By ADRIAN TAHOURDIN
This is of course Tischbein’s portrait of Goethe in the Italian campagna. It hangs in Frankfurt’s Städelsches Kunstinstitut and is, in the words of the Director of the British Museum Neil MacGregor, “by far the most famous portrait in the whole of Germany”. Goethe, the national poet and author of the “rambling, unperformable cosmic drama” that is Faust, was the subject of a recent episode in MacGregor’s Germany: Memories of a nation, broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
If there has been anything more fascinating or intelligent on the radio in recent years than MacGregor's current series, then I’m truly sorry to have missed it. . . .