this is indirect. Warda [1905a] argued that Haas is based on the (now lost) drawing by Stägemann based on her correspondence with Reichardt,[2] who had requested (1 Nov 1796) a drawing to be used for an engraving to appear in his Deutschland.[3] Less than three weeks after his request, along with a letter of 19 November 1796, she sent him the drawing, explaining that:

“All the paintings that we have of him here are nearly caricatures, and yet I have had to stick to them more or less, and otherwise used my imagination only to give the engraver a hint where he might deviate from the too strongly marked and distorted features in the usual drawings, without doing harm to the resemblance.” [Holtei 1872, 2: 162]

As it turned out, however, no such engraving ever appeared in Reichardt’s periodical. He wrote to Stägemann (17 Dec 1796) that he “immediately sent [her drawing] to Unger in Berlin for him to make arrangements with an engraver there. If there is still time this year!” – but apparently there wasn’t time that year and Deutschland’s last issue appeared that December. Three years later, in another periodical also published by Unger – volume 2 of the 1799 Jahrbucher der Preußischen Monarchie unter der Regierung Friedrich Wilhelms III – we find Hasse’s engraving of Kant.

That is the only connection we have between Stägemann and the Haas engraving (and thus also of the anonymous colored engraving), namely, that (1) a Kant drawing by Stägemann was sent to the publisher Unger in Berlin (November 1796), (2) Stägemann mentions to Reichardt that her drawing was based on paintings of Kant (and she would have had easy access to a Vernet miniature), and (3) Unger publishes the Vernet-resembling Haas engraving three years later (May-Aug 1799).

Warda argues that the image discussed in the letters could not possibly be the “1790 Dresden” painting as there was not nearly enough turn-around time (namely, if we take into account the days lost while the mail was in transit, Stägemann would have had only 7 to 10 days to complete the portrait). But perhaps more importantly: (1) she refers in her letter to a Zeichnung or drawing, not a painting, (2) she clearly notes her dependence on other paintings, but the Dresden portrait is unlike any other painting, and experts view it as based on an actual Kant sitting. If Stägemann painted the Dresden portrait, it was a separate effort from the one discussed in her correspondence with Reichardt.

Finally, Wilhelm Dorow (Reichardt’s nephew), who edited Stägemann’s Erinnerungen für edle Frauen, remarked in his preface:

Her talents for music and painting and her equally amiable and deeply educated mind were the reason that the noblest and wittiest men in Königsberg very soon gathered around her; even Kant especially honored this highly gifted woman. He found great pleasure in her sepia portraits “because – as he said – the spirit of the sitter speaks to us from it”; thus the great man was satisfied with his own picture that Elisabeth had [xi] made of him for Reichardt; Kant found it expressive, and wrote to Reichardt: “Yes, yes, that is me.”[4] [Stägemann 1846, x-xi]


1799: Haas [top]

Haas (1796)

(1) [flip]

Haas (1796)

(2)

Artist: Johann Meno Haas (1752-1835), an engraver in Berlin.

Description: Oval engraving (8.5 x 7 cm), with the inscription below: ‘Meno Haas s. Berlin 1799’.

Location: Frontispiece of the Jahrbücher der preußischen Monarchie unter der Regierung Friedrich Wilhelms III (1799), issue 2 (May-August).

Digital Image: (1) of the above; (2) Clasen [1924, plate 5].

Derived from: (possibly) a lost drawing by Elisabeth Stägemann (1796).

Literature: Minden [1868, 30], Warda [1905a], Clasen [1924, 21-23].

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

15. Stich von Meno Haas nach einer Zeichnung der Elisabeth von Stägemann. Um 1796. Titelporträt von Jahrbücher der preußischen Monarchie. Jahrg. 1799. Bd. 2. Bildgröße: 8.5 x 7 cm. Tafel 5.

Minden lists three engravings that do not fit into any of his seven groups;[1] one of these is Haas, for which he gives the following description [1868, 30]:

24) Immanuel Kant. – Meno Haas s. Berlin 1799. Medaillonform. (Diamet. 2 Z. 6 L.). [Titelportr. vor d. „Jahrbücher der preuss. Monarchie“. Jahrg. 1799. 2. Bd. Berlin 8°.]

Warda [1905a] argued that the engraving was based on a Stägemann drawing, as based on correspondence between Stägemann and Reichardt; that her drawing was done in November 1796 and then sent to Reichardt, who then sent it to the Unger Verlag (Berlin) to have an engraving made. Warda also pointed out, however, that the engraving bears such striking similarity to the Vernet miniatures, that some Vernet copy must have also served as a model for Haas’s engraving [see also Clasen, 21-22]. Minden viewed the engraving as unrelated to any other images with which he was familiar.


17??: Anonymous-Haas [top]

Stägemann (1796)

Description: This image is clearly related to Haas 1799, above. It appears to be a colored engraving.

Location: Lost?

Digital Image: Mainz (with a question-mark as to the artist involved).

Derived from: (possibly) a lost drawing by Elisabeth Stägemann (1796).

Literature: Lind [1899], Warda [1905a].


1798: Bardou [top]

Bardou (1798)

(1a)

Bardou (1798)

(1b)

Bardou (1798)

(1c)

Bardou (1798)-Kantstudien

(2a)

Bardou (1798)-Kantstudien

(2b)

Bardou (1798)

(3)

Bardou (1798)

(4)

Bardou (1798)

(5)

Bardou (1798)

(6)

Artist: Emanuel Bardou was born 4 January 1744 in Basel, died 7 June 1818 in Berlin. He was a student of Sigisbert Michel (Potsdam) and from 1775-86 worked at the Berlin Königlicher Porzellanmanufactur.

Description: Marble bust (45.5 x 29.5 x 24 cm (hwd); 34.2 kg). Kant is depicted in a Roman toga, without a wig. Inscription on the front: “Emanuel Kant”. Inscription on the back: “E. Bardou fecit 1798”.

Location: This bust remained with Bardou and after his death was given to the sculptor Christian Daniel Rauch (Berlin), who gave it in 1844 to his son-in-law Johann Samuel Eduard d’Alton (1803-54), an anatomy professor in Halle, who placed it in his garden, where it suffered from the weather – Clasen notes that the elements eroded about 2 mm from the surface.[1] It was bought and restored (1922) by the Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum in Berlin (Theodor Demmler, director), now known as the Bode Museum (Staatliche Museen Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz), in the Skulpturengalerie (2nd floor, room 258; #8321).

Derived from: Abramson (1784)? – as suggested by Demmler [1924a, 211]. Otherwise modelled from life, as suggested by Clasen [1924, 23-24], Anderson [1936, 16], and Mühlpfordt [1970, 13].

Digital Image: (1a-c) Clasen [1924], (2a-b) Kant-Studien (1924, vol. 29, following p. 320); (3) Deutsche Fotothek (Dresden); (4) Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Skupturensammlung und Museum für Byzantinische Kunst (earlier photograph); (5) SMB-digital; (6) Wikimedia (Bardou on exhibit in the Bode-Museum [Berlin], 12 Nov 2014). A full-page black and white reproduction also appears in Benninghoven [1974]. A photograph of the right-profile (similar to 1b, above) is reproduced in Mühlpfordt [1970, 14]. Also available through [bpk] (ID: 00082213).

Literature: Clasen [1924, 23-24, Plates 14 & 15], Demmler [1924a, 209 (illus.), 211],[2] Demmler [1924b, 316-20], Anderson [1936, 16],[3] Mühlpfordt [1970, 13-14], Essers [1974, 53-54],[4] Gause [1974, 125-26], Gause [1989, 189-90].[5] Kauark [2021, 139-42].

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

16. Büste von Emanuel Bardou, 1798. Berlin, Kaiser Friedrich-Museum [= Bode Museum]. Tafel 14 und 15.

History and Discussion: There is no record of the production of the bust nor of Bardou’s presence in Königsberg, so it remains an open question whether this bust can be considered “from life” or else derivative. Clasen argues that the features of the bust itself suggests that Bardou modelled it from life, and since he had a younger brother in St. Petersburg whom he had visited in 1777, one might plausibly conjecture that he made another visit in the late 1790s [1924, 24].[6] Demmler [1924a, 211] suggests that Bardou modelled the bust from the 1784 Abramson medallion, and also that [1924b, 318]:

Bardou in the Kant-Zimmer

Kant Room

There is no external evidence showing that Bardou was in Königsberg. A journey to Russia recorded in a note falls into a much earlier time. In Königsberg itself one searches in vain for his works or documents indicating his presence there.

(Warda had search the public records on Demmler’s behalf.)

A plaster copy[7] was acquired (1925) by the Stadtgeschichtliche Museum in Königsberg (see photo, right), later destroyed in the war [Mühlpfordt 1970, 14].


1961: Bronze copy of Bardou [top]

Bardou (1798)

Artist: Copy prepared by the Kunstgießerei der Staatlichen Meisterateliers Berlin (W. Füssel).

Description: Bronze bust (46 x 29 x 23 cm), prepared (c.1962) from the original marble bust.

Location: Museum Stadt Königsberg (Duisburg, now in Lüneburg), Inv.-Nr. 170. Another bronze bust was given (1961) to the city of Duisburg – Königsberg’s sister-city – by the Landsmannschaft Ostpreußen where it stood in a park. The museum also owns a plaster bust of approximately the same size, also based on the marble original.

Digital Image: Postcard from the Museum Stadt Königsberg (Duisburg).

Literature: Gause [1974, 125-26], Gause [1989 189-90], Grimoni/Will [2004, 218 (llustration of postcard)].


1994: Plaster copy of Bardou [top]

Bardou (1798), plaster copy

Artist: Copy prepared by the Gipsformerei Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Description: Plaster bust (?? x ?? x ? cm), prepared from the original marble bust, 1994.

Location: Deutsches Historisches Museum (Berlin), Inv.-Nr. ???.

Digital Image: Courtesy of Robert Clewis (July 2022).


1801: Hagemann-sketch [top]

Hagemann (1801)

(1)[flip]

Hagemann (1801)

(2)

Hagemann (1801)

(3)

Artist: Friedrich Hagemann (1773-1806)

Description: There are at least three early versions of this sketch: (1) the original 8 cm high sketch by Hagemann on a 16 x 9 cm sheet, that is reproduced in Clasen [1924, 27] and owned by the “Friends of Kant” society; apart from the figure, Clasen also quotes the inscription to the side (see the side-text on the smaller sheet with the drawn figure, in #3). From this was made at least two copies – (2) and (3) – with (2) appearing to bear the initials of the copyist (‘AR’)[1] to the right of Kant’s feet. (3) involves a copy of the Hagemann sketch on a sheet with the following text written vertically to the right:

“The figure of Immanuel Kant, while preparing mustard for his dinner guests, drawn by the sculptor Hagemann, during the time he was modelling Kant’s bust, in the year 1801.”

