• E. T. A. Hoffmann, Kapellmeister Johannes Kreisler in a Dressing Gown, After a Life Drawing by Erasmus Spikher (Berlin, January/February 1815). Original watercolor. Staatsbibliothek Bamberg, I R 65. Photo: Gerald Raab.

Translation

  • Kapellmeister Johannes Kreisler in a Dressing Gown, After a Life Drawing by Erasmus Spikher

Kapellmeister Johannes Kreisler in a Dressing Gown, watercolor

From The Director's Prism: E. T. A. Hoffmann and the Russian Theatrical Avant-Garde by Dassia N. Posner


  • This watercolor illustrates what Joseph Hayse has called “nested identities”:* on Kreisler’s table lies a copy of Hoffmann’s opera Undine, a reference to the real Hoffmann outside the fictional world of his alter ego Kreisler. Erasmus Spikher, the “creator” of the drawing, is actually a character from Hoffmann’s "A New Year’s Eve Adventure," in which Doctor Dapertutto tricks Spikher into relinquishing his shadow.

    See book: p. 9, 11; figure 2

    *Joseph Hayse, Notes to “Johannes Kreisler’s Apprentice Letter,” in E. T. A. Hoffmann, Fantasy Pieces in Callot’s Manner: Pages from the Diary of a Traveling Romantic, trans. Joseph M. Hayse (Schenectady, N.Y.: Union College, 1996), 326.

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  • Performing Arts
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  • Berlin, January/February 1815
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  • Staatsbibliothek Bamberg, I R 65. Photo: Gerald Raab
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  • Unauthorized use of this image is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of the object and/or copyright holder.

    Staatsbibliothek Bamberg website: https://www.staatsbibliothek-bamberg.de

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