100 euro gold coin 2024 "Meisterwerke der Deutschen Literatur - Der zerbrochne Krug"

The comedy "Der zerbrochne Krug" is the second drama written by Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811).
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Overview details

Overview details

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Series: „Meisterwerke der deutschen Literatur“
Artists: Bodo Broschat, Berlin
Issue date: October 07, 2024
Mints: Berlin (A), München (D), Stuttgart (F), Karlsruhe (G), Hamburg (J)
Weight: 15,55 g (1/2 Unze)
Coin diameter: ca. 28 mm
Material: Fine gold (Au 999,9)
Nominal: 100 Euro
Mint quality: brilliant uncirculated
Circulation: max. 90.000 pieces

Description Coin

Description Coin

The coin motif, designed by the artist Bodo Broschat from Berlin, shows a three-part scene in a richly and finely filled coin round. In the centre is the trial with the main characters of the drama, while the trigger and outcome of the action are depicted on the side wings: on the left the jug that is knocked over and breaks during the escape, on the right the happy union of Eve and Ruprecht. The triptych expressively condenses the past, present and future of the events; in the words of the jury, the composition is "extremely detailed, very skilfully modelled and at the same time worked out in a concentrated manner." The design of the value side corresponds impressively with the image side.

Backgroundinformation

Backgroundinformation

The second coin in the 100-euro gold coin series "Masterpieces of German Literature" is dedicated to this work, which is part of the literary canon in Germany - after the prelude with "Faust (Goethe)".

A court hearing in the fictional Dutch village of Huisum at the end of the 17th century: Triggered by the complaint of Mrs Marthe Rull and eyed suspiciously by the court clerk Licht, the village judge Adam has to conduct a trial against himself, so to speak. It was not Ruprecht, the accused fiancé of Marthe's daughter Eve, who broke the titular jug, but the judge himself on his escape after stalking Eve the night before.

Kleist probably began work on the drama in Switzerland in 1802 and wrote it down in Königberg in 1806. The first performance by Goethe in Weimar in 1808 was considered a failure due to its length and supposed lack of plot. Kleist then shortened the last act, but added the original ending as a "Variant". The play was published in book form in 1811. The title - and a posthumously published preface by Kleist - already make it clear that the comedy, with its central motif of the broken jug, refers to the visual arts. It quotes a work from French rococo painting, which was known through numerous reproductions and enjoyed great popularity. The painting ""La cruche cassée"" by Jean-Baptiste Greuze from 1772/73 shows a young woman holding a broken jug in her hands, symbolising her lost innocence. Kleist saw this motif as a re-engraving of a free adaptation of the painting in the flat of a Berlin friend, the trigger for a poetic competition between Kleist, Ludwig Wieland and Heinrich Zschokke, which the former was to win: Kleist had to write a comedy about the genre scene, which is full of figures and includes a judge, a suspicious historian, an embarrassed girl, an accused peasant boy and an accusing mother with a broken jug. In it, he combines the jug motif and the (supposedly) lost innocence of a young woman (Eve) with the character of the guilty village judge (Adam), for whom Sophocles' ancient drama Oedipus the King forms the dramatic archetype. Although the first performance may not have really convinced audiences at the time, Kleist's comedy is now regarded as his best-known and most frequently performed drama, which can be interpreted on various levels, for example in relation to a "second fall from grace", the overcoming of patriarchal rules and norms or a reformist legal system as an expression of a modern state.