J von Grimmelshausen – The Adventurous Simplicissimus, 1668

Simplicissimus_Cover_page1669

So ’twas allowed him to go to the Governor, and a half-hour thereafter I was fetched out likewise and put in the servitors’ room, where were already two tailors, a shoemaker with shoes, a haberdasher with stockings and hats, and another with all manner of apparel, so that I might forthwith be clothed. Then took they off my coat, chains and all, and the hair-shirt, by which the tailors could take their measure aright: next appeared a barber with his lather and his sweet-smelling soaps, but even as he would exercise his art upon me came another order which did grievously terrify me: for it ran, I should put on my old clothes again. Yet ’twas not so ill meant as I feared: for there came presently a painter with all his colours, namely vermilion and cinnabar for my eyelids, indigo and ultramarine for my coral lips, gamboge and ochre and yellow lead for my white teeth, which I was licking for sheer hunger, and lamp-black and burnt umber for my golden hair, white lead for my terrible eyes and every kind of paint for my weather-coloured coat: also had he a whole handful of brushes. This fellow began to gaze upon me, to take a sketch, to lay in a background and to hang his head on one side, the better to compare his work exactly with my figure: now he changed the eyes, now the hair, presently the nostrils; and, in a word, all he had not at first done aright, till at length he had executed a model true to nature; for a model Simplicissimus was.

But my forest dress, together with the chains and all appurtenances, were conveyed away to the museum, there to be added to other rare objects and antiquities, and my portrait, of life size, was set hard by.

Hans Jacob Christoph von Grimmelshausen, 1621-1676  Der Abenteuerliche Simplicissimus, 1668 The Adventurous Simplicissimus

Der abenteuerliche Simplicissismus Teutsch, d.h. die Beschreibung des Lebens eines seltsamen Vaganten, genannt Melchior Sternfels von Fuchsheim,

The Adventurous Simplicissimus being the description of the Life of a Strange vagabond named Melchior Sternfels von Fuchshaim, 1668

Chapter xxi. How treacherous Dame Fortune cast on Simplicissmus a friendly glance

Image: Frontepiece: The Adventurous Simplicissimus

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Author: jeh

Jeremy Hunt is Director of the AAJ Press (Art & Architecture Journal / Press) – a writer and consultant on art and public space - creator of art projects - writer on art

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