Kaspar Hauser | contemporary depictions

Kaspar Hauser, whose identity confounded Europe after he turned up in Nuremberg one day in 1828, was said to have been born 200 years ago today. But the truth of that assertion is as elusive as any in the short and violent life of the hapless foundling. These images were all produced within his lifetime, from his first appearance to his death a few years later. There is a wide range of interpretation; within the same year he is depicted as both a defenceless urchin and a confident young man. Together they form a fascinating insight into the diffusion of images of public figures before the rise of mass media.

1828

1829

1830

1831

1832

1833

Further reading
The eternal enigma

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3 comments

  1. thombeau

    One wonders, in the days before photography, how many portraits were based on other portraits!

    Ah, Kaspar, ever the enigma…

  2. I adore Kaspar. I went to the Kaspar Hauser Festspiele in Ansbach this July-August 2012. I loved it.

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