“Die Figur Emanuel Kants, wie er für seine Tischgenossen / den Senf zubereitet, gezeichnet von dem Bildhauer Hagemann / zur Zeit er dessen Büste modellirt, im Jahr 1801.”

This sheet with the sketch and caption is attached to a larger sheet, on which is written, possibly in the same hand (clockwise from the top):

Immanuel Kant / Hagemann … In the same size … 1801 / “Kant used mustard with nearly every meal…” (see Iman. Kant geschildert in Briefen an sinen Freund von R. B. Jachmann. – Kbg. b. Fr. Nicolovius. 1804. p. 167). / From an Original Sketch by the Sculptor

Immanuel Kant / Hagemann … In derselben Grösse … 1801 / “Des Senfs bediente sich Kant fast zu jeder Speise…” (s. Iman. Kant geschildert in Briefen an sinen Freund von R. B. Jachmann. – Kbg. b. Fr. Nicolovius. 1804. S. 167). / Nach einer Original=Skizze des Bildhauer

Both copies – (2) and (3) – appear to be independent of each other, copied either independently from the original, or from some other copy of the original. (2) follows the original more closely than the other, but also depicts Kant’s right hand gripping the pestle. This was the sketch that appeared in the 24 August 1844 issue of the Leipzig Illustrirte Zeitung (as part of a 7 pp. spread on the occasion of the university’s 300th anniversary).[2]

Location: Lost (presumably destroyed in 1944). In Clasen’s day, this sketch belonged to the Gesellschaft der Freunde Kants and was kept in the Kant-Zimmer of the city library, until the contents of that room was moved to the first floor of the newly opened city museum (in the recently vacated Kneiphof town hall). The description in Anderson’s 1936 inventory of the Kantiana in the city museum matches Clasen’s description of the drawing, except that Anderson lists the owner as the Prussia-Museum.[3] The only item in his inventory listed as the property of the “Gesellschaft der Freunde Kants” was a sample of Kant’s hair preserved between two plates of glass. The Essers description [1974, 48-49] is of #3.

Derivations: Bils (1843).

Digital Images: (1) Clasen [1924, 27], (2) Illustrirte Zeitung (1844), 3: 121. (Caption: “Immanuel Kant, nach einer Originalzeichnung von Hagemann.”); also Schultz [1965, 27], [2003, 25], (3) source? [Hagemann(2) is also available through akg-images.]

Literature: Minden [1868, 30],[4] Clasen [1924, 27 (illus.), 30],[5] Kuhrke [1924a, 83 (illus. of #2)], Anderson [1936, 13],[6] Essers [1974, 48-49],[7] Malter/Staffa [1983, 26].

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

19. Zeichnung von Fr. Hagemann, 1801. Königsberg, Gesellschaft der Freunde Kants. Blattgröße: 16 x 9 cm, Höhe der Zeichnung: 8 cm. Abb. im Text, S. 27.


after 1843: Bils [top]

Bils lithograph (1801)

Artist: Friedrich Heinrich Bils (1801-1853), born in Potsdam, living in Königsberg since 1833.

Description: Lithograph from an original sketch (22 x 16 cm). Originally published in 1846 by Wilutzki (Königsberg)[Anderson 1935, 37-38], the version shown here is published by Voigt & Fernitz (Königsberg), and this latter version is what was in the Prussia-Museum (later moved to the City Historical Museum) as well as the Rijks Museum (pictured here). Does the Wilutzki version also include the text from Kant’s Mittagsbüchlein?

This lithograph clearly borrows from Hagemann’s sketch, Kant now bent over a lectern reading a book with the words: “Kritik der gesunden Vernunft”. Below and to the left of the sketch: “Nach einer Orig. Skizze gez. u. lith. Bils.” and to the right: “Königsberg bei Voigt & Fernitz”; below this: “EMANUEL KANT. / geb. d. 22. April 1723, gest. d. 12. Febr. 1804.”; below this, a facsimile from one of Kant’s little “memory books,” the entry dated Wednesday, the 20th of April [1803]: “Freytag (Übermorgen / den 22sten) trete ich mein 80stes Jahr an / wozu mich meine gütige Freunde gütigst aufnehmen wollen. IK.”. Printed below this: “(Facsimile aus Kant’s Tagebuch.)” Kant’s birth-year should read ‘1724’.

The publisher (Voigt u. Fernitz) was formed in 1843, when Leo Voigt bought J.F.W. Bornträger’s company [Gause 1996, 2: 469], and Anderson dates the original Wilutzki print to 1846.

Location: Various. Museum Stadt Königsberg (Duisburg, now in Lüneburg)(Inv. Nr. 1196). Copies also in Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig, Stohmann-Tietz Sammlung (Inv. Nr. K/487/2006); Rijks Museum Amsterdam (Object Number: RP-P-2015-26-1764).

Derived from: Hagemann (1801)

Digital Image: Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam).

Literature: Schubert [1842, 207], Minden [1868, 30],[1] Katalog des Prussia-Museum [1894, 43],[2] Degen [1924, 96], Hochdorf [1924, 128-29] Anderson [1935, 37-38, 39],[3] Anderson [1936, 20],[4] Grimoni/Will [2004, 206, 208].


1801: Hagemann-bust [top]

Hagemann (1801)-Königsberg version, in Kaliningrad (photo Werner Stark?)

Königsbg.
(1a)

Hagemann (1801)-Königsberg version, in Kaliningrad (photo Werner Stark?)

Königsbg.
(1b)

Hagemann (1801)-Hamburg version

Hamburg
(2a)

Hagemann (1801)-Hamburg

Hamburg
(2b)

Hagemann (1801)-Hamburg

Hamburg
(2c)

Hagemann (1801)-Hamburg

Hamburg
(2d)

Artist: Friedrich Hagemann (1773-1806, Berlin).

Description (and History): Five marble busts were based on a clay model prepared by Friedrich Hagemann in 1801. Of these, two are known to be extant, while we have plaster copies of two of the others. The first two of these busts were finished in 1801 and are here referred to by their initial location: (1) the Königsberg version was chiseled by Schadow (lost since 1948, but with various plaster copies extant, including one kept in the Kant Museum in Kaliningrad, shown here) and (2) the Hamburg version by Hagemann (extant in Hamburg). (3) Schadow (see below) chiselled another bust in 1808 (extant in the Walhalla memorial near Regensburg). (4-5) Siemering (see below) based two marble busts (1879, 1892) on either Hagemann’s clay model or else on Schadow’s Königsberg bust (both of Siemering’s marble busts were destroyed or lost in 1944/45, but multiple plaster copies are extant).[1]

Academic Senate Room, New University

Senate
Room

One question is whether Schadow’s Königsberg bust had a pedestal[2] like the plaster copy shown above (image #1) and like Hagemann’s Hamburg bust; or was it without a pedestal, like the Siemering marble copy of the Königsberg bust? Fortunately we have a photo[3] of Schadows’s original marble bust on display in Königsberg, shown here (right) as a detail from a postcard of the Academic senate room in the new university building (opened in 1862 on the Paradeplatz). While most of the plaster copies made of the Königsberg bust were given pedestals, the plaster copies made of Siemering’s marble copy are faithful to the general format of Schadow’s Königsberg bust.

We also have two engraved representations of the Königsberg bust: as it was displayed in the newly built Stoa Kantiana (1811) and then as it appeared in the newly remodeled Auditorium maximum[4] (remodeled in 1821; the engraving is from 1844) of the old university building. (The image below these is of the north side of the cathedral showing the full length of Scheffner’s Stoa. One can see that it is an open arcade, with either end enclosed with a window. Kant’s tomb is at the far left.)[5]

Large Auditorium (1844)

Auditorium maximum
(1844)

Stoa Kantiana 1811

Stoa Kantiana
(1811)


Friedrich Hagemann, an assistant in Johann Gottfried Schadow’s Berlin studio, arrived in Königsberg in January 1801 and Kant sat for him between January 14 and 16, during which Hagemann prepared a clay model bust. In an undated note to himself, Kant wrote:

War-Councilor Müller, the Chief Building Director who lives in the castle, requests that the sculptor Hagemann from Berlin – who has come here just to make my bust – should decide when this takes place. Requests that this business be carried out on Mondays [January 12 was a Monday], around 10 to 11. Shall be made of white Carrara marble.

Herr Kriegsrath Müller, Oberbaudirektor, wohnhaft auf dem Schloß, verlangt, daß der Herr Bildhauer Hagemann aus Berlin, der blos darum hergekommen ist, um meine Büste abzunehmen, die Zeit dazu bestimmen solle, wenn dieses geschehe. Verlangt daß Montags um 10 bis 11 dies Geschäft verrichte. Soll von weißem cararischen Marmor verfertigt werden. [qtd. in Reusch 1848, 8]

Stoa Kantiana 1811

Stoa Kantiana and Dom

Back in Berlin, Schadow chiseled the marble bust sent to Valerian Müller in Königsberg (the original commission) and Hagemann chiseled a bust sent to Jonas Ludwig von Heß in Hamburg, which is now in the Hamburg Kunsthalle.[6] The Hamburg bust depicts a noticeably older Kant, which Clasen connects to Scheffner’s anecdote:

We learn from Scheffner’s autobiography a detail regarding the production of the bust which is perhaps not wholly unimportant and could help explain the minor differences between the two busts. When Hagemann asked [26] the philosopher whether he should portray him accuratedly, he replied: ‘You must not make me as old and ugly as I now am.’ It appears Hagemann let Kant’s wish influence him, at least with the Königsberg bust, for it is clearly outdone in realistic details by the Hamburg bust, which indeed would never be seen by the philosopher and thus was independent of his wishes. [Clasen 1924, 25-26]

In all, these five marble busts (and the 1804 medallion by Loos) used Hagemann’s no-longer extant clay model (which was presumably available in Schadow’s Berlin studio):[7]

• Schadow (Königsberg marble bust,[8] 1801; 52 cm high), without a pedestal and with softened facial features. Chiselled from white Carrara marble, it was displayed on a base of blue Silesian marble bearing the inscription: “Immanuel Kant. Sapienti amicorum pietas” [Hagen 1833, 294; Reusch 1848, 293; Schubert 1842, 208].

• Hagemann (Hamburg marble bust, 1801; 51.5 x 23 x 26.5 cm), on a square-pedestal with scrolls. An elderly Kant is much more apparent here.

Loos (gold and silver medallions, 1804)

Schadow (marble bust, 1808; 52 cm [Stark]), without a pedestal, also with neither hair nor garment.

Siemering (marble bust, 1879, 1892).

