The Artus Court

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The Artushof is a story by ETA Hoffmann , published towards the end of 1816 in the “Urania. Pocket book for women on the year 1817 ”was preprinted at FA Brockhaus in Leipzig. In 1819 the text appeared in the second section of the first volume of the collection " Die Serapionsbrüder " at G. Reimer in Berlin.

The path of the young Traugott from mercantile citizen to artist is drawn. The author offers the prospect of a happy ending . It looks as if Traugott has managed to achieve a balancing act: This Danzig painter will probably become the husband of the young Roman Dorina.


ETA Hoffmann wrote to Hippel on March 12, 1815 : "The whole thing revolves around a wonderful picture in Arthushoff, which ignites the spark of art in the soul of a young businessman, so that he breaks free from everything and becomes a Mahler."


A bit of calm has returned to the Danzig Stock Exchange , the Artushof . The merchant Elias Roos can commission his future son-in-law - that is the young merchant Traugott - with the immediate drafting of a profitable, express business letter to Hamburg. Traugott, who is about to marry Christina Roos, his superior's only daughter, instead of doing his duty, scribbles two figures from a long wall frieze around the stock exchange : the magnificent mayor and the beautiful page in the company of the Mayor made a deep impression on him. But the future father-in-law is enraged by the loss of profit. The German painter Godofredus Berklinger certifies Traugott a certain talent as a draftsman and claims to be the creator of the two originals that Traugott drew. When painting the mural, he took himself and his son as models for the citizens of Danzig. Traugott notices that Berklinger is not quite at ease; because the painting is a good two hundred years old.

Traugott disgusts the work in the office of the future father-in-law. So he takes painting lessons from old Berklinger for a fee. In Berklinger's apartment, Traugott enthuses to the young Berklinger that the young girl, depicted in old Berklinger's latest work, has always been the lover of his soul. Traugott no longer wants to marry Christina. The young Berklinger claims that the portrait shows his unhappy sister Felizitas. Traugott discovers a little later that the young Berklinger is actually the beloved Felizitas himself and is immediately thrown out of the house by the old Berklinger. When Traugott pulls himself up and ventures back to the painter, he is already gone with Felizitas.

Elias Roos misinterprets the howling and whining of the future son-in-law as jealousy. The merchant instructs his daughter to take more care of Traugott. Christina is in no hurry with this. Traugott's investigations mean that Berklinger and Felizitas have made off to Sorrento . Traugott learns that the old painter disguised his daughter as a youth because he did not allow her a bridegroom. Because it had been prophesied to him that he would die as soon as Felizitas made the bond for life. Before Traugott goes to Sorrento, he clears the table with Kaufmann Roos: The wedding will not come of anything. While the merchant is raging, Christina takes the rejection calmly.

On the way to Sorrento, Traugott allowed himself a longer stopover with the German painters in Rome. In the city on the Tiber he meets his old Königsberg school friend Matuszewki . Berklinger finds this in the Trinità del Monte church on a scaffolding. But when Traugott wants to visit the painter in his shabby dwelling, he has to discover that it is an Italian. Nevertheless, Traugott cheers: “My Felizitas!” He considers Dorina, the painter's fifteen-year-old daughter, to be the distant lover. But when, after a long time of intimate get-together, Traugott still makes no move to marry Dorina, the young girl's father chases him away. Traugott hurries to Sorrento via Naples . The Berklingers cannot be found there. He then went to Naples to work as a painter. When painting, the distant Felizitas is always his ideal, but never Dorina. After Elias Roos died, Traugott had to settle estate matters in Gdansk. On that occasion he learns that Christina married the accountant from her father's company. The two Berklingers also stayed in the “Sorrent” country house near Danzig for a long time. Felizitas then married the detective Mathesius in Marienwerder . At the moment when Mathesius's predecessor, a certain Brandstetter, had freed Felizitas by kneeling, the old house tyrant Berklinger had broken a wrist. Death.

Matuszewki writes to Traugott from Rome that Dorina is longing for him. Traugott runs spurs into his Roman fortune.


