Lessing, Klopstock, Herder, and the Emergence of German Literature and Aesthetics in the 18th Century

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729–1781), painted by Anna Rosina Lisiewska in 1768

“The worst of superstitions is to think

One’s own most bearable.” -Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, ‘Nathan the Wise’ (1779)

Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock (1792), painted by Maria Elisabeth Vogel
Portrait of Johann Gottfried Herder (1809, posthumous), painted by Gerhard von Kügelgen

“Calmly take what ill betideth;
Patience wins the crown at length:
Rich repayment him abideth
Who endures in quiet strength.
Brave the tamer of the lion;
Brave whom conquered kingdoms praise;
Bravest he who rules his passions,
Who his own impatience sways.”

-Johann Gottfried Herder (1801)

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