Digital Images: (1a-b) Photos by Werner Stark of the plaster Kant bust in the Kant-Museum in Kaliningrad; (2a-2c) Clasen [1924] (the Hamburg bust); (2d) Hamburg Kunsthalle (Photo: Elke Walford) [online]

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

18. Die Büsten von Friedrich Hagemann, 1801. 1. Exemplar: Hamburg, Kunsthalle. 2. Exemplar: Königsberg, Universität. Nach dem Tonmodell von Hagemann meißelte Schadow seine Kantbüste für die Walhalla. Tafel 17 und 18.

Location (of the Königsberg bust): Lost. Originally commissioned in 1800 by the Building-Councillor Valerian Müller (1771-1839) through a subscription of Kant’s friends and admirers,[9] the bust was made available for display at the head of Kant’s casket in the cathedral (28 February 1804)[Böckel 1804, 22],[10] then again at Kant’s memorial service in the large auditorium of the Albertina (23 April 1804)[Warda 1924, 11-12]. Müller’s original plan was to place the bust inside the Cathedral next to the wall where Kant’s tomb lay on the other side, but that seems never to have happened; the bust was eventually placed with Kant’s tomb in the newly renovated Stoa Kantiana, unveiled once again at the chapel’s public dedication (22 April 1810) – “chapel-like and separated by a lattice, marked by a golden star on the stuccoed east wall” [Hagen 1833, 293] – then moved into the newly-renovated large lecture hall (or “Auditorium Maximum”) of the Albertina (1821) (alongside busts of Friedrich Wilhelm III, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, and C. G. Hagen – see the image above-right), then in 1862 to the Senate Room in the new university building on the parade grounds.[11] Mühlpfordt claims that the bust survived the bombing in 1944 and after the Soviet occupation of Königsberg was discovered relatively undamaged by the surgery professor Oskar Ehrhardt in the rubble of the university building. He brought it to his room in the Elisabeth Hospital on Ziegelstraße, but was unable to take it with him during his evacuation from the city in 1948 and it has been lost ever since. [Hagen 1833, 291-94; Mühlpfordt 1970, 87, 252; Gause 1974, 124-25; Malter-Staffa 1983, 35-36; Stark 2004]

Copies of the Königsberg bust (versions A-C)

Hagemann (1801)-Königsberg

Getty
(Kaliningrad)

Hagemann (1801)-Königsberg

IK Museum
(Kaliningrad)

Hagemann (1801)-Mainz photo

Mainz
(Kaliningrad)

Hagemann (1801)-Königsberg

Lange
(Kaliningrad)

Hagemann (1801)-Königsberg

Malter/Staffa
(Kaliningrad)

Kant-Mainz

Mainz
(#102)

(A) Plaster copies by the Atelier Gebrüder Micheli (Berlin) appear to have been made and sold since the mid-19th century. This Berlin studio[12] was selling a life size bust and a foot-tall statue of Kant in their 1868 catalog (see below). Malter/Staffa [1983, Tafel 5] includes a photograph of just such a plaster bust that belonged to the Immanuel Kant Museum (Kaliningrad) and that is now housed in the south-tower of the Cathedral (see photos) in front of a print depicting the 1880 exhumation of Kant’s grave (on the north side of the Cathedral) – see Kant’s Skull, below. The first of these images comes from the Mainz, Kant-Ikonographie collection, and is there listed as: “102. Büste nach Hagemann”.

Mainz photo of Hagemann copy in Kaliningrad

Mainz
(Kaliningrad)

Mainz photo of Hagemann copy in Kaliningrad

Mainz
(Kaliningrad)

Saturgus Garden House

Saturgus
Garden House

This same plaster bust was photographed in front of a bookcase of books stemming from the Wallenrodt Library [glossary] and which had been brought from Moscow (where they had been transported after the war) back to Kaliningrad in 1974 on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of Kant’s birth [Lange 2002; Stark 2004] and several photographs are included on the Mainz website of this bust on display in the newly opened (in 1974) Kant-Museum in the university building in Kaliningrad (see right). Malter/Staffa [1983, 65-69] claim that this copy of the Königsberg bust that is now in the Kaliningrad Kant museum (and that is depicted in several photographs in their volume) is the same that was once on display in the Saturgus Garden (alongside busts of Herder, Goethe, and Schiller – see photo, left, from Mühlpfordt [1970, 249]).

On the back of the bust, at the bottom: “G. Schadow fec.”, and below that on the back of the pedestal: “1724-1804 / Gebr. Micheli. / Berlin.” This copy is identical to the Micheli copy housed in Balliol College (Oxford) as reported by Malter [1988, 131].

Hagemann (1801)-Königsberg/Balliol-Pedestal

Pedestal
Gebrüder Micheli

Hagemann (1801)-Königsberg/Balliol

Balliol
(Oxford)

The Balliol College bust was originally displayed in the college library and now (2022) is in one of the fellow’s rooms. Malter was informed that it was part of a collection of philosophy busts from the 19th century, which is attested in the correspondence of Benjamin Jowett,[13] Master of Balliol in 1885 when the bust was acquired. The description of this bust, found in a 1925 catalogue of portraits at Balliol, reads:

Bust, less than life size, in plaster, coloured red; short hair; clean-shaven face; loose drapery over bare neck. Base inscribed GEBRÜDER MICHELI, BERLIN. 25 in. high. (Lower Library.)[14]

While described as red in the catalogue, recent photographs of the bust (June 2022) show the usual white plaster and with inscriptions on the back identical to the Micheli copy in the Immanuel Kant Museum in Kaliningrad.

Hagemann (1801)-Königsberg

Ost-Pr. Mus
(Lüneburg)

(B) A different version of the Königsberg bust cast by the Atelier Gebrüder Micheli is shown on a postcard (see right) listed in Grimoni/Will [2004, 228]; the postcard is owned by the Museum Stadt Königsberg (Inventory-Nr. 23047).[15] The bust displayed on this postcard stems from the Königsberg marble bust, but is clearly a different casting than the copies in Kaliningrad and Balliol College; it also differs from (the Goethe Museum plaster copy of) the Siemering marble bust.

(C) Mühlpfordt [1970, 111] reports that Katherine Hobson-Kraus (née Hobson) (1889-1982) prepared a plaster cast of the Königsberg in 1924 that now belongs to the Gesellschaft der Freunde Kants in Göttingen. She also prepared a smaller porcelain copy of the bust that was on display in the Kant-Zimmer in Königsberg [Anderson 1936, 22] until its destruction in 1944.

Location (of the Hamburg bust): Hamburger Kunsthalle. Gift (1866) of Thusnelda von Hess née Hudtwalcker (1784-1866) of Hamburg.

Copies of the Hamburg bust

At the Nationalgalerie (Berlin), as part of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Inv. Nr. B I 239) – a bronze casting (50 x 23.5 x 24 cm). On the back: “F. Hagemann / fecit”.

Derivations of Hagemann (clay model): the two marble busts chiselled by Schadow (Königsberg) and Hagemann (Hamburg) discussed here, as well as: Loos (1804), Schadow (1808), Siemering (1879, 1892), Rauch (1864).

Literature: Mortzfeldt [1802, 107-8],[16] Zeitung für die elegante Welt, 13 Jan 1803 (col. 41),[17] Borowski [1804, 96], Bockel [1804, 22],[18] Meusel [1808, 1: 341],[19] Scheffner [1816, 264, 306],[20] Heß [1816, 234], Hagen [1833, 291-97],[21] Schubert [1842, 207-8], Reusch [1848, 292-93],[22] Schadow [1849, 71],[23] Schadow [1864, 61],[24] Minden [1868, 31-32], Bessel Hagen [1880, 5, 25-26], Kupffer/Bessel Hagen [1881, 369],[25] Armstedt/Fischer [1895, 196-97], Boetticher [1897, 344],[26] Thieme-Becker [1907, 15: 458],[26a] Stettiner [1908, 167],[27] Clasen [1924, 25-26],[28] Demmler [1924a, 212],[29] Warda [1924, 11-12],[30] Mühlpfordt [1970, 86-87],[31] Essers [1974, 55-56],[32] Gause [1974, 124-25], Malter/Staffa [1983, 35-36, 65-69, Tafel 5], Peitsch [1979, 47],[33] Malter [1980 / pdf], Malter [1981b / pdf],[34] Malter [1988, 130-31], Grolle [1995], Grimoni/Will [2004, 218, 228], Stark [2004], Lange [2005].


1804: Loos [top]

Loos

(1)

Loos

(2)

Loos

(3)

Loos

(4)

Loos

(5)

Artist: (Daniel) Friedrich Loos (15 June 1735 [Altenburg] - 1 October 1819)

Description: Medal (Diameter: 4.2 cm; Weight: 26.33 g), silver. [Also cast in gold.] On the front: “IMMANUEL KANT NAT D XXII APR MDCCXXIV / OBIIT D XII FEBR MDCCCIV” with a left-profile of Kant’s bust. On the back: “LUCIFUGAS DOMUIT VOLUCRES ET LUMINA SPARSIT,” with the image of a human (philosophy) with wings and holding aloft in each hand a burning torch, above each of which is a star, standing in a chariot drawn atop the clouds by two owls. The bust of Kant is clearly modelled after Hagemann.

Location: Various. Munzkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Ident. Nr. 18249085); an iron and a bronze model are at the Ostpreußisches Landesmuseum (Lüneburg), the iron model pictured in Grimoni/Will [2004, 221]; silver model at the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam). Three copies – bronze (4.2 cm), iron (4.0 cm), and silver (4.15 cm) – on display in the Kant-Zimmer of the Stadtgeschichtlichen Museum were lost in 1944.

Derived from: Hagemann (1801).

Digital Image: (1-2) Rosenkranz/Schubert [1842, 11.2, frontispiece]; (3-4) Munzkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (photographer: Reinhard Saczewski); (5) Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam).

Literature: Anon., Intelligenzblatt of the Jenaischen Allgemeinen Literaturzeitung [1804, issue 93, col. 768], Meusel [1808, 1: 579], Anon., Freimüthige [28 August 1804, 2: 168], Schubert [1842, 209],[1] Anderson [1936, 14-15], Kisch [1977, 14], Essers [1974, 51],[2] Malter/Staffa [1983, 27],[3] Grimoni/Will [2004, 221].

History and Discussion: An account of this medallion appeared in the Intelligenzblatt of the Jena Allgemeine Literatur-Zeitung (1804, No. 93, col. 768):[4]

The front side shows the portrait of the great reformer of philosophy, fashioned after the exquisitely successful bust of the local sculptor Herr Hagemann, which he prepared from life two years ago. It stands on a flat cube. The costume is taken from the busts of the ancient philosophers. The inscription gives the name, date of birth, and date of death: “Immanuel Kant. Natus (born) d. 22 April 1724. Obiit (died) d. 12 Februar 1804.”