  • In 1819 Friedrich Gottlob Wetzel tore up the "dead, artificial" work. After its publication, the text had been compared with “ Franz Sternbald's wanderings ”.
  • Details can be found at Segebrecht. In the Artus Court of Gdańsk there is a painting showing King Arthur . From Posen , ETA Hoffmann visited Hitzig for a few days in Gdansk in 1801 .
  • Von Matt examined the story. The madness of the old painter Berklinger indicated above can also be seen, for example, from his discussion of the painting that is currently in progress: The canvas on Berklinger's easel is empty. Traugott paints an ideal. Behind it is primarily the image of the "beautiful page". Coincidentally, the facial features of that page and those of the handsome youth in Artus Court, who turns out to be Felizitas, are similar. Von Matt writes that the centuries-old picture on the wall came to life with the appearance of the young man in Artushof and that it triggered something inside the future artist Traugott. For example, Traugott suddenly spoke confidently about painting. In several respects, the love moment, which is almost characteristic of ETA Hoffmann's texts, plays a role on Traugott's path to becoming an artist. The magic strokes follow one another closely. The future painter Traugott recognizes young people living around him in the page.
  • ETA Hoffmann put up a picture of the Gdansk merchants with the “Artushof”.
  • Kaiser registers a "cheerful, comfortable" tone. This categorization applies to a narrative bravura piece by ETA Hoffmann: the carefree handling of the bride Christina Roos with the groom Traugott. The protagonist is a painter. In this respect, Kaiser is reminded of “ The Jesuit Church in G. ” and “ Signor Formica ”.


The first edition in the Serapion Brothers

  • The Artus Court in: The Serapionsbrüder. Collected stories and fairy tales. Published by ETA Hoffmann. First volume. Berlin 1819. With G. Reimer. 604 pp.

Used edition

  • ETA Hoffmann: The Artus Court. S. 177–208 in: Wulf Segebrecht (ed.): ETA Hoffmann: The Serapions Brothers. German classic publisher in paperback. Vol. 28. Frankfurt am Main 2008, ISBN 978-3-618-68028-4 (corresponds to: Vol. 4 in: Wulf Segebrecht (Ed.): "ETA Hoffmann: Complete Works in Seven Volumes", Frankfurt am Main 2001)

Secondary literature

  • Peter von Matt : The eyes of the machines. ETA Hoffmann's theory of imagination as a principle of his storytelling . Max Niemeyer Verlag, Tübingen 1971, ISBN 3-484-18018-8 .
  • Rüdiger Safranski : ETA Hoffmann. The life of a skeptical fantasist. 2nd Edition. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2001 (1st edition 1984), ISBN 3-596-14301-2 .
  • Gerhard R. Kaiser: ETA Hoffmann. Metzler, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-476-10243-2 . (Metzler Collection; 243; realities on literature)
  • Helmut de Boor , Richard Newald: History of German literature from the beginnings to the present. Volume 7: Gerhard Schulz : The German literature between the French Revolution and the Restoration. Part 2: The Age of Napoleonic Wars and Restoration. 1806-1830. Beck, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-406-09399-X .


  1. Matt doesn't want anything to do with a balancing act. That forthcoming marriage is possible because Traugott is getting married in the “home of art” (Rome) (von Matt, p. 51, 18. Zvo). Kaiser, however, reads out that it would be dubious if the painter fell in love with his model (Kaiser, p. 143, 7th Zvo).
  2. Von Matt thinks that the painter Berklinger imagines he is an old master from the 15th century (Von Matt, p. 44, 3. Zvo).
  3. Von Matt writes about this complexity that the mentally disturbed old Berklinger recognized the similarity of the page with his daughter Felizitas as did Traugott (Von Matt, p. 42, 16. Zvo).
  4. One of Matts' interpretations can be paraphrased as follows: The text deals with two inverse types of transformations. First, the picture on the wall of the Artus Court comes to life. Second, these lively young girls whom Traugott encounters become pictures through his painting. (by Matt, p. 53, 4. Zvu and p. 66, 5. Zvo)

Individual evidence

  1. Segebrecht, p. 1316, 13. Zvo
  2. Segebrecht, p. 1221, 4. Zvo and p. 1681 above
  3. Segebrecht, p. 1320, 1. Zvo
  4. Segebrecht, p. 1320, 8. Zvo
  5. ETA Hoffmann, quoted in Segebrecht, p. 1318, 5. Zvo
  6. see also Safranski, p. 151, 10. Zvo
  7. Daniel Thomas Matuszewski, painter ( Memento of the original from October 20, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. see also Schulz, p. 437, 13. Zvu
  9. ^ Wetzel, quoted in Segebrecht, p. 1318, 16. Zvo
  10. Segebrecht, p. 1318, 7th Zvu
  11. Segebrecht, pp. 1316-1322
  12. Segebrecht, p. 1321, footnote 177.23
  13. by Matt, pp. 39-51
  14. by Matt, p. 31, 17. Zvu
  15. Edition used, p. 178, 9. Zvo
  16. by Matt p. 41, 9. Zvo
  17. by Matt, p. 44, 14. Zvo
  18. Safranski, p. 34, 5th Zvu
  19. ^ Kaiser, p. 67, 13. Zvo
  20. ^ Kaiser, p. 145, 12. Zvo
  21. Segebrecht in the edition used, p. 1221 above

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