Gottfried Keller


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(Zurich, 1819–90, Zurich), was the son of a turner, who had married a doctor's daughter. His father died in 1824, and his mother maintained the family by letting apartments in her substantial house. Keller was expelled from school in 1834, an act which he resented as an injustice. Its echoes are heard in Der grüne Heinrich. He resolved to become a painter, and was sent for a time to live among his numerous relations around Glattfelden, his father's birthplace. On his return he had instruction from two teachers in Zurich, Peter Steiger and Rudolf Meyer. In 1840 he realized his modest assets and established himself in Munich, at that time the artistic metropolis of Germany. His efforts to develop as a painter were frustrated by poverty and, though he did not realize this at the time, by insufficiency of talent. He returned home in 1842.


From The Oxford Companion to German Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.

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