On the reverse is a genius, the enlightening victorious philosophy. He stands on a chariot, to which two owls are harnessed. The owl has always been a light-avoiding bird which, even in ancient Athens, came into the company of the goddess of wisdom only by an accidental peculiarity of the place where Pallas Athena was given a favorite seat. Miverva forced these birds to her service, but neither favors nor loves them. She harnesses them to her chariot. This idea is ancient; one finds Minerva herself driving in this way on ancient coins and gems. She forces the lonely birds of the night to serve this genius, sent by Minerva, as it were, floating through the air and triumphantly holding up two torches in his hands. A star sparkles above each of them as a sign that true wisdom shines here.

The inscription indicates the power and the beneficence of the true philosophy so effectively restored by our Kant: “Lucifugas domuit volucres, et lumina sparsit.” In English: “He conquered light-shy fowl and scattered radiant light.”

The idea, and the inscription, are from the information of the most famous antiquities researcher, Herr Böttiger from Weimar, current Electoral Saxon Court Counselor in Dresden.

This commemorative coin, made by Friedrich Loos, is available from the Royal Court Medalist Daniel Loos, residing in the Französisch Strasse No. 21. It costs 3 Rthlr. for silver and 50 Rthlr. for ducat gold.

The ‘Böttiger’ providing the coin’s design and inscription was Karl Böttiger (1760-1835), an archeologist of Greek and Roman antiquities and an important figure in Goethe’s Weimar. A writer for Der Freimüthige, a Berlin paper, responded to the above account in its 28 August 1804 issue:[5]

It is droll, very droll, that someone from the Jenaische Literatur-Zeitung (which for some time has been suffering from a general absence of spirit), in its Intelligenz-Blatt, gloried in the fact that this idea and inscription [of the medallion] came from a non-friend of Kant’s followers, from the famous archaeologist Böttiger. He did not notice that this medal, by praising Kant, is the bitterest satire on his stupid followers and devotees. The enlightener’s chariot is pulled by creatures who are incapable of enjoying its light. Can anything be clearer? [1804, #172, 2: 168]


1808: Schadow [top]

Schadow

Artist: Johann Gottfried Schadow (1764-1850).

Description: Bust of Carrara marble (61.5 x 30.2 x 22.4 cm). Chiselled in the front: “IMMANUEL KANT”; in the back: “G. SCHADOW. FEc. 1808”. Completed August 1808 from Hagemann’s clay model and Knorre’s death mask.[1]

Location: Walhalla memorial (near Regensburg, Germany), Kat. Nr. 84.

Derived from: Hagemann (1801) and Knorre (1804).

Digital Image: Digital image by Bill Barber (24 Aug 2007).

Literature: Schadow [1849, 99-100],[2] Schadow [1864, 111-12], Clasen [1924], Mackowsky [1951, 187-88 (illus.)], Essers [1974, 56], Steger [2011, 517-18].

History and Discussion: The Walhalla memorial – a neoclassical “hall of fame” overlooking the Danube near Regensburg – was conceived and sponsored by Ludwig I of Bavaria, partly in response to the incursion of the French across the Rhine, and was to include busts and plaques of German-speaking individuals important to the life of German culture. Kant was among the first eleven individuals to be sculpted by Schadow (others included Friedrich the Great, Copernicus, Wieland, and Leibniz) [Steger 2011, 36].

As noted in Clasen’s Verzeichnis, the clay model that Hagemann used to prepare his two marble busts [see] was also used by Schadow to chisel the bust on display at Walhalla.

Essers [1974, 56]:[3]

Hagemann’s teacher, Gottfried Schadow, highly praised his bust: “The best is Immanuel Kant by my assistant Hagemann, who traveled to Königsberg for this purpose and so was able to reproduce the head of this philosopher from life.” In its overall conception, Hagemann’s Kant bust is similar to Bardou’s. Both chose a trapezoidal, pillar-like bust platform. A piece of garment hangs around the chest, but so short as to be barely recognizable as a himation. The neck is slightly protruded and the head slightly tilted to the left and turned to the right. The converging gaze of the eyes, whose pupils are not indicated, is directed to the right. The shape of the head and the hairstyle match Bardou’s bust, but everything is more pronounced and sharply highlighted, and the face more fleshy. The uniform firmness of the facial parts creates the impression of rigidity. Because Hagemann gave Kant’s individual features a more solid form than Bardou, the tension between reproducing the living human and the aspiration from antiquity to present a permanently valid representation appears more clearly in his work.

When Gottfried Schadow was commissioned by Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria in 1807 to create a bust of Kant for the Walhalla – the hall of fame of great Germans near Regensburg – in the form of a herm with a bare chest, he relied on Hagemann for the design of the face and on the plaster cast of the entire head that Knorre had made immediately after Kant’s death. [Esser’s Note: J. G. Schadow, Kunst-Werke und Kunst-Ansichten, Berlin 1849, p. 95; Hans Mackowsky, Die Bildwerke Gottfried Schadows, Berlin 1951, pp. 184, 187, ill. p. 188.] In order to cast Kant’s head better, his hair had been cut off beforehand, and Schadow adopted this baldness of the death mask for his bust. He engraved the facial features as Hagemann reproduced them, but more deeply and without smoothing. The cheeks and temples are more sunken. The facial features are not connected in the sense of a mental or emotional expression, almost giving the impression of a death mask. The baldness of the skull and the nakedness of the bust make the hardness of the facial features even more prominent. Because Schadow lacked a living image of Kant, it was difficult for him to find a vivid expression for the sitter to convey.


1879 / 1892: Siemering [top]

Hagemann (1801-Königsberg version)

(1a)
Peiser

Hagemann (1801)-Königsberg version

(1b)
Peiser

Hagemann (1801)-Königsberg version (from Stark)

(1c)
Peiser

Hagemann (1801)-Königsberg version

(2a)
Stabi

Hagemann in the Rara-Lesesaal of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Unter den Linden

(2b)
Stabi

Hagemann in Archive of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences

(3)
BBAW

Hagemann in Archive of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences

(4)
Fr.W.K.

Siemering

(5)
Dresden

Siemering

(6)
Weimar

Artist: Rudolf Leopold Siemering (1835-1905), born in Königsberg, founded his studio in Berlin in 1861.[1]

Description: Mühlpfordt [1970, 165] and Gause [1974, 125] both claim that Siemering prepared two marble busts – in 1879 [Lange: 1880] and in 1892 – using the Königsberg bust as his model, although Stark suggests that Siemering would more likely have used the clay model in Berlin [2004, 348]. NB: The busts shown here are all plaster copies made in 1924 by the Gipsgießerei of the Kunstakademie (Königsberg), presumably of the 1879 Siemering marble bust [Stark 2004, 348]. Six copies were made [Grimoni/Will 2004, 218]; five are shown here, although the Weimar bust is half the size of the Peiser bust and so must stem from a separate casting.

Siemering’s marble bust and its plaster copies are commonly mistaken to be copies of Schadow’s Königsberg bust – for instance, Boetticher [1897, 344] refers to the 1879 marble bust by Siemering as being by Hagemann – but these two versions are relatively easy to distinguish, since the Siemering bust and its plaster copies are all without a pedestal, which requires the torso to have thicker sides and around which Siemering extended the folds of Kant’s gown. Schadow’s Königsberg bust, while also without pedestal, has flat sides, and the plaster copies of Königsberg that are on a pedestal have only tapered sides.

Aula of the Friedrichskollegium, 1924

Friedrichskollegium (Aula)

Kant Zimmer, City Museum

City Museum (Kant-Zimmer)

Location: Both of the Siemering marble busts were lost in 1944. Our only photographs of the 1879 bust is of it on display in the New Chapel (1881) and then later in the Kant-Zimmer of the City Museum (both shown here). Photo (7) shown to the right is listed on the Mainz website as Hagemann’s Königsberg bust, but appears instead to be of the Siemering marble copy; if so, this would be a second photograph we have of this bust. The 1892 bust can be seen, if not clearly, in a photograph of the Aula of the new building of the Collegium Fridericianum at Jägerhofstraße Nr. 6, alongside a bust of Herder (also by Siemering), and was destroyed or lost during WW II.[2]

Grabcapelle 1881

New Chapel
(1881)

Grabcapelle 1881 (postcard)

New Chapel
(postcard)

Grabcapelle 1881 (postcard)

New Chapel
(Zentralblatt)

Grabcapelle 1881 (Heydeck engraving of the exterior)

Exterior
(Heydeck)

1879Siemering-Mainz

(7)
(Mainz)

The first marble copy was presumably commissioned for the opening (9 June 1881) of the new Gothic chapel, where it was placed on Kant’s grave in front of a fresco reproduction of Raphael’s School of Athens on the east wall. (A granite plaque in the floor immediately in front of the bust can be seen in both the engraving and the photographs shown here;[3] the inscription is reproduced in the engraving.) When the 1881 chapel was replaced in 1923-24 by the (current) structure designed by Friederich Lahrs, the bust was moved to the Kant-Zimmer of the Stadtbibliothek (in the Albertinum), and finally to the newly-opened Stadtgeschichtliches Museum (shown here) in the vacated Kneiphof Rathaus in 1927. This 1879 copy survived the bombings of 1944 – the last reported sighting (by an unnamed employee of the museum) was of it lying in the street across from the Kneiphof town hall, where it had been stored in a bunker [Lange 2005]; it is hard to imagine Kant’s bust, however damaged, being abandoned in the street by someone there to assess the status of the artifacts. In any event, it is now lost.[4]

Digital Images (all are of the plaster casts made in 1924, modelled on either the 1801 Königsberg bust or the Siemering 1879):

(1a) Grimoni/Will [2004, 218] (Peiser plaster cast, 52 cm high).

(1b) found on Wikimedia [Mussklprozz, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE].

(1c) a photo of the Peiser plaster cast on display in front of a reproduction of Raphael’s “School of Athens” during the 2004 exhibition at the Museum Stadt Königsburg in Duisburg (see) – see the double-spread photo in Grimoni/Will [2004, 193-94] (thanks to Inna Rezchikova for spotting this).

(2a) Biehahn [1961, Abb. 46] (Berlin plaster cast in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Unter den Linden; Biehahn thought it was likely based on Hagemann’s original clay model). Additional images (both front and side) can be found in Grolle [1995, 32-33].

(2b) As displayed atop a high bookcase in the new Rara-Lesesaal of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Unter den Linden (photo courtesy of Robert Clewis, 2022).

(3) Website of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences: among the 628 art objects in their collection (December 2022) is the plaster bust of Kant (shown here among a selection of their busts).

(4) Friedrichswerder Church in Berlin (photographed in 2005, found on Wikimedia; another view can be found in Lange [2000, 25]).

(5) Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Skupturensammlung (ASN 3449)[see], plaster cast (51.0 x 32.5 x 27.0 cm), lists Hagemann as the sculptor.

(6) Goethe-Museum, Weimar. This is a plaster copy of (presumably) the Siemering marble copy; 21.2 x 13.2 x 11.8 cm (about half the height of the original).

