Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Caroline Schlegel

signature image

Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography

Caroline Schlegel
b. 1763, Göttingen, Germany; d. 1809, Munich

Daughter of famed biblical scholar and orientalist Johann David Michaelis, Caroline Schlegel—better known as Schelling—married three times, the second and third times to prominent intellectuals. Interested in the radical ideas that were circulating in the wake of the French Revolution, she moved to Mainz in 1790 and associated there with sympathizers, including Georg Forster. When Prussian forces captured Mainz in 1793, she was briefly imprisoned. She married August Wilhelm Schlegel in 1796 and assisted him on his translation of Shakespeare. They divorced in 1801 so that she could marry philosopher Friedrich Schelling. Considered one of the brightest minds of the German Romantic period, her wit and intelligence are conveyed in her correspondence, a selection of which was published in 1871.

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