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Memoria, disinganno, composizione: Goethe, Kniep e la funzione del disegno durante il viaggio in Sicilia


This article focuses on Goethe’s specific concept of drawing as it appears to the reader through the pages of his Italian journey. A fundamental role is played in this discourse by Christoph Heinrich Kniep, a young German draughtsman who has been recommended to Goethe by his friend, the painter Tischbein, and who accompanied the poet during his trip to Sicily. The key function of Kniep’s linear drawings was to create a visual archive destined to keep memory of his experience for future times, free from picturesque effects and potentially capable to force the recipient’s imagination. The relationship between the two travellers turned into a kind of creative symbiosis as can be seen from Goethe’s Nausicaa fragment.