Plaster Copies

(1) Lüneburg: the “Peiser cast” held by Museum Stadt Königsberg[5] (Duisburg, now in Lüneburg; Inventory-Nr. 1547; 52 x 33 x 21 cm) – a gift from E. Peiser (1972). Its image can be seen in Grimoni/Will [2004, 218] and above (image #1a).

(2) Berlin: The Rare Book room of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Unter den Linden.

(3) Berlin: Archive of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences.

(4) Berlin: Friedrichswerder Kirche.[6]

(5) Weimar: Goethe-Museum (Inv. #Kg-2014/840).

(6) Greifswald: at the university (not pictured).

Derived from: Hagemann (1801).

Literature: Armstedt/Fischer [1895, 197],[7] Boetticher [1897, 344],[8] Kuhrke [1924a, 101 (illus. of bust in chapel)], Anderson [1936, 15],[9] Biehahn [1961a, 127-28],[10] Biehahn [1961b, 42],[11] Mühlpfordt [1970, 163-65],[12] Gause [1974, 125],[13] Malter/Staffa [1983, 34], Schmidtke [1997, 319], Lange [2000, 25], Stark [2004, 348], Lange [2005].[14]


1802: Baltruschatis [top]

Baltruschatis (1802)

Artist: C. H. Baltruschatis

Description: Pencil and ink drawing (9.5 x 7.5 cm) in a Stammbuch, with “Baltruschatis fecit” written in the bottem-right corner of the sheet. On the faching page is an entry from Kant: “Ad poenitendum properat, cito qui indicat. I. Kant. d. 16 Ianuarii 1802.” This is a Latin saying that Kant often wrote in Stammbücher: “Hasty judgment is soon regretted.”[1] The Stammbuch consists of 38 other entries (including one by Kant’s fellow professor, Karl Ludwig Pörschke), on 163 numbered pages, with four unnumbered sheets and the front and the end. Bound in leather, on the front cover are the initials “C.H.B.” and on the back cover the date “1802”. The sheet with Kant’s profile was later glued into place, opposite the page with his entry. Nothing is known of the artist, but is assumed to be the owner of the book – “C.H.B.” – presumably Carl Heinrich Baltruschatis, who matriculated on 30 March 1798.[2]

Location: Extant (UB Mainz).

Digital Image: Mainz.

Literature: Richter/Malter [1981, 261-69 (illus.)], Malter [1983a (illus.) / PDF].


1804: Knorre (Kant’s Death Mask) [top]

Knorre

(1a) (A)
(Clasen)

Knorre

(1b) (A)
(Clasen)

Knorre

(2) (C)
(Humboldt)

Knorre

(3) (C)
(Carus)

Knorre

(4) (D)
(Tartu)

Artist: The portraitist Andreas Knorre (1763-1841) was born in Berlin and since 1800 a teacher at the provincial art school in Königsberg, where he died [Ulbrich 1932, 253]. The lithograph of the Berlin copy of the death mask is by Ernst Moritz Krantz (1812-1869) [Lange 1999, 10].

Description: Plaster death masks (29 x 19 x 23 cm) prepared from a mold of Kant’s head and neck by Knorre on the day of Kant’s death. Clasen [1924, 27] knew of three copies: (A) State Archives Königsberg, (B) Altertumsgesellschaft Prussia, and (C) Berlin Anatomical Museum. A fourth copy – (D) Tartu Anatomy Department – was discovered by Stolovich [2011, 79], who did not know of its provenance but speculated that it was sent to G. B. Jäsche [bio], a younger associate of Kant’s who in 1802 had assumed a teaching position at Tartu (at the time called Dorpat). This was either a fourth copy made with Knorre’s mold, or a copy of one of the original three. In any event, Stolovich provides evidence that it had been in Tartu at least since the 1930s.

Location: Various. (A) was in excellent condition (at the time of Clasen [1924]) and housed in the Staatsarchiv in Königsberg. (B) was owned by the Altertumsgesellschaft Prussia and had been badly damaged [Bessel Hagen 1880, 17] then restored [Clasen 1924, 27]. (C) is in the Anatomical Collection of Humboldt University (Berlin), Ident.-Nr. 7806 [website]. (D) watches over the cadavers in the dissection room of the Department of Anatomy, Tartu State University [Stolovich 2011, 78-80].

A plaster copy was made – probably from (A) – that was displayed in the city historical museum [Anderson 1936, 16] and which can be seen in several photos of the Kant-Zimmer there – but this copy along with (A) and (B) were destroyed in August 1944. A plaster copy of (D), the Tartu mask, was prepared (1986) and is owned by the Museum Stadt Königsberg (Duisburg; now in Lüneburg), Inv. Nr. 1546, of which there is a full-page photograph in Grimoni-Will [2004, 44]

Derivations: Schadow (1808).

Digital Images: (1a, 1b) Clasen [1924], (2) Humboldt University; (3) Carus [1845, Tafel 1]; (4) Stolovich [2011].

Literature: Carus [1845, Tafel 1],[1] Bessel Hagen [1880, 17], Clasen [1924, 27, Plate 19], Degen [1924, 97], Anderson [1936, 16],[2] Mühlpfordt [1970, 104-5, 120-21], Malter [1983b], Malter/Staffa [1983, 65],[3] Lange [2000], Lange [2004b, 44 (full page photo of the Tartu copy now in Lüneberg), 47 (reprints of #1a/1b, above), 48 (two photos of Charité original mask), 50 (photo of Tartu mask), 51 (photo of the Kaliningrad copy of the Tartu mask), 52 (photo of a later Kaliningrad copy)], Stolovich [2011, 78-80].

History and Discussion: Clasen reported that three separate plaster-casts of Kant’s head were prepared by Andreas Knorre directly after Kant’s death on February 12, 1804 (he was unaware of the Tartu copy). One cast was acquired by the Berlin sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow, who used it when preparing the Kant bust commissioned for the Hall of Honor in the Walhalla memorial in Regensburg [above] and this is the cast now held in the Anatomical Collection of the Humboldt University (Berlin). The Tartu cast was likely sent originally to G. B. Jäsche, who taught there.

Knorre

Kaliningrad

Knorre

The death mask on display in the Kant Museum Kaliningrad is a copy sculpted freehand, modelled after the Tartu mask [Stolovich 2011, 80].

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

19. Kopfmaske. Abgeformt von J. Knarre [sic]. Königsberg, Staatsarchiv. Tafel 19.

Clasen [1924, 27]:[4]

A mold was made of the philosopher’s head immediately after his death by Knorre, a professor at the Königsberg School of Art, and three copies were cast of a bust-like mask. One of these masks ended up in the anatomical museum in Berlin. A second, in the possession of the Altertumsgesellschaft Prussia, was badly damaged and recently restored. The third is in perfect condition and is preserved by the State Archives in Königsberg.


1864: Rauch Monument [top]

Rauch monument

(1)

Rauch Memorial c.1864

(2)

Rauch Memorial c.1864

(3)

Kantplatz c.1880

(4)

Photograph of the Kantplatz from the Schloß

(5)

Photograph of the Kantplatz with Schloß

(6)

Rauch Monument in front of the new university)

(7)

Rauch Copy)

(8)

Artist: Christian Daniel Rauch (1777-1857), a student of Schadow’s in Berlin. Apart from drawing on the Puttrich silhouette and a copy of the Hagemann bust, Rauch was in Königsberg in 1798 for the coronation festivities and saw Kant in person.[1]

Lessing and Kant, Friedrich's Memorial (Berlin)

(10)

Lessing and Kant (model for Denkmal)

(9)

Description: Bronze statue of Kant (9 feet high) resting on a granite pedestal of equal height; a scaled-up copy of the Kant statue included in the Friedrich’s memorial in Berlin (see images #9 (the frontispiece to Paulsen [1898]) and #10 (the backside of the Friedrich II monument in Berlin).

Location: Lost, but possibly somewhere in Moscow [Mühlpfordt 1970, 131]. Completed in 1857, unveiled in Königsberg on 18 October 1864 across the street from the castle and just around the corner south of Kant’s former house (some old buildings were first removed, and the castle moat filled); this area was now called ‘Kant-Platz’. A street widening project in 1885 led to the monument’s relocation to the south-west corner of the Paradeplatz – just a block north of Kant’s house and where he would take his walks in his last years.[2] The statue was removed and hidden during World War II to the Dönhoff estate, but could not be found after the war. In 1992 (June 27), at the instigation of Marion Dönhoff, a replica was prepared by Harald Haacke and installed on the same granite pediment in the Paradeplatz.

Derived from: Puttrich/Berger[3] (1793/1798), Hagemann[4] (1801).

Digital Images:

(1) Engraving in: Illustrirte Zeitung (Leipzig), 29 October 1864, p. 305, accompanying an article about the unveiling.

(2) Wellcome Collection [online]. Steel engraving by Ed. Wagner, from a photograph by B. Schwartz, c.1864. Printed by C. Koehler jun. (17.5 x 13.5 cm); Museum Stadt Königsberg (Inv. Nr. 1139); reproduced in Grimoni/Will [2004, 211].

(3) From the collection of Werner Stark (book or periodical not identified). A page number ('197') is centered above the engraving; below is the caption “Kant’s Denkmal in Königsberg”, and to the right, the engraver’s mark: “XA. v.W A.sc.” (not identified).

(4) Hand colored woodcut by Adolf Cloß, from a drawing by Gustav Schönleber (1881) (13.5 x 20.5 cm), Museum Stadt Königsberg (Inv. Nr. 1139); reproduced in Grimoni/Will [2004, 247]. Woodcut shows the Kant-Platz looking north (with the castle directly behind the viewer). The new post office is seen at the far left, and the tower behind the statue belongs to the Altstadt Church. The back-side of the roof of Kant’s house (which was directly across Prinzessin-Straße from the post office) can be seen at the far-right.

(5) Photograph looking north from the castle, also reproduced in Schultz [2003, 63] with the caption: “Das Kant-Denkmal in Königsberg. Bronzestatue nach einem Entwurf von Christian Daniel Rauch von 1858, um 1864 aufgestellt, 1884 versetzt. Rechts im Hintergrund Kants Wohnhaus in der Prinzessinstraße, in der Mitte die Altstädtische Kirche von Karl Friedrich Schinkel, links das Postgebäude. Foto um 1880”.

(6) Boetticher [1897, 44][5] with the caption: “Abb. 26. Äußere Ansicht des Welstflugels; phot. v. C. E. Schlunk in K.” Photograph looking south toward the western facade of the castle (top), the Rauch monument (bottom-center); Kant’s house is out of the frame, directly below the center.

(7) Rauch’s monument was moved to the Paradeplatz (Stüler’s new university building is seen in the background) [source?].

