Johann Gottfried Herder

Set within an oval and turned in strict profile, the portrait of the young woman is reminiscent of antique engraved gems. The impression is further heightened by the curls restrained by a band and the clothing’s rich folds. Caroline Flachsland belonged to the circle of the Empfindsamen in Darmstadt (around Johann Heinrich Merck) and there went by the name of “Psyche”. The young Goethe, too, moved in this circle and dedicated poems to her. In 1770, around the time this portrait was produced, she made the acquaintance of her future husband, Johann Gottfried Herder.