Johann Peter Lyser

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Johann Peter Lyser , actually Ludewig Peter August Burmeister , also Lyser-Burmeister (born October 4, 1804 in Flensburg , † January 29, 1870 in Altona ) was a German writer and painter . He used the pseudonyms Luca fa presto and Hilarius Paukenschläger .


Johann Peter Lyser was born as the son of the actor Friedrich Burmeister and his wife L (o) uise Catharina Marie. His family name Lyser goes back to his stepfather Friedrich Lyser, who was also an actor.

Lyser led a wandering life as a book printer, decorative painter, drawing teacher and as a music critic for the New Journal for Music published by Robert Schumann . He spent his youth in Altona, where his stepfather was co-director of the city theater. From 1819 he followed his stepfather to the grand ducal court theater in Schwerin , where he worked as a costume artist, decorative painter and theater poet, and met the (theater count) Karl v. Hahn (again) and was patronized by that one.

He had to give up playing music from the age of 18 due to deafness; he got into debt and was released from custody by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy . For his unfinished life and artist novel Benjamin , he chose the motto: “He was a child of his time. She lifted him, she carried him and she let him fall. "

He was friends with Heinrich Heine , who stood up for him. Clara Schumann set his songs by a wandering painter to music . His work for children's books spanned his entire life, such as Nanette, the young orphan from his volume Das Buch der Mährchen or Der stupme Gottlieb in Des Knaben Wunderhorn (1834). He created one of the most famous contemporary Beethoven portraits. He died in the hospital in Altona, where he was admitted to the poor house.

Caroline Leonhardt during her marriage to Johann Peter Lyser

In 1836 he married the writer Karoline Leonhardt . The marriage was not happy and they divorced again in 1842. The publicist and co-founder of the first satirical papers of the labor movement in Germany, Gustav Lyser (1841–1909), emigrated to the USA in 1874, were both sons.


Regarding his main occupation of satirist , he wrote in his novel Benjamin :

“A sheep tolerates, an egoist shrugs his shoulders and lets it go as it will; a good guy hits it. "

Works (in selection)

  • Benjamin. A novel from the portfolio of a deaf painter . Hoffmann and Campe, Hamburg 1830. ( digitized version) A second edition was published in 1920 by Hoffmann and Campe.
  • JP Lyser's detailed explanation of the Hogarthic copperplate engravings, with reduced but complete copies . Dieterich, Göttingen 1794. ( digitized version )
  • The book of fairy tales for daughters and sons of the educated classes . Wigand, Leipzig 1834.
  • Novellas . Wigand, Leipzig 1834. ( digitized version )
  • Art novels . Wigand, Leipzig 1835. ( digitized version )
  • The Rübezahl book. A complete collection of all folk fairy tales from the Giant Mountains . Wigand, Leipzig 1834. ( digitized version )
  • New art novels . Sauerländer, Frankfurt am Main 1837. ( digitized version )
  • Natural history of the musician. by Hilarius Paukenschläger . Binder, Leipzig 1843. ( digitized version )
  • De dree Jungfern un de dree Rathsherrn, or: datt big Karkthorn-Knopp-Schüüern to Altona. A flat German fairy tale . Berendsohn, Hamburg 1855. ( digitized version )
  • General survey of the history of music in Europe, particularly in relation to Germany, from the year 1791 to the end of 1855 . Trupp, Hamburg 1856.


  • Friedrich Hirth: Johann Peter Lyser, the poet, painter, musician . Munich: Müller 1911
  • Horst Kunze: treasurer of old children's books . Berlin (East): The children's book publisher, 1981

Web links

Commons : Johann Peter Lyser  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Johann Peter Lyser  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Count Hahn was brought in to give the young person good advice in important cases; he [HAHN] wandered with him through the painting collections, armories and libraries in Schwerin, Rostock and Ludwigslust, gave him some very valuable books and drawings and finally even gave him the manuscript of his tragedy, the 'Sturtz into the Abyss' to read. " ( Cf. Friedrich Adolf Meyer: Character traits from the life of Count Carl Hahn-Neuhaus. Kayser, Hamburg 1858, p. 22. ( digitized version ))
  2. ^ JP Lyser, Benjamin. A strange novel. Invented with twelve character pictures and etched by the author. Hoffmann and Campe 1920, p. 9.
  3. Ibid, p. 10.
  4. In Lyser's last note on his novel Benjamin, the present is mentioned as the “first part”. A second has never been written. Ibid, p. 235 f.
  5. Original: He was a child of the times, you lifted him, you carried him, you let him fall. Ibid. Flyleaf
  6. a b Horst Kunze: Treasurer of old children's books . Berlin (East): Der Kinderbuchverlag, 1981, p. 201.
  7. ^ At Heine's intercession, the novel Benjamin appeared for the first time in 1830. JP Lyser, Benjamin. A strange novel. Hoffmann and Campe 1920, p. 9 f.
  8. Ibid, p. 11.