(8) Benninghoven [1974]: Kant statuette, copied from Rauch’s monument; see also the photograph of a plaster copy in Grimoni/Wills [2004, 219], prepared by Michail Duniman, 1992 (53.5 cm), Museum Stadt Königsberg, Inv. Nr. 1155.

Literature: Abegg [1976, 179], Rosenkranz [1852], Hagen [1855a], Eggers [1855, 251-53], NPPB [Anon., 1864], KHZ [Anon., 20 Oct 1864, p. 2000],[6] Armstedt/Fischer [1895, 78-79 (illus.)], Paulsen [1899], Mühlpfordt [1970a, 130-31],[7] Mühlpfordt [1970b], Schultz [2003, 63 (illus.)], Grimoni/Will [2004, 211, 242, 247].

A visit to Rauch’s studio was published in the 19 July 1855 issue of the Berlin Deutsches Kunstblatt and includes several paragraphs on the Kant statue [Eggers 1855], of which the first:[8]

In still other rooms, each of which could be named after the models of earlier works found in them, the master’s students are at work. One of them was busy copying the model of Kant’s colossal statue for a smaller replica, so that it could form a similarly-sized counterpart to Rietschel’s Lessing. An earlier replica of the philosopher in the same size stood next to Rietschel’s work, and it was an immensely attractive sight to see these two great men represented by equal sculptors. A strange contrast: the stately, well-built Rauch shaping the physically weak and lean figure of the silent thinker; the slighter, gentle Rietschel creating that polemical quintessential man, standing there in his familiar way so frank and free, so devastatingly significant. As clue to the Kant model, Rauch owns a very rare relic,[9] a full-figure silhouette of the philosopher with his own handwritten signature. The appearance is similar to that of the Friedrich monument, with the modifications allowed by the alone-standing figure. The thinker is depicted in the costume of his time. The left hand grasps the cane and three-cornered hat – the latter, of course, must not cover the forehead, that abode of thought; the right hand is raised as if he were teaching. Thus is he to be erected in Königsberg at the place that bears the name of the Philosophers’ Walk after him.[10]

1880: Kant’s Skull [top]

skull

(1)
(Clasen)

skull

(2)
(Rosenow)

skull

(3)
(Rosenow)

skull

(4)
(Rosenow)

skull

(5) Plaster
(Berlin)

skull

(6) Plaster
(Tartu)

Description: Kupffer/Bessel Hagen [1881] provides an extensive description of Kant’s skull. The photographs of the skull were prepared by P. Rosenow.

Location: Kant’s skull is buried on the northeast side of the cathedral in Kaliningrad. There are at least two plaster copies: one in University Museum in Tartu [Stolovich 2011, 80], the other is in the Institut für Anatomie, Berlin Charité (Inv.-Nr. N.C. 957).

Digital Images: (1) Clasen [1924] (reproduction of #4); (2-4) Kupffer/Bessel Hagen [1881] (these are photographs of Kant’s skull); (5) Lange [1999, 5] (photograph of a plaster cast held in the Berlin Charité, Institute for Anatomy); (6) Photograph of a plaster cast held in the Tartu University Museum, Historical Medical Collection (more images are available on their website).

Literature: Kupffer [1880, 217-19], Bessel Hagen [1880, 10-11], Kupffer/Bessel Hagen [1881],[1] Clasen [1924, 27, 29, Plate 20], Kuhrke [1924a, 102 (illus. of exhumation)], Anderson [1936, 16],[2] Mühlpfordt [1970, 120-21], Lange [1999], Lange [2000], Lange [2004b, 55 (reprint of #4, above), 57 (two photos of the Charité plaster cast)], Stolovich [2011, 80].

skull

Holding Kant’s
Skull

Kant-Zimmer

Kant-Zimmer
City Museum

Kant-Zimmer

Kant-Zimmer
City Library

History and Discussion: The photographs of Kant’s skull are the only photographs ever made of him. They were taken after an exhumation of Kant’s grave in July 1880 under the direction of Professor Heydeck. A local artist by the name of Meyke made a plaster cast of the skull at that time that was owned by the Prussia Museum [Mühlpfordt 1970, 120-21]. We have photographs showing this plaster skull on display in a vitrine of the Kant-Zimmer [glossary], in both the Stadtbibliothek and then later in the Stadtgeschichtlichen Museum in Königsberg (where it is listed in Anderson’s 1936 catalog as being on the east wall of the Kant-Zimmer). Anderson [1936] also includes a photograph of him holding the plaster cast for a visiting Japanese scholar.

Grabmal-Heydeck

1880 Exhumation

Heydeck made a now-lost chalk-sketch of the exhumation from which various engravings were prepared.[4] The woodcut shown to the left (prepared from a painting by Heydeck, according to its caption) was published in Wernick [1890, 61].

Mühlpfordt identifies the individuals portrayed in the exhumation as follows: Heydeck (in the grave) is handing Kant’s skull to Emil Arnoldt, and the from the left are Baumeister Hueter, Oberlehrer Dr. Witt, Professor Dr. Walter, Particulier Schmidt, bent over in front of him the Academy Director Ludwig Rosenfelder, standing with his legs spread the anatomist Kupffer, and behind him to the left the city-archivist Wittich, to the right state-archivist Rudolf Reicke, to the right of the grave and holding Kant’s lower jaw, the anatomist Albrecht; behind him the medical student Fritz Bessel Hagen; far behind the later Oberbürgermeister Hermann Hoffmann; and to the far right, the sculptor Eckhard.

Kant’s skull was discussed exhaustively in terms of Gall’s phrenology, although making use of Knorre’s death mask of Kant, rather than the actual skull [Kelch 1804].

Clasen Verzeichnis [1924, 30]:

21. Schädel. Nach den Abbildungen im 13, Bande des Archivs für Anthropologie. Tafel 20.


1892: Doerstling [top]

Doerstling (1892)

(1)
AKG

Doerstling (1892)

(2)
Kühlewindt

Doerstling – Photographische Gesellschaft Berlin (1892)

(3)
Photo. Ges. Berlin

Doerstling (1892)

(4)
Über Land und Meer (1894)

Doerstling (1892)

(5)
Postcard

Doerstling (1892)

(6)
Roesch version

Artist: Emil Doerstling (1859-1940) is listed in the 1901 Königsberg Adreßbuch: “Dörstling, Emil, Portrait- u. Genremaler, Atelier: Kunstakad. Nr. 15, Wohnung: Sackheim 85/86”). By 1906 his home and studio are at Kaiserstraße 53 [1906, 87] – which was in the same neighborhood as Kant’s childhood home – and he is listed as a portrait painter and the treasurer for the Künstler-Unterstützungs-Verein [1906, 80], a treasurer of the Vereinigung zur Pflege der Lichtbildkunst [1906, 41], and a drawing teacher at the Städtisches Real-Gymnasium [1906, 41]. Along with Bischoff-Kulm, he painted the wall murals in the aula of the Altstadt Gymnasium [1906, 32]. [Albinus 1985, 65; Thieme-Becker, 9: 373]

Description: Oil on canvas (two versions). We have the dimensions only of the second version (image 6): 91 x 64 cm. Both versions present a fictional dinner party in Kant’s dining room, including Kant, his servant Lampe, and eight dinner guests: Jacobi, Motherby, Kraus, Haman, Hippel, Scheffner, Borowski, and Hagen.

Kant is shown holding up a sheet of paper – perhaps a letter – for his guests to see. Doerstling might have had in mind here a passage in Borowski: “At lunch, he then shared [Ludeke’s] letters with great pleasure, as a spice to the dinner conversation” [Borowski 1804, 154] or else Jachmann: “He usually kept letters or other news that he shared with his friends, either before lunch or during” [Jachmann 1804, 149].

The artist signed his name in the bottom left corner, below the rug, and is easiest to read in the Über Land und Meer woodcut copy: ‘Emil Doerstling’. That woodcut copy also bears the engraver’s signature in the bottom-far right corner: ‘Klose & Wollmerstädt’.

Location (first version): Lost. Armstedt/Fischer claim the painting was first hanging in an anteroom of the Kneiphof Junkerhof [1895, 208], but was later moved to the landing of a stairwell in the Albertinum [Schöndörffer 1924, 229; Albinus 1985, 65], and then eventually into the newly-opened City Historical Museum [Gause 1974, 114-15, 134] (presumably when it opened in 1928), which was destroyed during the aerial bombing of August 1944.

A privately-held second version by Doerstling (“Roesch” – see image 6) was made publicly available in 2020 (see). It is striking that a great-uncle of the current owner had bought the Prilacken estate (now Bratskoje) in 1920 and had hung the painting there for a time, since Kant had occasionally visited that very estate back when it was owned by a merchant friend, Pieter Heinrich Hüge [Vorländer 1924, 1: 123; Gause 1974, 72].

Vaihinger [1901d, 113] mentions in 1901 “a sketch of the painting which is in many ways better than the painting” (i.e., images 1-5) and was owned by Walter Simon (the Königsberg banker and art patron who had commissioned the painting from Doerstling); and Roesch [2020] notes a family tradition that Doerstling had prepared several such versions of this painting.

Digital Images:

(1) This is available from akg-images, and its connection to the original painting is unclear. A representative of the company said that their records indicate only that it had been originally in black and white and was later hand-colored (this same image is stored in the Wikimedia Commons), and also reproduced in Schultz [2003, 26-27], where it is credited to akg-images (Weimar, Goethe-Nationalmuseum, Stiftung Weimarer Klassik).

For reasons given below, some of the colors in this image are likely closer to the original painting than those seen in (4) and (5) – at least regarding Lampe’s jacket; Kant’s blue jacket is a novelty. (In general, insofar as we are interested in the actual colors of Doerstling’s lost painting, surely our best guide is the newly discovered Roesch painting – here color of Kant’s jacket is a close match to the Becker portrait.) The source of the image – viz., the intermediary to the painting itself – remains to be identified.

Doerstling reprint, 1974

Doerstling (1974)

(2) A reproduction of a photograph made by the court-photographer Alfred Kühlewindt (1870-1945) who lived in Königsberg (also reproduced in Kuhrke [1924a, 79]). The source of this reproduction has not been identified. A reproduction of Doerstling appears in a small 1974 pamphlet (reprinted in 1983) – see the image to the right. I have only a black-and-white PDF of the 1983 reprint and do not know whether the original was published only in black/white. The gray tones here closely resemble those of the Kühlewindt image, and the image credit for the pamphlet is: “Kant und seine Tischgenossen; nach dem Gemälde von E. Doerstling; Aufnahme: Georg Motherby, Aachen.” Was this painting re-photographed in 1974?

(3) A photograph prepared by the Photographische Gesellschaft Berlin, with the caption: “Kant und seine Tischgenossen”. A partial emboss is visible in the bottom-left of the image: “[PHOTOG]RAPHISCHE / [GESE]LLSCHAFT / [BE]RLIN”. This is presumably the photograph mentioned by Zabel [1903, 380] and the image credited as the model for the colored woodcut published in Über Land und Meer.

