The monument to the great German writer Johann Wolfang von Goethe (1749-1832), which stands in Villa Borghese, was commissioned by Kaiser Wilhelm II (r. 1888-1918). It was presented to Rome as a sign of the friendship between the Italians and Germans and in memory of the hospitality the city had showed towards the poet.
The monument, which was inaugurated on June 23rd 1904 in the presence of King Vittorio Emanuele III (r. 1900-46), was designed by Gustav Eberlein and carved by Valentino Casali.
Goethe, who once declared: 'He who has seen Rome has seen everything', stayed in the Eternal City from October 1786 until February 1787 and again from June 1787 until April 1788. He lodged in Via del Corso (118), which now houses the Casa di Goethe, a small museum which occupies some of the rooms in which the writer lived.
Thirty years later, in 1828, Goethe published his Italian Journey, a fascinating account of his time in Italy.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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