Schopenhauer, Adele, silhouette artist and writer (1797-1849). Silhouette album for Wilhelm Müller's poem "Frühlingseinzug".

No place, 19 Jan. 1826.

Seven black paper silhouettes mounted on pink glossy paper, each opposite a verse from the poem, written in Adele Schopenhauer's own hand. Signed "A. Schopenhauer" on the inside lower cover. Pasted onto the leaves of a pretty red morocco volume with blindstamped border, gilt rules and fan cornerpieces to covers. All edges gilt. Oblong 8vo (108 x 145 mm). Addenda.


The probably last privately owned silhouette album created by Adele Schopenhauer, all other recorded examples being in public collections (several in the Klassik Stiftung Weimar, "Des Einsiedler's Traum" in the Schopenhauer archive at the Frankfurt University library; the silhouettes for Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy are kept at the Bodleian Library, Oxford).

The seven silhouettes illustrating the seven verses of Müller's poem show 1) Wild Man Winter setting out on his sleigh; 2) Spring, personified by a winged boy, thrusting Winter out the gate; 3) a house with opened windows, a stork on the roof, and Spring knocking on the door; 4) Spring, hovering in mid-air, assembling his assistant putti and elves; 5) Spring, marching across clouds and blowing his horn over pastoral scenery; 6) Sir Sunshine throwing spears, and 7) a pair of lovers in a bucolic setting.

Adele, the philosopher's younger sister, had been introduced to silhouettes at an early age by none other than Goethe, and she soon showed a much-admired talent for the art. The present album was probably a gift from Adele to her friend Julie Kleefeld (1798-1880), daughter of the Danzig physician and civil servant Johann Gottfried Kleefeld, as she inscribed an undated slip of paper, included here, thus: "Frühlings-Einzug von W. Müller dazu die kleinen Bilder von Adele Schopenhauer in schwarzem Papier geschnitten, bestimme ich nebst dem von Göthe geschriebenen Zettelchen, der Frau Geheimräthin C. S. Abegg, geb. Abegg u. ihren Töchtern als Andenkens-Gruß. / Julie Kleefeld". According to another, typed note by Walter Abegg, included in photocopy, Goethe's said "Zettelchen" was inscribed to the young Adele, who bequeathed it to Abegg's great-great-grandmother Susanne Abegg, whose granddaughter left it to him.


Slight brownstaining throughout, but altogether clean and well preserved in a near-immaculate binding.