(4) Colored woodcut by Klose & Wollmerstädt (this name is shown on the floor, in the bottom-right of the image), copied from Doerstling and reproduced as a two-page spread in Über Land und Meer: Deutsche Illustirte Zeitung (Stuttgart), 72: 552-53 (1894), followed by a brief description by Rells (p. 554). Below the image, at the far-right: “Mit Genehmigung der Photographischen Gesellschaft in Berlin.”

(5) Postcard of the colored woodcut by Klose & Wollmerstädt (Museum Stadt Königsberg, Duisburg, now in Lüneburg, Inv.-Nr. 175).

(6) A second version by Doerstling (oil on canvas, 91 x 64 cm) was recently (2020) made available to the public by Matthias Roesch (see). A high-quality reproduction has been given to the Ostpreussischen Landesmuseum in Lüneburg for display in its new Kantbau.

There are a great many differences between these versions (the “Roesch” and the “official”): the screen in front of the green oven is missing in the Roesch version, the positions of the engraving and the wall mirror are exchanged, the side-table is moved closer to the dinner table, and a copy of the local newspaper and a folio book is on the floor. Lampe is also turned toward the table and standing directly behind Kant. Most strikingly are the faces, all of which, other than Kant's seem to be of different people than those depicted in the official version. One can imagine the artist gathering acquaintances for the Roesch version, and then used this as a model for the official version, adding in different faces based on available images of those subjects. The colors added to both versions of the official painting (images 1 and 4, above) differ from each other and appear to have been done with little guidance from the actual painting – they were working from black-and-white photographs. So the colors we see in the Roesch painting are likely the colors that we should see in the color-added images of the official version. (But perhaps we have already put too much effort into reconstructing this lost painting by Doerstling, which was itself only an imaginary scene, with little claim to historical accuracy.)

Literature: Rells [1894, 552-54 (illus.)], Armstedt/Fischer [1895, 80, 208],[1] Vaihinger [1901d, 112-13],[2] Zabel [1903, 380-86],[3] Kuhrke [1924a, 79 (illus.)], Schöndörffer [1924, 229],[4] Gause [1974, 114-15, 134, 184 (illus.)],[5] Essers [1974, 49-50], Bund der Vertriebenen [1974, 17 (illus.)].

Menzel, Tafelrund des Friedrichs II

Menzel (1848)

Commonly referred to as “Kant’s Roundtable” – a reference to Adolph von Menzel’s popular “Round Table of Frederick the Great at Sanssouci” – this painting was commissioned by Professor Walter Simon, a Königsberg city councillor, who then gave it to the city. The figures in the painting are, from left to right: [1] Kant's servant Martin Lampe (far left), [2] Johann Conrad Jacobi (1717-1774), a Königsberg merchant, [3] Kant, [4] Robert Motherby (1736-1801), the English merchant and partner to Green, [5] (standing) Christian Jacob Kraus (1753-1807), [6] (leaning forward) Johann Georg Hamann (1730-1788), [7] (foreground, grasping the back of the chair) Theodor Gottlieb von Hippel (1741-1796), [8] Johann Georg Scheffner (1736-1820), [9] (foreground, leaning forward) Ludwig Ernst von Borowski (1740-1831), [10] (at far-right end of the table) Karl Gottfried Hagen (1749-1829).

There are puzzles built into this painting. If it was meant to include only individuals who were Kant’s dinner guests in his home, then Jacobi does not belong here, as he died ten years before Kant owned his house (and while one might think that this “Kaufmann Jacobi” is actually meant to be Johann Conrad’s nephew and heir, Friedrich Conrad Jacobi – who actually was a regular dinner guest in Kant’s home – the painted image is clearly of the uncle, not the nephew). If the painting aims simply to include Kant’s best friends, then one would expect to find Joseph Green at the table (Green also died before Kant had a kitchen – indeed, his death is considered the occasion for Kant setting up his own kitchen and hiring a cook), but perhaps Doerstling could not locate an image of Green. In any event, neither Borowski nor Hamann were regular guests at Kant’s table.

Doerstling (1892) – detail of Martin Lampe

Roesch Version (detail)

Another puzzle stems from Otto Schöndörffer’s description of the newly-opened (in 1923) Kant-Zimmer in the old university building (the Albertinum) next to the cathedral. Schöndörffer was an active Kant scholar teaching at the Collegium Fridericianum and would have been well acquainted with the Albertinum and the literature surrounding Kant, and he describes Doerstling’s painting as hanging on the first landing of the stairs leading up to the room. After listing the guests depicted in the painting, he notes that Kant’s servant Martin Lampe is standing in the background, “dressed as Kant required in a white coat with a red collar and red lapels, wiping a plate for dessert” [Schöndörffer 1924, 229]. This is certainly what we would expect from Jachmann’s account, who tells us that Kant always insisted on Lampe wearing a white coat with a red collar, which he mentions in the context of an anecdote where Kant once found Lampe with a yellow coat and Kant insisted he return the offending coat to the second-hand shop where he bought it [Jachmann 1804, 183-84]. As it turns out, that yellow coat was to be for Lampe’s wedding.

The most wide-spread color images of Doerstling, however, stem from the colored woodcut published in 1894 (image 4, above) and here Lampe’s coat is clearly yellow or yellow-brown, similar to the coat worn by Hamann and only a shade or two lighter than Kant’s own coat. A second Doerstling painting (image 6) has recently emerged [Roesch 2020] in which Lampe is turned toward the table of guests wearing his prescribed white coat with red trim. It is easy to imagine that Doerstling had Jachmann’s passage in mind while painting these two versions of Lampe’s, but it is more likely that his coat was white in both versions, and that the artists coloring the 1894 woodcut were working from a black-and-white photograph of the painting and little else. Another image (image 1) of Doerstling’s first painting (available in the AKG [“Archiv für Kunst und Geschichte”] database) depicts Lampe wearing a clearly white jacket (along with a number of other color differences in the garments). The source of that image has yet to be determined, but it may well be our best representation of the original painting.[6] Supporting this is a black and white photograph taken by Kühlewindt, which shows Lampe’s jacket clearly lighter than Hamann’s (and Kant’s).

Essers [1974, 49-50]:[7]

The special feature of the painting by Emil Doerstling from Königsberg, created in 1892/1893, is that it emphasizes a different quality of Kant than the other portraits: The philosopher is presented here as a sociable host. Doerstling compiled his Kant portrait from the known engravings, drawings, paintings and busts. The idea for painting “Kant and his table companions” as a pictorial realization of the eponymous work by Reusch (Königsberg 1848) can be traced back to the Königsberg City Councillor Professor Dr. Walter Simon, who commissioned the painting and donated it to the city. The description given in Kant-Studien [Vaihinger 1901d] helps to identify the persons depicted: “The painting depicts the circle of Kant's table companions, namely Prof. Dr. Kraus and the Medical Councillor Prof. Dr. Hagen, then the Police Director v. Hippel and the War Councillor Scheffner, furthermore Hamann and Borowski (the later Archbishop), finally the two merchants Jacobi and Motherby. The aforementioned are engaged in a lively conversation, the center of which is Kant.”

The depiction of this table party brings to mind “The Round Table of Frederick the Great at Sanssouci,” painted by Adolph von Menzel in 1850, which quickly became popular. The model of the royal society is transferred to bourgeois circumstances. The basic scheme is taken over, arranging the persons around a table in the center of the frame, with one person at the focus. The posture and grouping of some of the table guests are also the same in both paintings, but there are differences. In Doerstling’s painting, all the guests are focused on Kant and even the servant busy at the side table seems to be listening to his words. Thus Kant, who is also seated at the head of the table – though not in the center of the picture, and somewhat isolated, is clearly emphasized as the main figure. In Menzel’s work, Frederick II and Voltaire are the most important interlocutors, but the others also converse among themselves. That Frederick II has the greatest importance in the picture is clear from the fact that he is placed in the central axis. Individual objects are related to him, such as the armchair in front and the chandelier above him. Although only a section of the round hall is shown, one gains a clear idea of its nature. Doerstling lacks Menzel’s integrative power, which establishes the relationship between the persons and the objects surrounding them and integrates the persons into the living space. [50] In his work, objects and persons exist isolated next to each other. The section of the room appears like a backdrop in front of which Kant acts as the entertaining host, as though on a stage. The extended midday meals provide only the occasion for the witty conversation emanating from Kant.


17??: Silhouette from Kant’s Bible [top]

Kant's Bible (silhouette)

Artist:

Description: Silhouette

Location:

Digital Image: Mainz.

Literature:

This silhouette is printed with Kant’s life-dates, so presumably copied from an earlier profile. The Königsberg publisher Goebbels & Unzer advertised copies of Kant’s silhouette at the 1804 Easter book fair for 9 Groschen (as advertised at the end of Rink’s 1804 edition of Kant’s Progress in Metaphysics); perhaps this is an example?


17??: Silhouette from Kant’s Mittagsbüchlein (Degering) [top]

Silhouette on the

Artist: ??

Description: Silhouette, reproduced as a frontispiece to Degering [1926].

Location:

Digital Image: Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek, Klassik Stiftung Weimar.

Literature: Degering, Hermann, ed. (1926). Immanuel Kants Mittagsbüchlein vom 17. August bis 25. September 1802. Nach dem Original im Besitze der Preußischen Staatsbibliothek im Faksimile. Berlin: [Frisch]. [25 p.]


1805: Guenin [top]

Guenin (1805)

Artist: Joachim Guenin (d. 1816/Marseilles)

Location: Presumably in the Historisches Museum, Berlin? [But the blouinartinfo.com website suggested it sold in Cologne on March 25, 1999 (for $1668).]

Derived from:

Digital Image:

Literature:


1806: Landon [top]

Landon (1808)

Artist: C. P. Landon

Location:

Derived from: Presumably modeled after one of the engravings based on Schnorr.

Digital Image:

Literature: Galerie Historique des Hommes les Plus Célèbres, vol. 7 (Paris: C. P. Landon, 1806); unpaginated.


c.1830: Zeelander [top]

Landon (1808)

Artist: Abraham Lion Zeelander (1789-1856). Line engraving (9.6 x 6.1 cm).

Location: Wellcome Institute (London) [online]

Derived from: Presumably modeled after one of the engravings based on Schnorr.

Digital Image:

Literature:


1852: Bracquemond [top]

Bracquemond engraving

(1)

Bracquemond engraving

(2)

Artist: Félix Bracquemond (1833-1914)

Description: Unsigned engraving. Image: 7.8 x 6.7 cm; sheet: 20.9 x 13.8 cm. Beneath the image: “Emmanuel KANT / Philosophe Allemand / Né 1724 †1804 / Paris, Vignéres Edr. 30 Quai de l’Ecole / Drouart imp. r. du Fouarre n. Paris.”

Derived from: Presumably modeled after one of the engravings based on Schnorr.

Digital Image: (1) Grimoni/Will [2004, 206, 209] (ID: MSK 0989), (2) New York Public Library [Website]

Literature:


????: Rosenthal [top]

Rosenthal

[flip]

Artist: ??

Description: Oval miniature, painted on vellum (8 x 6.5 cm). Kant’s coat is red. On the back of the framed painting is the almost illegible word: "Kant".

Location: ??

Digital Image: Kant-Studien, vol. 4 [1900].

Literature: Vaihinger [1900a], Vaihinger [1902b, 383]

Vaihinger [1900a] reported a new miniature painting on offer for sale by the antiquities firm of Nathan Rosenthal (Munich). Rosenthal had purchased it in Leipzig. Vaihinger has no doubts that the portrait was done from life; he notes the similarity with Schnorr, and especially with Lowe, but the differences (for him) preclude any possibility of a free deviation by a copyist. A few years later, when Vaihinger is presented with a photograph of what he later would learn to be of a copy of the Collin bas-relief (and which he had published as the frontispiece to Kant-Studien, vol. 7), says that this new image of Kant most resembled the Rosenthal picture [Vaihinger 1902a, 168].


17??: “Lavater” [top]

Lavater

(1) [flip]

Lavater

(2)

Artist: ??

Description: Drawing of an elderly Kant, possibly once collected by Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741-1801) for his physiognomy collection of portraits.

Location: ??

Digital Image: (1) Hochdorf [1924, 160-61]; (2) Grimoni/Will [2004, 231].

Literature: Hochdorf [1924, 160-61], Anderson [1936, 13], Grimoni/Will [2004, 229, 231 (illus.)].

The reproduction in Hochdorf [1924], between pages 160-61, is captioned:[1]

With permission of the Kant-Gesellschaft, Berlin / Immanuel Kant / The picture comes from an iconographic collection that Professor Bergmann (Leipzig) found and acquired in 1913 in a Leipzig antiquarian bookshop. Further details about the origin of the collection and the Kant picture in particular were not available and could not be determined. In the collection there were still more hand drawings of famous personalities of the 18th century. The whole character of the collection indicated that it originated from Kant’s time and was created at that time. The picture was signed ‘Kant’; the features unmistakably bear the character found in other of his pictures. The drawing is apparently made from life.

This appears to be the same as the Kant portrait once owned by Lavater and on display (and presumably later lost) in the Kantzimmer of the City Historical Museum. The catalog entry [Anderson 1936, 13] reads:

Image of Immanuel Kant, portrait. Original ink drawing by an unknown artist. From Lavater’s collection. Gift of the Kant Society. / Owner: The Museum.

Bildnis Immanuel Kant, Brustbild. Originaltuschzeichnung eines unbekannten Künstlers. Aus dem Besitze Lavaters. Geschenk der Kantgesellschaft. / Besitzer: Das Museum.

The reprint in Grimoni/Will [2004, 231] is …

from the inked pencil drawing from Lavater’s estate, in the possession of Prof. Dr. e. Bergmann, Leipzig

nach der getuschten Bleistiftzeichnung aus dem Nachlaß von Lavater, im Besitze von Prof. Dr. e. Bergmann, Leipzig [229].

While there is no other reason to believe that this is the same image, it is worth noting an anecdote appearing in Richardson [1799, 10]:

A traveller once showed the famous physiognomist Lavater two portraits that were new to him, one of a notorious rogue who had been broken on the wheel (whose name I can no longer remember), the other [8] of Kant; and he asked Lavater which of the two he thought was the philosopher. After viewing them a short time, he looked at the portrait of the rogue, which he thought to be Kant, and said: “There is no room for doubt here: for one sees the penetrating spirit in the eye and the high, arched forehead, which denotes a man of deep thought; whereas the terrible calm of the bloodthirsty villain in the other (namely, Kant’s portrait, which Lavater took to be the rogue) is too clear to need further interpretation.”


1927: Cauer/Ehrich [top]

Cauer

(1) Cauer

Cauer

(2) Ehrich with Heads

Artist: Stanislaus Cauer (1867-1943) studied under his sculptor father, eventually settling in Königsberg (1907) where he taught at the Academy of Art and produced a considerable body of work (Mühlpfordt devotes twenty-two pages to him [1970, 33-55]). William Ernst Ehrich (1897-1960) was born in Königsberg, studied art, served on both fronts during World War I, picked up sculptor work when he could (such as the Cauer heads), and emigrated to Buffalo, New York, in 1929, later moving to Rochester and pursuing a successful career in sculpting.

Cauer

(5) Gymnasium #1

Cauer

(4) Burgschule (1928)

Cauer

(3) Burgschule (1928)

Description: Cauer made plaster models of four heads (Copernicus, Kant, Herder, Corinth). Ehrich carved these heads in Muschelkalk (a limestone with shells) that were then placed above the front entrance of the newly-built Castle School (1927) – see images #3 and #4. Mühlpfordt includes photos of the Herder and Kant heads [1979, 12].

Location: The original heads over the main entrance of the Neue Staatliche Burgschule were destroyed near the end of World War II, but were replaced in 2020 (January 7); the school is now known as Gymnasium No. 1 (see image #5). My thanks to Inna Rezchikova for help with this information and the accompanying images.

Digital Images: (1) Mühlpfordt [1979, 12]; (2) William Ehrich website; (3)-(4) frontispiece and p. 501 of Zentralblatt der Bauverwaltung, vol. 48, No. 31 (1 Aug 1928) – an issue whose lead article (pp. 497-502) is dedicated to the new school; (5) Inna Rezchikova.

Literature: Mühlpfordt [1970, 51], Mühlpfordt [1979, 12], Lange [2006b].[1]

Mühlpfordt lists a Kant bust (as one of a group of four) by the Königsberg sculptor Stanislaus Cauer [1970, 51]:

68. Köpfe von: Coppernicus / 69. Kant / 70. Herder / 71. Corinth / auf den Pilastern am Eingang zur Neuen Burgschule. Ausgehauen von [Wilhelm Ernst] Ehrich. Muschelkalk. 1927. / Standort: Am Eingang zur Neuen Burgschule, Lehndorffstraße. – Abbildung in: Zentralblatt der Bauverwaltung, 48, 31 v. 1. August 1928. – Schicksal: Wahrscheinlich erhalten.


????: Stielow [top]

Artist: ??

Description: ??

Literature: Mention of a Kant portrait appears in the minutes of the Alterthumsgesellschaft Prussia from their meeting of 17 June 1880, as printed in the Altpreussische Monatssheft (1881), 18: 362-66. In closing, Dr. Bujack notes recent gifts to the collection of the Prussia-Museum, one of which is a Kant portrait [APM 1881, 18: 364]:

Subrector Stielow, an equally eager member of the evening meetings, left a valuable portrait of Kant that Pastor Wasianski, a friend of Kant’s, considered to be a quite good resemblance, except for the eyes.

Ein ebenso eifriges Mitglied bei den Sitzungsabenden, Conrector Stielow, hinterliess ein werthvolles Portrait Kant’s, das ein Freund Kant’s, der Pfarrer Wasianski, mit Ausschluss der Augen für durchaus ähnlich hielt.

This painting is listed in the 1894 catalog of the Prussia-Museum:

Nr. 101. Kant portrait. Estate of Subrector Stielow. According to Wasianski, very well executed, with the exception of the eyes.

Nr. 101. Brustbild Kants. Vermächtnis des Subrektors Stielow. Nach dem Urteile Wasianski's mit Ausnahme der Augen sehr gut getroffen. [Altertumsgesellschaft Prussia 1894, 45]

c.1764: Wingender [top]

Jacobi

[flip]

Artist: Karl Wingender (painted after 1850), copied from a painting by Johann Christian von Mannlich (1741-1822).

Description: Oil on canvas (76 x 56 cm), portrait of Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (1743-1819).

Location: Frankfurter Goethe-Museum, Frankfurt am Main (inv. nr.: IV-00898) [website].

Digital Image: Wikimedia.

Literature: This information comes from the Goethe-Museum’s datasheet on their painting. I include Jacobi’s portrait on this page of Kant iconography because it is often presented as an image of Kant, appearing on the covers of numerous books, but primarily on the internet.


????: Reinhold [top]

Reinhold 1881

Reinhold 1881

Artist:

Description: .

Location:

Digital Image: .

Literature:


Merely requested, never made?

Johann Wilhelm Andreas Kosmann wrote to Kant (4 Feb 1790) thanking him for some earlier correspondence, and relating to him a new journal that he planned to publish: Allgemeines Magazin für kritische und populäre Philosophie, with the first issue planned for the Easter Book Fair of that year. He hoped to include an engraving of Kant, and so needed Kant’s assistance in having his portrait painted and sent to Kosmann [AA 11: 130]:

The first volume would include an engraving of your portrait. Since I hope to leave soon, I ask if you could have yourself painted according to your taste and to send me the portrait as soon as possible. I will gratefully reimburse you for all costs and keep the portrait itself as a treasure for as long as I live.

Der erste Band soll Ihr Bildnis als Kupferstich enthalten. Da ich nun gern gradezu gehe, so bitte ich Ew. Wohlgeb: sich nach Ihrem Geschmack gütigst mahlen zu lasen und mir das Portraet sobald als möglich zuzusenden. Alle Kosten werde ich Ihnen dankbar erstatten und das Portraet selbst, als ein Heiligtum so lange ich lebe, auf bewahren.

Two months later (15 April 1790) he wrote [AA 11: 152-53]:

I am still waiting for an essay from Mr. Reinhold. I ask most obediently for permission to send you the first part and then to await your judgment as to whether the book deserves to be adorned with your picture. If you had [153] a small essay and wished to honor me with it, or else send me some reviews, I would gratefully recognize it and send you whatever you asked as an honorarium.

Einen Aufsazz von Herr Reinhold erwarte ich noch. Ew. Wohlgebohren bitte ich gehorsamst um die Erlaubnis Ihnen den ersten Teil zu senden und dann Ihr Urteil erwarten zu dürfen, ob das Buch es verdient mit Ihrem Bildniß geziert zu werden. Hätten Sie einst [153] einen kleinen Aufsazz und wolten mich damit beehren oder mir einige Recensionen zusenden, so würde es dankbar erkennen und Ihnen gern alles, was Sie verlangten, an Honorar übersenden.

Kosmann did manage to publish this journal (1st issue: Breslau 1791, 8°, 220 pp.) and sent Kant the first issue with his letter of 21 October 1791 [AA 11: 299-300], but that issue contained an engraving (by Henne) of Karl Leonhard Reinhold, rather than of Kant.